The food that you consume affect the quality of your life and your overall well-being. Eating healthy used to be simple and straightforward, but as multiple varieties of diets and dieting methods appeared, it is now becoming more and more complicated. These methods usually distract people from the main nutritional principles that are just basic and easy to understand.
In order to eliminate this confusion and simplify what’s now complicated, this article offers a beginner’s guide to healthy eating that’s founded on the latest discoveries in nutrition science.
What are Macronutrients?
There are three macronutrients: fats, protein, and carbohydrates. They are called macronutrients because the body needs them in huge quantities. They supply calories and assist with many bodily functions. Here are the most popular foods that belong in each group of macronutrients:
- Fats (9 calories per gram) – Mainly found in seeds, nuts, cheese, butter, fatty meal, oils, and oily fish.
- Carbohydrates (4 calories per gram) – Major sources are starchy foods such as pasta, bread, and potatoes. Also abundant in sugar, legumes, juice, fruit, and several dairy products.
- Protein (4 calories per gram) – Primarily found in dairy, fish, meat, legumes, eggs, and vegetarian alternatives such as tofu.
The average amount of macronutrients that you should eat depends on your fitness goals, individual preference, and lifestyle.
Micronutrients are minerals and vitamins that are important for your body. Based on their names, they are only needed in smaller amounts. Here are the most well-known micronutrients that you should take note of:
- Potassium – the mineral that is vital for stabilized blood pressure, normal fluid balance, and improved nerve and muscle function.
- Magnesium – participates in more than 600 cellular procedures, including nervous system function, energy production, and muscle contraction.
- Calcium – a crucial structural component of teeth and bones. It is also the main mineral for your muscles, heart, and nervous system.
- Iron – popularly known for delivering oxygen in the blood. Aside from this, it has other benefits such as the enhanced brain and immune function.
- All vitamins – vitamins A to K play an essential part in each cell and organ in your body.
All the minerals and vitamins are vital nutrients, which means that you need to incorporate them into your diet to live a healthy life. The regular requirement of every micronutrient is different from each individual. If you consume a real food-based diet such as animals and plants, then you won’t have any problem accessing all the micronutrients and giving it to your body, even if you don’t take any supplements.
Food for Healthy Eating
In order to ensure that you get enough supply of macronutrients and micronutrients in your body, here are the healthy food groups that you should integrate into your diet:
- Fruits – this delicious and naturally sweet treat provides you with antioxidants and micronutrients that can enhance your overall health.
- Vegetables – these low-calorie foods should be present in most of your meals since they are packed with fiber and micronutrients.
- Nuts and Seeds – these are one of the greatest sources of good fat and they are also loaded with essential micronutrients.
- Meat and Fish – being the major sources of protein, these foods should be a staple in your diet, even if vegan and vegetarian diets have become well-known among dieters.
- Dairy – dairy products like milk and yogurt are easy to access and they are cost-efficient sources of calcium and protein.
- Eggs – it is hailed as one of the healthiest foods on earth. Whole eggs are loaded with a strong combination of micronutrients, good fat, and protein.
- Beans and Legumes – they are excellent sources of protein, fiber, and micronutrients.
- Healthy Starches – for individuals who don’t mind the carbs, whole starchy foods such as quinoa, potatoes, and Ezekiel bread are nutritious and healthy diet components.
- Spices and Herbs – these are extremely abundant in nutrients and important plant compounds.
- Drinks – the water should still complete most of your fluid supply, together with beverages such as tea and coffee.
Unhealthy Foods to Stay Away From
You don’t have to completely eliminate them in your diet and struggle to keep your cravings at bay, instead, you can limit them or save them for special events or occasions. Below is the list of unhealthy food that you should watch out for:
- Trans fats – Trans fats or hydrogenated fats have been connected to many severe diseases, including the likes of heart disease.
- Sugar-based products – foods that contain a massive amount of sugar, such as sugary drinks, are associated with type 2 diabetes and obesity.
