Hello everyone! Welcome or welcome back! Happy October!
As I sit here frantically typing away because I was busy with college, church and visiting family not realizing I completely put off writing until the last minute, I would like to apologize if this piece looks a little bit all over the place. Whoops!
So, straight to the point this week and the upcoming weeks. Setting goals and what you should as a human being trying to reach in your day to day eating habits. Some questions to ask yourself, are you eating too much of something and not enough of another? Are you eating calorie dense foods or nutrient dense foods? Are you looking at nutrition labels at the grocery store to see exactly what you are putting into your body? All of these are some things to think about as you (and I) continue our journey to a healthy life.
As we dive deeper into nutrition, now is the time to bring up the epidemic that is taking not only the United States by storm but also the world. It is estimated that by 2050, ⅔ of the American population with either be diabetic or pre-diabetic. This is not Type 1 diabetes that you cannot prevent. This is Type 2 diabetes where the majority of the causes come straight from a lack of a balanced diet and exercise and a little bit of genetics. That is a huge number and that is just for the U.S. Imagine that number for the world.
The important thing to grasp when you are trying to eat healthier is that everyone is different. Some things work better on one person but they don’t on another. The key is to find the diet that works best for you.
To start, let’s go with the basics. There are three macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids. Each one is important for the body and a deficiency in any of them can be detrimental to the human body. This week, we are just going to discuss carbohydrates and the other two macronutrients will be addressed in the upcoming weeks.
Carbohydrates are probably the most important macronutrient out of the three. Depending on how much you exercise, carbohydrates should be about 45-65% or your daily diet. Carbohydrates are plants and dairy and they provide energy for the body to function. There are two types of carbohydrates with regards to plants. These are simple vs. complex. Simple carbs are products like your white bread, white rice, sugars…etc. Complex carbs include brown rice, whole grain bread(not just wheat bread) and fiber.
The goal is to have your diet mainly consist of complex carbs. These types of carbs have fiber attached to them. Simple carbs do not. Simple carbs were initially developed to prevent rancidity and foods from going bad quicker which was good over 100 years ago but is not as necessary now. When looking at nutrition labels, look at the ingredients. Enriched flour is not whole wheat flour. It is processed flour that had the nutrients taken out and some of them put back in. In addition, watch the fat count because pesticides concentrate in fat.
In most of the fad diets these days, the first thing they tell you is to cut out is carbs. In order to just feed the brain and the central nervous system and allow it to function, you need to eat 130 grams of carbohydrates which is about 520 calories. JUST IN CARBOHYDRATES!!! You need even more for your whole body to function at its best. Remember, fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates too! So, what happens when you stop consuming carbs? Your body starts converting protein to carbohydrates which leads to a loss of muscle, hair, weaker nails, and weaker skin.
Another thing fad diets tell you to do is eliminate sugar. Sugar is not bad for you, too much is what gets you, especially those added sugars in beverages and snacks. Did you know there is almost a quarter cup of added sugar in every 12 oz can of Coca-Cola? I mentioned last week the pros of fructose. Similarly, lactose is the same unless you are lactose intolerant then you have to get your nutrients that come in dairy from another source. But be wary of milk alternatives and make sure that they have the nutrients you need and are not just sugar with no nutritional value.
A lesson about fad diets is this. The reason why there are so many new and different fad diets is because they don’t always work. As I said before, what works for one person may not work for another.
But back to the factor that makes carbs complex carbs. Fiber. Fiber not only cleans out your digestive system but it also slows it down so that you don’t feel hungry as fast. Fiber can be found in the skin of fruits, the strings in celery, the seeds in berries, and grains.
*The Fiber One brand does not count as a quality source for fiber.*
25 grams of fiber is adequate for women and 38 grams for men but these numbers can fluctuate based off of height and weight. And like everything, do not eat too much fiber or you will regret your decision.
That’s all for this week.
P.S. Be sure to like and share. The more people that hear the information, the more people who have an opportunity to live happier lives with more money to spend on things they want rather than hospital bills. Spread the word and help people become healthier!