Have you ever heard that you must eat a good, healthy diet but you’re not sure what that means? You’ll be surprised how many people believe that white bread is healthy because it’s been “enriched.” You may have heard that overweight people are unhealthy and thin people are not.
These statements have some truth and some falsehoods in them. If you are more than twenty kg’s overweight, then you are putting stress on your heart and joints. The more obese you become beyond that the more damage you cause. On the flip side if you are remaining thin because of unnatural eating habits then you are also harming yourself.
When Studying Nutrition Some Definitions Of Words Are So Loosely Used That It’s Important To Clearly Define Them
When studying nutrition some definitions of words are so loosely used that its important to clearly define them.
Diet – is the types of food you eat on a regular basis. Many people think the word “diet” applies exclusively to those foods eaten when you are trying to lose weight. That is one of the meanings of the word “diet” but it’s not the one we are using here.
Healthy – nourishing, able to sustain life. Sustain – continuing, keep going. If you want your body to be well, have lots of energy and remain slim you have to work at it and work sensibly. The majority of your diet must contain nourishing, life-sustaining food. Whenever you have to make a food choice you must always ask yourself three questions:
- Is it nourishing?
- Does it sustain life?
- Will it cause any harm?
The first thing you need to understand about your body is that your cells are continually being replaced. Millions of cells that make up blood, lung tissue, fingernails, eyelashes etc. are constantly being made and old dead cells removed. If you supply the incorrect food to your body it starts to fall apart.
You can’t make blood or lung tissue by living off sausages, fried chips, burgers, chocolate shakes and sweets. Your body can’t make new cells to replace those that have died if you spend most of your time depriving your body of the fuel it needs.
Paraffin is a fuel. It works well in lamps and people use it in paraffin stoves to cook their food on. However if you filled up your car’s petrol tank with paraffin you’d blow up the engine. Why? Because that fuel is unsuitable for motor vehicles.
Some people nibble on chocolates or sweets throughout the day to stop themselves from feeling hungry. Sugar does supply some energy but if you are using sugar to ward off hunger pangs and depriving your body of proper nutrition then your body is slowly deteriorating. Sugar is devoid of nutrients. It is highly refined and causes havoc with your blood-sugar levels, pancreas and immune system – all of which need nourishing food.
That leads us to look at nourishing. The majority of your food must be nourishing. In your twenties your body can cope with junk food and lots of sugar. It does this by slowly removing the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients it needs from your blood, teeth and bones. If you don’t feed your body nourishing food to replace what your body is using up then suddenly things start to go wrong.
Some women who want to stay thin use one of the most dangerous drugs to keep their bodies slim and shapely – sugar. If you fool your body into believing it has been fed by giving it sugar, you don’t get hungry. However if you are doing this daily then your body will start removing the nutrients it needs by breaking down cells and recycling those nutrients to build new cells.
The big problem with this is that nutrients are used up and unhealthy, nutrient – deficient cells start being made. These cells cannot function properly. It’s like a dot matrix printer whose ribbon no longer has ink. The printer continues to go through the motions but the results are unsatisfactory as no-one can read the work. When your body becomes depleted of nutrients all types of weird problems and diseases show up.
- Increased nervousness and worsening PMS symptoms
- Lack of energy, tiredness and headaches
- You start bruising easily because your capillary walls are weak allowing blood to seep into the surrounding tissues
- Chronic constipation which leads to piles
- Your immune system works badly as sugar depresses it, so you get sick more often and for longer periods of time
- Breast cancer has been linked to a high intake of refined sugar
The More You Understand How Your Body Builds And Repairs Itself The Better Your Food Choices Will Become
Sugar is not the only culprit that injures health, refined carbohydrates are just as guilty. What is a refined carbohydrate? Anything made with white flour; white bread, donuts, pancakes, scones, pastries, cakes and biscuits. The other refined carbohydrate is white rice which has been polished to remove the husk. The husk has all the vitamins and nutrients in it and you are left with just the white starchy bit.
So how do you get back to health? What is healthy food? How do you start, right now, today, making those food decisions that will put you back on track towards building a body that has energy, resists diseases and stays naturally slim?
The solution is quite simple. A body needs on a regular basis nourishing food, some exercise, at least a litre of filtered water per day and reasonable rest. These are not complicated demands. Your particular requirements will fluctuate according to the way you live your life.
If you play a lot of sport or live in a very dry climate you’ll need a little more complex carbohydrates and much more water.If regular exercise to you means a daily walk, at a medium pace, around the block you’ll need to lessen your carbohydrates accordingly.
Nourishing food is made up of a little meat (free-range is always best), some dairy (choose hormone and antibiotic free), fresh vegetables, some fruit, some nuts, complex carbohydrates (whole grains) a little essential fatty acids and a few vitamin and mineral supplements. Go to your local health shop and find out what supplements you should be taking.
Food to remain nourishing should be eaten in small quantities. Rather eat six to eight small meals a day than three larger ones. If you eat a nourishing lunch and feel sluggish or a little tired afterwards then you’ve eaten too much. A good guide line is to make a loose fist with your hand – that’s how big your stomach is. Now you can apply your own common sense as to how much food is the correct amount.
Yes you can eat the occasional chocolate, sticky bun or snow-white bagel. You can have a glass of wine, or a fizzy over-sugared drink every now and then. However, never confuse those things with real food and never categorize them as anything other than what they are – refined carbohydrates unable to sustain life.
The pointers given in this article are a general guide to making good food choices. Add to that by continuing your education in health; read widely (the library is an excellent place to start), seek out trusted sources of information; examine cases of people who eat healthily against those who do not.
Ask questions. Very soon you’ll become familiar with what builds or destroys the normal functioning of your cells. Then you’ll be able to take control and know the choices you make will build a better body.
Read more: Get Rid Of Acne With A Healthy Diet