- Vegetable Oils – though most people believe that vegetable oils are healthy, they can alter and dismember the balance of Omega 6-3 in your body, which may result in many health problems.
- Processed Low-Fat Products – these foods are usually assumed as healthy counterparts, however low fat-products have a high amount of sugar that is the main factor which makes them palatable.
- Refined Carbs – foods that have an increasing amount of refined carbs, like white bread, are associated with different metabolic diseases, obesity, and overeating.
Importance of Portion Control
The amount of calories that you eat is an essential factor that can help you successfully control your weight and improve your health. By practicing portion control, you will be able to prevent too much calorie intake. Though whole foods are extremely difficult to overeat compared to processed goods, they can still be eaten in massive amounts. If you are overweight or wanting to get rid of unwanted body fat, it’s essential to control your portion size.
There are plenty of techniques on how you can monitor the portion size of the food you consume. For instance, you can utilize plates that are smaller in size to limit your food serving, then wait for approximately 20 minutes before you take another batch of food.
Another common strategy is sizing up your food serving using your hand. 1-2 palms of protein, 1-fist sized portion of carbs, and 1-2 thumb-sized portions of beneficial fats. Cheese, fatty meats, and nuts are foods that are healthy and more calorie-dense, however, you should still watch out for your portion size when you consume them.
Creating a Diet that Matches Your Goals
First, you have to determine the number of calories that you need on a daily basis by considering factors such as your target weight and activity levels. The basic principle, if you want to eliminate excess weight from your body, is to eat fewer calories than you burn. On the other hand, if you want to gain more weight, you should eat more than you burn.
There are many calorie calculators and apps that can help monitor your nutrient and calorie intake. But, if calorie counting is not your cup of tea, you can stick to the strategies aforementioned, like portion size control and eating whole foods. If you have an existing deficiency or at risk of having one, you may want to follow a diet that can make up for it. For example, vegetarians or individuals who don’t consume specific food groups are at higher risk of neglecting some essential nutrients. This being said, you should eat foods that are of different types and colors to make sure that you get a good amount of all the micro and macronutrients.
On another note, the dilemma between low-fat diets or low-carb diets is impossible to determine which one is the best because individuals have different body mechanisms and both diet methods don’t work the same for all individuals. What works best for some, may not work for others, and vice-versa.
Healthy Eating Towards Sustainability
Pro tip when choosing a diet: if you don’t see yourself following it for one to two years from now, it’s not the ideal one for you. Usually, people impulsively go for difficult diets that they can’t keep up, which means they’ll never develop long-lasting, healthy eating habits. Worst, there are weight gain statistics that show how most people regain the weight they lost right after following a weight loss diet.
You don’t have to stay away from a particular food for the rest of your life unless you have an illness or strict dietary requirements. By completely removing certain food groups, this tends to heighten your cravings and slow down long-term success. As always, balance is the key to eating healthy. Create a diet that is 90% based on whole foods and the rest is for a limited amount of comfort food and treats that will allow you to enjoy your meal while also keeping track of your main goal.
Good Nutrition plus Healthy Habits: Winning Fitness Combo!
When it comes to your overall health, nutrition is just one piece of the puzzle. Eating healthy with regular exercise can help you achieve a much greater health boost. Sufficient hours of sleep and good sleeping habits are also essential. You should also remain hydrated by drinking enough amount of water. Lastly, reduce stress or avoid it completely since it can branch out to different health problems.
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As a dietary supplement, take 1 tablet in the morning and 1 tablet in mid-afternoon with 250ml of water.
Burniva is not a medical product and should not replace a well balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Not for use by individuals under 18 years of age. Do not use if pregnant or nursing. Consult a physician or licensed qualified health care professional before using this product if you have a family history of heart disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression or other psychiatric conditions, glaucoma, difficulty in urinating, prostate enlargement and seizure disorder. Discontinue use or consult a doctor if adverse reactions occur.
Caution This product contains caffeine and should not be used by those willing to eliminate caffeine from their diet. Keep out of reach of children. Store in a cool, dry place away from moisture and direct sunlight.