What is good nutrition?
by Healthy Homestead Team
2 months ago
Eating healthy is something we all want to achieve. But it is easier said than done. It is not as simple as it is. We know nutrition is important for everyone, and when combined with being physically active, eating well will help you maintain healthy and strong body. With that in mind, what is good nutrition? We talk about nutrition, and what are the five food groups you need to consume for healthy nutrition.
What are nutrients?
Simply said, nutrients are ingredients in foods that help you repair body tissue, build new muscle tissue, and help you grow. No single food will provide the right amount of nutrients. Even the most nutritious dense foods, or popularly called superfoods, do not contain all of the nutrients you need. Therefore, good nutrition means combining foods from all different food groups, so that you can meet your daily needs.
Once you consume food, the small intestine absorbs the nutrients in the food, and the circulatory system passes them to parts of your body that needs energy.
The five food groups
There are more than five food groups. However, a healthy diet, or good nutrition if you like, focuses on these five food groups.
Fruits and vegetables
Whenever you talk about good nutrition, fruits and vegetables should be on the top of your list. Any diet for weight loss, or maintaining healthy weight, and even for cancer protection, puts the emphasis on fruits and veggies.
The key here is variety. Different fruits and vegetables have different nutrients. They are all rich in minerals and vitamins, but variety is the key to ensuring you get all of the nutrients your body needs. Best way to eat balanced diet is to eat foods with all the colors of the rainbow. With that in mind, those include green (broccoli, leafy greens), red (peppers and beets), yellow (banana, lemon, peppers), purple (eggplant), orange is orange, and more.
One of the biggest mistakes we make on a daily basis is eating refined grains. Those are just empty calories. White bread, white pasta, and more, filled with carbs and sugar. Whole grains contain both the bran and the germ, which is the core of the grain kernel, and as such, contain more fiber and minerals than refined grains.
Look at the label to see if the ingredients are labeled whole grains. Some examples include brown rice, bulgur, oatmeal, and barley. They can be eaten on their own.
Protein is the building block of our muscles. As such, we need it in abundance. Many people make the mistake of avoiding meat. But that way, you have hard time getting enough protein. When it comes to meat, stick to lean cuts.
In addition to lean meat, you can source protein from fish, poultry, eggs, and beans. Thirty percent of your daily consumption should be protein, so make sure to get one serving per meal.
Milk and dairy
When it comes to dairy products, unless you are lactose intolerant, you should consume them as much as possible. Dairy products are excellent for getting protein, but also healthy fats and essential fatty acids. Just try to stick to low-fat and fat-free versions of dairy products. Without dairy products, you will have hard time getting enough calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin A.
Fats and oils
The big misconception is that fat makes you fat. Wrong, sugar makes you fat. Fats can actually be healthy. What most people do not know is that there are two types of fats, healthy, and unhealthy.
The healthy fats include unsaturated fats, be it monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, and they can be found in fish, nuts, grains, and vegetables. Unhealthy fats, are the saturated fats, found in animal products mostly, as well as fast food, snack foods, fried foods, and crackers. Try to limit or avoid saturated fats as much as possible.
The impact of nutrition on your health
Unhealthy eating habits have recently contributed to the obesity epidemic in the United States. According to statistics, one third of adults in the United States are obese.
Obesity on its own might not be a condition or illness. However, obesity can contribute or lead to conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes type 2, and more. Poor diet is associated with risks like heart disease, hypertension, osteoporosis, and even cancer.