5 Nutrition Essentials – No Matter What You Hear on the News

Nutrition Essentials

Nutrition Essentials

These days, trying to keep up with healthy foods is almost impossible. I mean, you all remember when eggs were bad for you, right? Now they’re one of the healthiest foods you can eat. What changed? Not the eggs. Our understanding of nutrition changed. Fortunately, no matter what you hear on the news, five basic guidelines still hold true. Follow these essentials and stay healthy no matter what the newscaster says.

1) Eat Complex, Fiber-full Carbohydrates

Choose your carbohydrates wisely. Avoid foods made with white flour, refined sugar, or high fructose corn syrup. Stick with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Not only do these foods regulate blood sugar, they make you feel fuller longer. They reduce cholesterol by absorbing fatty substances in the colon, which are then eliminated. Fiber-rich foods also fight cancer and other disease. Whatever you do, eat plenty of high-fiber foods. You can’t go wrong with this one.

2) Use Healthy Fats and Oils

Avoid unhealthy oils like vegetable or canola. Stick with coconut, olive, or peanut oils. Stop margarine, and mayonnaise. The jury may still be out on whether fat is bad for you, but everyone agrees that these fats are healthy and beneficial. They help to reduce cholesterol and keep you feeling full longer.

3) Use Sugar Sparingly

By sparingly, we mean not at all, if possible. Plenty of natural sugars are good for you in the fruits, vegetables, and juices we should be eating and drinking. Skip the soda, pass on the doughnut. No, sugar won’t give you diabetes, but because they are simple sugars, they pass through your body quickly making you hungry too soon. Because sugars are found in so many foods, it’s very easy to get too much sugar, which translates into too many calories, which results in obesity. And obesity is truly dangerous, leading to conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

4) Eat the Right Protein, in the Right Amount

The best protein comes from animal products. Meat and eggs score the most points for amount of protein per bite. Protein is made of amino acids. There are 22 of these amino acids, but 8 of them are essential – essential because our bodies can’t produce them. We have to eat them. Meat and eggs are complete sources of amino acids, providing all we need. Some vegan or vegetarian options are rice, nuts, dry beans, and quinoa. These are not complete, though, so eat a combination of these foods every day to ensure ample absorption of the essential amino acids. Hey, even if the science proves wrong, all these foods are very good for you.

5) Eat Foods with Plenty of Vitamins and Minerals

The best way to make sure you get the right balance of vitamins and minerals is to eat a diet that contains a large variety of different foods. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies to get the right amount of vitamins. Minerals are inorganic and often come from the ground. Minerals like zinc, selenium, and calcium are found in a variety of green, leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard. If it grows on a tree or is raised on a farm, it’s okay to put in your mouth. Avoid process foods and stay close to Mother Nature if you want the most balanced variety.

The hardest of these for me is the sugar. However, by regulating my sugar intake to only a few very specific foods (like in my coffee), I manage to reduce my intake. Which guideline is hardest for you?