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Nutrition Facts!

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Here’s a fact for you.  Every cell in your body is made up from the food that you put into your mouth.  When it comes to nutrition, “garbage in, garbage out” makes a little more sense when you know the facts.  Just like your car will not run properly if you put cheap, watered down gas in it, your body cannot be healthy and strong if you don’t fuel it with the proper nutrition.  Most Americans today eat and endless stream of pizza, soft drinks, fast foods, and processes sugar and then can’t figure out why obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer run rampant in our culture.  We are eating science experiments (processed foods) and can’t understand that it is necessary to make good nutrition a part of our daily routine.

Do we not understand that the foods we eat can have a positive or negative affect on our bodies?  Why are so many Americans literally eating themselves to death?  I have eaten a clean, healthy diet for over 2 years now.  The result, I haven’t been sick in over 2 years.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  When I started to take care of my body properly, then it took care of me.  This coming from someone who spent hundreds of dollars a year on sore throat, cough, runny nose and allergy medicine.  I didn’t have allergies.  I was eating poorly and my body was responding accordingly.  When I improved my nutrition, my health improved.

When I talk to people about nutrition this question always comes up.  How do I give up the foods that I love so much, like sweets, sodas, chips, processed meats and fast food.  My response is usually the same, because I asked myself that very same question in March of 2009 when I decided it was time for a change.  I tell them do what I did, research those foods and find out what’s in them and what those ingredients do to your body.  The things that I mentioned above.  If doing that doesn’t scare you to change, than you have bigger problems to worry about.

Food is not only an energy source for the body, but every piece of food you put into it contains hundreds or thousands of individual chemicals that can affect a wide range of functions in your body.  Like, your metabolism, immune system, emotional state, and your body weight.  Every thing you put in your body is made up of one of three things: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.  So its very important that you understand how these influence your body chemistry so that you can make informed choices about what to put into your body.  Its also a good idea to keep track of what you put in your body.  If you do not, you will be surprised, even if you think you are eating healthy, how many calories, fat, sodium, etc. you are eating.  To find out more from my site checkout other articles that I have posted: Food shopping 101Whole Wheat vs. Multi-Grain, and My Eating Lifestyle.

1.) Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the body’s fuel source.  They help you think, run, walk, breathe, or do everything else.  Carbohydrates are the second most consumed nutrients next to water in the entire world.  There are 3 types of carbs:

*Sugars (simple carbs)

*Complex carbs


When carbs enter your body they are broken down by enzymes into simple sugars.  The main purpose of the digestion process is to convert the carbs you eat into glucose.  Glucose is the form of carbs that is the primary fuel for the brain, central nervous system, and almost every cell in your body.

Complex carbs take longer to break down and therefore take longer to enter the blood stream.  Sugars or simple carbs can be quickly converted into glucose and enter the blood.  To explain this clearly I will describe sugar as gasoline and complex carbs as diesel fuel.  Gas explodes and burns quickly, where diesel is a slow burning fuel that will not blow up in your face when lit.  therefore, complex carbs give you energy over longer periods of time.  Ever heard of the sugar rush?  That’s those simple carbs bursting with energy for a short period and then quickly fading.

These spikes in glucose levels are measured by the glycemic index.  Simple sugars are high glycemic and complex carbs are low glycemic.  High glycemic foods, usually contain alot of sugar (soda, sweets and candy)  and will increase your storage of fat.  Usually around the waist.  If you have alot of belly fat, then you probably eat alot of simple carbs or sugar.

To minimize the amount of carbs that ends up being stored as fat, you need to consume large amounts of low glycemic foods such as whole grains, whole wheat pastas, nuts, seeds, tomatoes, beans, grapefruit, apples, and peas.  I try to eat alot of fiber everyday.  Fiber is another carb that helps counter act the sugar you digest and slow it absorption down.  That way you energy stays high longer.

Review: Simple carbs (sugar, natural or processed) quick energy, fades fast.  Complex carbs (whole wheat, pastas, nuts) higher amounts of energy over longer periods of time.

2.) Proteins

Proteins are used to build and repair muscles.  If you do not get enough of the essential proteins your body cannot repair itself after a workout.  Then your immune system can’t do its job properly, your metabolism decreases, and you feel sluggish, depressed, and tired.  To get the proper proteins you need to eat protein sources like lean meats, fish, cheese, egg or egg whites, soy, dairy products (I use almond milk), beans, and legumes.

Proteins are important for building lean muscle tissue and for maintaining stable blood glucose levels, immune function, and brain function.  So, how much protein do you need?  A simple rule is 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.  If you weigh 200 pounds, then you need to take in around 200 grams of protein a day.  If you are a heavy lifter you can increase that amount.  If you eat 6 meals a day like me, that equals out to about 30 to 40 grams per meal.

3.) Fats

FATS are not bad for you.  Americans just eat too much fat and it causes our bodies to go crazy.  Dietary fats are necessary for the proper absorption of vitamins and helping control how much you eat.  Fat provides your body with energy and next to water is the most abundant substance in the human body ideally averaging about 10 to 12% in men and 16 to 17% in women.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults get 20%-35% of their calories from fats. At a minimum, we need at least 10% of our calories to come from fat.   The problem is that the typical American diet is higher in fat: Roughly 34% to 40% of our calories come from fat. Why? Because they taste so good and are widely available in our food supply. Fats enhance the flavors of foods and give our mouths that wonderful feel that is so satisfying.

What are the good fats and what are the bad fats.  Good fats include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.  Polyunsaturated fats include vegetable oils, omega-3 fatty acids, flax oil, walnuts, almonds and fish.  Monounsaturated fats are but not limited to olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, avocados, and nuts.  The bad fats are trans fats and saturated fats.  These are found in cookies, crackers, candy, chips, baked goods, and margarine.  These types of fats have been linked to cancer, diabetes, obesity, poor immune system function, and problems with bones and tendons.

If you want to lose weight and improve the way you feel, then making some simple adjustments to your diet can help tremendously.  Once I made the change I fould that the healthier foods started to taste better without all the gilt and sickness that comes from the old processed foods I used to eat.



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