Dec 29, 2016

The Complete Guide To Healthy Eating!

In the past years, we used to tell us eat more meat, eggs, milk and cheese. And to lose weight, we were told to eat less bread and potatoes. Today, it’s eat more bread and potatoes and don’t eat so much of meat and fatty foods.

Why Have We Changed Our Minds?

And what else is new in the field of nutrition? What is today’s concept of a “balanced diet”? What’s healthy eating and what unhealthy? On these pages, you will find all you need to know about eating smart and why the guidelines have changed!

The science of nutrition and how the food you eat keeps your body working is somewhat complex and may be you don’t need a degree in nutrition to know the basic nutrients, and how to get them into your daily diet. As also mentioned in grow taller 4 idiots the six categories of essential nutrients are protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and water. These are words you’ve heard many times since you were in school, but you may be unfamiliar with what they actually do for you. The following is a brief description of what the essential nutrients do and which foods contain them.



Protein provides amino acids needed to build, repair and maintain body tissues. Protein has other functions as well, such as making antibodies to fight infections; building enzymes, hormones, and red blood cells that assist with numerous chemical reactions in your body. Protein may be used for energy or an energy source it is expensive, and carbohydrates are preferable.

Meats, fish, poultry, milk, cheese and eggs are some of the best protein sources, since they contain all essential amino acids, i.e those the body cannot make on its own. Vegetable protein is not complete in all the essential amino acids. Thus, vegetables protein sources such as pulses must be combined with grains, seeds or nuts to provide complete proteins. Pulses contain the amino acids that cereals (and nuts and sees) are deficient in, and vice versa. Also, a small amount of milk or cheese is very effective in increasing the quantity of vegetable proteins, particularly in the case of grains, cereals, nuts and seeds.


Carbohydrates are energy sources for your brain nervous system and muscle. Complex carbohydrates are found in starches i.e potatoes, rice, cereals, legumes (beans and peas) and some vegetables. Simple carbohydrates are found in sugars i/e table sugars, products made with table sugars, plus the natural, simple sugars of fruits. While both contain the same amount of calories, foods containing complex carbohydrates carry a greater variety of minerals and vitamins. Further, foods with complex carbohydrates are excellent sources of dietary fiber that assist the body’s digestive tract to function in a healthy manner.

Carbohydrates that are not used immediately by the body for energy stored as fat. On the other hand, if your body does not get enough carbohydrate to supply its energy needs, it will burn dietary or body fat and protein for energy. This robs your body of protein that it needs for repair and maintenance.


Fats are an essential nutrient that are often misunderstood but do fulfill unique body functions. Fats provide a concentrated energy source; are the source of linoleum acid essential to the body and which the body doesn’t make. This aid in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins, carry the flavor of the food and help maintain body temperature. Thus, all facts should not be eliminated from the diet, since the correct amount is necessary for the body.

Come examples of food high in fat are nuts ( including the coconut), peanut butter, while milk products, meats, fish, poultry, eggs and some fruits such as olives and avocados. The richest source of linoleic acid is vegetable oils, including corn, sunflowers, and soybean.

The trouble is, most of us eat far too much fat, and, of all the nutrients, fat have the most calories, gram for gram: 9 calories per grams as against 4 per gram from either carbohydrates or proteins. What’s even worse news:  the calories from fats are more readily stored as body fat than the calories from either protein or carbohydrates (which are primarily used up as fuel for daily activity). That is why weight conscious must watch their intake of fats.

At the same time, not all fats are created equal. Where the cholesterol risk is concerned, its saturated fats, that are the major offenders. They are found in animal fats such as meat and in dairy products; and in some vegetable fats such as coconut oil and palm oil. The more saturated fat you eat, the more cholesterol you get in your blood. Eventually it gets deposited on the walls of arteries, and if an artery gets completely blocked, the result can be heart attack or a stroke.

But the cholesterol risk can be lessened by two other kinds of fats; monounsaturated fats (from peanut and olive oils), and polyunsaturated fats (from safflower, corn or soy oils from nuts and from oily fish such as mackerel and herring). Ideally your diet should contain note more than 10 per cent of calories from saturated fats and not more than 20 percent from unsaturated fats.


Water is another of the essential nutrients. It is second only to air in its important to life. Water serves many functions in the body: to assist in the proper digestion and utilization of foods; to carry waste; to help regulate temperature; to assist with blood circulation. To increase and boost your metabolism, you need between 6 to 10 glasses of water daily.

The Food Group Concept

Today the food group concept has come into its own as a useful adult tool for food choices. Learn the food groups. They will serve you well in your quest for developing a personal framework for diet and food decision. They are:

Milk and cheese                      2 servings per day

Fruits and vegetables              4 servings per day

Meats, poultry, fish, beans     2 servings per day

Bread and cereals                   4 servings per day

Fats, sweets and alcohol         In moderation.


Vitamins are organic substances that your body needs, but cannot make in adequate amounts. Vitamins must be obtained from food or from nutritional supplements. Some of the essential functions that vitamins fulfill are to help convert the fat and carbohydrates in food into body energy; assist in the formation of bone and tissues; promote tissue growth and repair.

The 13 vitamins your body needs can be classified as either fat soluble or water soluble. Fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K can be stored for future use by the body. Water soluble vitamins (B-complex and C) are not stored and should be obtained daily.


