5 DON’TS when it comes to your nutrition

By Karen On Thursday, February 11 th, 2016 · no Comments · In , , , , , ,

Haven’t you heard?

The rumors are true.

You don’t have to be a nutrition nut to eat healthily.

That’s fantastic news, right? I bet you’ve always wanted to eat healthy but found the ways of the nutrition world confusing.

Fear not – these five clear and actionable advice will ramp up your nutrition profile of your diet to epic levels.

  1. Do not eat processed grains

5 DON’TS when it comes to your nutritionProcessed grains go through a step called milling in which rollers remove the grain’s germ and bran. The germ is the grain’s embryo and bran is the grain’s hard outer layer. Both these parts are rich in nutrients.

Although milled grains are easy to chew and digest, they are nutritionally inferior to unprocessed grains. For instance, more than 50 percent of vitamin B and 90 percent of vitamin K are lost in the process of milling.

An increasing amount of research shows that choosing whole-grain products, over processed grain products, offer many health benefits.

Example: A Harvard study compared women who ate two to three servings of whole-grain products daily with women who hardly ate any whole-grain products. The study showed that the women who consumed whole-grain products regularly were 30 percent less likely to suffer from cardiovascular problems over a 10-year period than women who ate less than a serving per week. [1]

Actionable Advice:

Healthy food should have less than 10 grams of carbohydrates for every gram of fiber. This rule will help you find healthier substitutes for your current brand of foods.

  1. Do not get your proteins from unhealthy sources

Proteins are the building blocks of your body. Guidelines from the Institute of Medicine, recommend that you eat 20 g of proteins for every 8 pounds of body weight up to an upper limit of 46 g for women over 19 and 56 g for men over 19.

The quality of your protein’s source is as important as the quantity. Protein sources with high amounts of saturated fat and salts are unhealthy. Generally, healthy protein sources include fish, poultry, lentils, and nuts. Red meat, such as beef and lamb, is an unhealthy source of protein.

Example: An investigation tracked red meat consumption of 120,000 men and women over a period of 20 years. Studies revealed that the risk of dying from cardio vascular disease increased by 13 percent per additional 3-ounce serving of unprocessed red meat. [2]

Actionable Advice:

Buy meat that meets your daily quota of proteins while minimizing saturated fat and sodium intake. Do not buy processed meat.

  1. Do not stick to one single fruit or vegetable

No single fruit or vegetable can meet all your nutritional requirements. You must include a variety of fruits and vegetables of different colors and different textures on your plate: crunchy carrots with juicy tomatoes and leafy greens.

A vegetable and fruits rich diet lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Example: Meta-analysis of cohort studies show that people who ate more than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day were 20 percent less likely to suffer from heart diseases than people who ate less than three servings per day. [3]

Actionable Advice:

Eat only fruits and vegetable during one of your meals. While shopping, buy vegetables and fruits of different color and texture. Make your plate have at least three different colors and two different textures.

  1. Do not go on a low-fat diet

When it comes to dietary fat, the key word is not elimination. The key word is discrimination. You don’t have to cut out fat from your diet – you just need to pick good fats over bad fats.

Good fats are unsaturated fats. They may be poly-saturated or mono-saturated. You commonly find this type of fats in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and fish. This type of fat is usually liquid at room temperature. Unsaturated fats provide benefits such as decreased risk of heart diseases, increased energy, better vitamin absorption, and steadier cell structure. [4]

Bad fats are trans fats. Even when consumed in small quantities, trans fats are harmful. These days, most foods have eliminated trans fats, but be alert anyway.

Saturated fats are not as harmful as trans fats, but they are not as beneficial as unsaturated fats. Common sources of saturated fat are red meat, butter, cheese, and ice cream. Saturated fat is usually solid at room temperature. You can consume these in limited quantities.

Research shows that consuming unsaturated fats is healthier than consuming refined carbohydrates. Therefore, when you cut down on red meat, butter, and cheese, do not replace them with refined carbohydrates.

Example: When food producers decrease the fat content, they often substitute it with carbohydrates from starches. The body digests these starches rapidly, causing the blood sugar level and insulin to fluctuate. This leads to weight gain and disease. [5] 

Actionable Advice:

Include more liquid fats in your cooking and less of solid fats. If you cut down on red meat, cheeses, and butter, then replace them with nuts, seeds, and fish.

  1. Do not take mega-supplements or super-supplements

A utopian diet is one that addresses all your nutritional requirements and is super tasty too. However, most people’s diets are not even close to complete. That’s why it is a good idea to take a multivitamin tablet daily.

Primarily, you must eat a healthy diet. After that, a multivitamin tablet closes some of the nutrition gaps. Be wary of side effects from an overdose, always read and follow the recommended dosage.

The market has plenty of super supplements or mega supplements that promise incredible health benefits. However, too much of a good thing is bad.

Example: Overdose of vitamin B causes nerve toxicity, liver toxicity, nausea, and jaundice. A Severe overdose of vitamin A can even cause death. [6]

Actionable Advice:

Take a multivitamin tablet each day and stick to the dosage. Do not take anything that is super strong or super fortified. Read about vitamin overdose so that you can catch symptoms early.

Conclusion:

Eating a healthy diet is a lifestyle change made in small increments and not huge leaps. Try integrating one of these actionable advice into your life each week. Within a month and a half, you will be well on your way to eating nutritiously.

References:

[1] Liu S, Stampfer MJ, Hu FB, et al. Whole-grain consumption and risk of coronary heart disease: results from the Nurses’ Health Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;70:412-9

[2] Pan, A., et al., Red meat consumption and mortality: results from 2 prospective cohort studies. Arch Intern Med, 2012. 172(7): p. 555-63.

[3] He, F.J., et al., Increased consumption of fruit and vegetables is related to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: the meta-analysis of cohort studies. J Hum Hypertens, 2007. 21(9): p. 717-28.

[4] http://www.livestrong.com/article/264613-benefits-of-unsaturated-fats-protein-in-a-diet/

[5] Hu, F.B., Are refined carbohydrates worse than saturated fat? Am J Clin Nutr, 2010. 91(6): p. 1541-2.

[6] http://smartypantsvitamins.com/the-overdose-risks-of-vitamins-why-proper-dosage-matters/

Photo Credits:

  1. “How Much do Fruits and Vegetable Cost?” by U.S. Department of Agriculture is licensed under CC-BY-ND 2.0
  2. “Healthy homemade school lunches” by Jennifer Chait is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
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