Nutrition 101: Getting Started

Going to the supermarket can feel like walking into a car dealership if you are trying to eat nutritiously. Every item on the shelves claims to be nutritious in one way or other, even things that you likely know blatantly are not, such as candy bars and potato chips. Every product is screaming at you from the shelves like a used car salesman hawking his wares, using all the buzz words. Every food claims to be low fat, low carb, high in protein, low in trans fat. If you do not know what these words mean, or the names of the chemicals you are shoving into your mouth, it will be hard to make the important, healthy choices you need to make. This article will serve as your guide through the labyrinth. We will discuss everything someone just starting out on this journey of healthy eating should need to know in order to not be duped by all the sales claims. This way you will know what nutrients you need, what quantities you need them in, and you will not overspend on the latest fad. If you are just beginning on the journey of healthy eating, just stick with us, and we will get you out the other side.

 

Too Much, Too Little

Multivitamins can be very useful in enhancing the amount of those nutrients you get too little of in your regular diet. However, taking more than one multivitamin can lead to overdoses of some of them. This overdose can lead to illness as your body attempts to cope with the excess. Furthermore, some vitamins are rendered useless if they are not in a harmonious balance with others. That is why it is so important to make sure that your nutrient intake is in balance as much as you can. There are many ways to insure a correct balance of nutrients. Do not take more than one multivitamin. Make sure to always pick foods from the five food groups at every meal. Check for your serving size based upon your height, weight and activity levels.

 

Balancing Act

There are five food groups. It is very important to eat a good balance of foods from each group to maintain good health. Many diets insist that you cut out or cut down on certain nutrients such as protein or carbs. However, this is not a good idea. If you cut down on carbs or protein or any other form of nutrition, then chances are likely that the only thing you will succeed in doing is unbalancing your metabolism. The key is balance and moderation. Each food group requires a person to eat different amounts of foods from that group.

 

Drink Water

The last helpful nutrient is water. Water is necessary for every single process within our bodies. It cools us off, carries nutrients throughout the body, is a major component in most of our organs and cells and helps flush out waste. Humans can live for a couple of weeks without food. However, it is impossible to live more than a few days without water. Some water comes from the foods we eat. However, that water is not nearly enough to power all your body’s processes. To gain the necessary water to maintain healthy, it is important to drink enough of it during a day. The average person needs six to eight glasses of water per day. Many of us, however, do not drink nearly that much and instead fill up the defecit with sugary soft drinks and coffee which can lead to dehydration, issues with blood sugar, and weight gain.

 

Watch Out For Refined Sugar

Many foods contain refined sugar. It is very important to look out for this sugar in your diet as it can lead to a lot of problems in the long-term. Perhaps the biggest of these problems is diabetes which, if untreated can be fatal. There is no cure for diabetes, and treating it may involve several painful needle pricks a day on top of the needle pricks necessary to test your blood sugar. One would think refined sugar would be easy to spot if you avoid candy, soda, cakes and pies but that isn’t the case. Refined sugar exists in every sort of food from fried rice to potato chips.

 

Good nutrition is very important. If your nutrition is poor, your health will suffer. Poor nutrition also leads to several diseases, including heart attack, heart disease, stroke, various cancers and some forms of Diabetes. These conditions, though they can be managed are incurable. This means if you are diagnosed with one, you will have it for the rest of your life. Perhaps unsurprisingly, those whose health is bad  report symptoms as diverse as chronic fatigue, irritability and bloating. This is just scratching the surface. Now, however, you have the keys you need to unlock good nutrition and change this grim prognosis. It is never too late to make healthier choices. And you do not even have to make all the changes at once. Every small change you make has a cumulative effect on your health and can make you happier and less ill. With these simple keys, you might even shut up the used car sales talk of the choices at your local supermarket.

Published by

Taryn

Taryn is a mum of four, working through her Masters of Theology. She also has a Diploma of Biblical Studies (Biblical Studies), a Diploma of Arts (English Literature) and Bachelor of Theology and is a freelance writer and editor.