Minerals are indispensable to your health even though you need only small amounts of each. Essential minerals can be divided into four functional types, including: those that are part of bones; those that regulate body fluids; those that are needed to make special materials for the cells to do their work; trace minerals needed in tiny amounts to trigger chemical reactions.

A Few Words… About Three Little Words!

Salt everyone needs some salt, even those who suffer from high blood pressure. The most people don’t need more than ten grams of salt (which works out to 4gms of sodium) daily. A lot of people eat up to 15gms salt a day.

For some people (those who are “salt sensitive”), eating too much salt can translate into high blood pressure which in turn causes heart diseases and strokes.

At the same time, no one – not even hypertensive can entirely cut salt off the menu. That is because salt is basic to the functioning of every bodily process. One of its most important functions is o maintain the osmotic pressure, and therefore the fluid balance in the body. If you didn’t take in any salt, your kidneys would throw out most of the water from your body.

Tips Of Using Salt:

  • Use less salt in cooking
  • Flavor dishes with lemon juice, vinegar, pepper or mustard instead of salt.
  • Keep the salt shaker off the table.
  • Eat nuts unsalted, and cut down on other salted snacks like potato chips etc.
  • Don’t overindulge in pickles.
  • Cut down on salted dry fish like bombil and mackerel.
  • Use less tinned and packet foods like sups, because of the preservatives used, they contain too much sodium
  • Use fewer sauces like soybean and tomato ketchup.
  • Also, cut back on monosodium glutamate.


Sugar is one of those ‘empty’ foods that you hear about. Sugar gives you calories and nothing else. No vitamins, no minerals no fiber, no protein. And although health faddists may trumpet the “natural” health benefits of brown sugar vice white, the fact is that both are equally non nutritious.

Apart from the fact that sugar does not do anything for you, it can also do something that you wish it didn’t. First, it promotes tooth decay by feeding bacteria on your teeth, which produce acids that eat away at your teeth.

Since sugar’s calories come from carbohydrates, a lot of them are burned up by the body as fuel for energy. So sugar’s role in the promotion of obesity bay be somewhat exaggerate. At the some time, those calories that are not expended in energy will end up being stored as body fat, so you have got to watch it. Cutting back on sugar is the easiest way to cut calories without losing any nutrients.

Apart from table sugar, also watch out for: sucrose, glucose, dextrose, fructose and maltose on the ingredients list of packaged foods; they are all forms of sugar. You may find them added on even savory food like soups and sauces.

Tips for the use of Sugar

  • Substitute over sweet deserts with fruit salads.
  • Drink fresh fruit juices unsweetened as they already have fructose which is another form of sugar.
  • Go easy on cakes, biscuits and of course, chocolate. Try unsalted nuts or popcorn as alternatives to snack on.
  • Cut your consumption of soft drinks. One glassful can contain up to 5 teaspoon full of sugar.
  • Cut down gradually on the number of teaspoons (of sugar) that you use in your tea of coffee. You will find, with time, that your taste buds will get accustomed to, and may even prefer, the less sweet option!
  • Try slashing the amount of sugar you use in custards, puddings or other sweet deserts. It works for most things, except jams and meringues.
  • Finally, don’t worry about the odd binge on sweet food. What matters is what you eat everyday.


Fiber is the reason why oat bran appears to have become the staple diet of America. What’s it all about? Fiber is an important part of the daily diet, and one that non vegetarians often lack in their meals. That’s because fiber is found only in foods hat grow from the ground: cereals, beans, peas, vegetables and fruits. You don’t get any fiber in animal products like cheese, eggs or meat.

The good health benefits of fibber are several: By providing bulk to stools, fiber speeds the removal of digestive by products, thus preventing constipation. The longer digestive residue (including toxins and bacteria) is allowed to stay in contact with the walls of intestine, the greater the possibility of incurring a serious disease (including cancer of the bowel).

Fiber rich foods can also be useful if you are trying to lose weight, they give you a feeling of fullness without giving you too many calories.

Fiber is not lost in cooking. But it is lost when grains are polished, that is why breads made from wholegrain have more fiber than those made from polished grain. In fruits and vegetables, generous portion of the fiber is concentrated in the skin, and peeling them throws away all that goodness. How much fiber do you need to take in? Adults should try and eat at least 30 gm daily. You can get that from 4 slices of whole grain bread (11gms) one average serving of white rice (2 gm); one average serving of green peas (7gms); 1 banana (3gms); 50 gm of unsalted peanuts (4 gm).

Tips for taking Fiber

  • Eat more potatoes. Most of the fiber is in the skin. So try baking them in their jackets or boiling them with their skin on. This way, you will get 3 gm of fiber as against 1 gm from a skinned potato.
  • Breakfast cereals are a good source of fiber. You will up your intake if you add nuts and/or dried fruits to your cereals. (don’t overdo it, because nuts are also high in calories)
  • If you are a non vegetarian, try to replace some of the meals with beans. Much cheaper, still very nutritious and you will get a good helping fiber.
  • Try to eat at least one piece of fruit and a good variety of vegetables everyday. And as far as possible, eat them with their skin. Fiber content varies in different fruits and vegetables but all of them have some fiber; they also have essential vitamins.

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