The Pillars of Nutrition – Part III

Part 3 of 4 – There are four principles, so to speak,  in Nutrition –  Adequacy, Variety, Balance, and Moderation.  This week, let’s do a post describing each of them.  If you tailor your eating habits to fit around these categories you will see a remarkable change in your overall health.

Balance is a natural principle to follow Variety as one supports the other.  When we talk about balance, we’re referring to the juggling act that we must all do so that no nutrient or food element is taken in greater or lesser quantity then it should be.  For example, a lot of people seem to have Iron deficiencies.  The daily minimums for that mineral are not being met.  Coincidentally, a lot of folks take in a surplus of sodium and cholesterol.  The result is having a diet that is out of balance.

So how do we achieve balance?  The answer, is education and action.  The RDA charts are designed to aid us in finding foods that will help us get the right amount of nutrients everyday.  By learning, for example, how much Iron you need (based on sex, size, and activity level) you can find the right foods to include in your diet to hit that goal.  Similarly, by limiting foods with high sodium levels, you can bring that back to balance as well.  For these reasons, it’s imperative to learn how to properly read nutrition labels.  For more information on how to correctly read labels, click here

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The Pillars of Nutrition – Part II

Part 2 of 4 – There are four principles, so to speak,  in Nutrition –  Adequacy, Variety, Balance, and Moderation.  This week, let’s do a post describing each of them.  If you tailor your eating habits to fit around these categories you will see a remarkable change in your overall health.

Variety is fairly self explanatory as a dietary concept.  It simply means that you should eat a wide variety of food.  Not only is it better for you, which will get into later, it’s the spice of life for all of us.  Let’s face it, Diets seem to scream to us that we have to eat the same bland low fat ‘diet’ food day in and day out.  The fact is, that’s simply not true.  There are many delicious foods in each energy group (Protein, Carbs, Fats) and Nutrient group (Vitamins/Minerals).

What most people don’t understand, thanks to popular fad diets that are ‘one size fits all’, is that making delicious heatlhful meals is easy and inexpensive.  It’s all a matter of being able to determine the right foods and the right way to prepare them. 

In an earlier post, I linked to a grocery list that gave a lot of different options in each energy group (see post marked ‘grocery list’).  Refer to it often and try to fill your fridge and cabinets with a wife variety of foods from each food group.  The reason variety is so important is simply because there is no such thing as a perfect food.  One might be a good source of Fiber, another a good source of Folate.  Eating a variety of healthful foods will help you attain your goal of adequacy and allow you to get your RDA of all Nutrients.

If you’re interested in learning more about the composition of the food you eat, visit this database.  It will help determine what your favorite foods provide as far as nutrients to help you balance your diet. 

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The Pillars of Nutrition

Part 1 of 4 – There are four principles, so to speak,  in Nutrition –  Adequacy, Variety, Balance, and Moderation.  This week, let’s do a post describing each of them.  If you tailor your eating habits to fit around these categories you will see a remarkable change in your overall health.

Adequacy – This nutritional principle suggests simply that you get the adequate amount of essential nutrients.  This means that not only do we have to be concered about eating too much, we have to be concerned with eating too little.  Not just with overall consumption (which isn’t a problem at all for most), but more specifically with vital nutrients the body needs.  Adequacy suggests that we get enough Protein, enough Carbs, enough ‘good’ fat, and of course, enough vitamins, minerals, and water.

It’s obvious, then, based on this explanation, that folks who adopt a severely low carb diet are violating this principle.  Carboyhdrates are the body’s primary and most effecient source of fuel, not one that should be restricted by any means.   For others, it’s finding enough protein to eat, especially from lower fat sources.  The biggest issue, though, is finding ways to get adequate vitamins and minerals.  We need a wide variety that stem from different food groups that often we can’t get the right amounts.  Having a diet that ensures you’re getting adequate nutrients will help keep your body running strong.  The 2005 food pyramid is an excellent place to start – Following it correctly will help reach this goal.  Visit here to view it.

For further reading on nutrients,  please visit this site

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The Hydration Proclamation

In earlier posts I have stressed the importance of drinking enough water and staying hydrated.  Unfortunately, it’s usually taken as an after thought by most readers, not fully understanding the drawbacks.  For that reason, I thought it deserved it’s own post. 

Although I’m sure the recommended daily allowance varies by author and by person, the most common goal is to drink 8 glasses per day.  That doesn’t include soft drinks and fruit juices, I’m talking about just plain water. Think back over the last few days or weeks and make a mental note of how much water you’ve taken in. Chances are, you fell well short of the goal. 

Staying hydrated is even more important for those engaged in a weight management program.  Specifically, but no limited to it’s impacts on your hunger trigger and metabolism.  I’m sure I don’t have to stress how important those factors are when you’re trying to control your caloric intake. 

In preparing for this article, I came across an excellent post that summed everything up in a concise and understandable manner.  I think you’ll be amazed at just how important this is:

Read the post here

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