Nutrition and Health

Nutrition and Health

A healthy diet has been scientifically proven to provide numerous health benefits, such as reducing your risk of several chronic diseases and keeping your body healthy. However, making major changes to your diet can sometimes seem very overwhelming.

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Instead of making big changes, it may be better to start with a few smaller ones.

Food is required to 

  • Make our body strong,
  • To provide energy to play, study
  • To do daily activities
  • To maintains all body functions
  • To grow
  • To gain height
  • To fight illness and remain healthy
  • To maintain a healthy body.

During the adolescent period, the nutritional need of the body increases to maintain growth and development such as height gain and muscle mass. Therefore a balanced intake of food is very important

Important elements of Food- Carbohydrate, fat, proteins, minerals, fiber, and vitamins

Food

Important elements of Food- Carbohydrate, fat, proteins, minerals, fiber, and vitamins

Energy to our body is provided by Carbohydrates and Fats- Rice, Wheat, Sugar, Potato, Jowar, Honey Bajra.

Fat rich foods are Oil, Ghee, Butter, and Nuts

Proteins are the main ingredient in the building blocks of our body. Muscles and other organs are mainly made up of proteins – Pulses, Meat Fish, Beans, Peas, Soyabean, Milk Egg.

Minerals are added for –

  • Bones, Teeth
  • Healing of wounds
  • Fight Infections
  • Healing of Body
  • Convert food into Energy

Important minerals required for our body are—Calcium, Iron, iodine, Zinc

Vitamins are important for—

  • Normal body function
  • Wound healing
  • Healthy skin
  • Resistance to Infection
  • Energy Production

Vitamin-rich foods are – Vegetables, Fruits, Milk, Eggs, Citrus,

Important Vitamins are A, B, C, D, E, K

Fiber- High fibrous fruits are –

Oranges, Pear, Banana, Mango, Kiwi, guava, Apple, Grapes, Strawberries, and Plums

For weight Loss—Avocado, Carrot, Black beans, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Lentils, variety of Dals, and Soya beans.

Plan your Diet—

Cereals should be consumed as the main source of energy

Vegetables and fruits are excellent sources of various nutrients eat plenty of them

Pulses, milk, nuts, are very useful for the body- include a few of them in every meal

Egg and meat are nutritious- eat in moderation

Oil, ghee, butter, sugar, jaggery are essential but eat less as an excess of these can cause disease

EAT A VARIETY OF FOODS EVERYDAY TO PROVIDE REQUIRED NUTRITION TO YOUR BODY

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Click here for Nutrition and Health Tips-

A number of nutrition and health tips are well established and proven over a period of time although even qualified experts often seem to be holding opposing opinions and it’s easy to get confused when it comes to health and nutrition.

Following tips are based on good science—

Don’t drink sugar calories– Sugary drinks are among the most fattening items you can put into your body. This is because your brain doesn’t measure calories from liquid sugar the same way it does for solid food.

Therefore, when you drink soda, you end up eating more total calories. Sugary drinks are strongly associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many other health problems.

Keep in mind that certain fruit juices may be almost as bad as soda in this regard, as they sometimes contain just as much sugar. Their small amounts of antioxidants do not negate the sugar’s harmful effects.

Eat Nuts– Despite being high in fat, nuts are incredibly nutritious and healthy. They’re loaded with magnesium, vitamin E, fiber, and various other nutrients. Studies demonstrate that nuts can help you lose weight and may help fight type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Additionally, your body doesn’t absorb 10–15% of the calories in nuts. Some evidence also suggests that this food can boost metabolism. In one study, almonds were shown to increase weight loss by 62%, compared with complex carbs.

Avoid processed junk food– Processed junk food is incredibly unhealthy. These foods have been engineered to trigger your pleasure centers, so they trick your brain into overeating — even promoting food addiction in some people.

They’re usually low in fiber, protein, and micronutrients but high in unhealthy ingredients like added sugar and refined grains. Thus, they provide mostly empty calories.

Don’t fear Coffee– Coffee is very healthy. It’s high in antioxidants, and studies have linked coffee intake to longevity and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and numerous other illnesses.

Eat Fatty Fish– Fish is a great source of high-quality protein and healthy fat. This is particularly true of fatty fish, such as salmon, which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and various other nutrients.

Studies show that people who eat the most fish have a lower risk of several conditions, including heart disease, dementia, and depression.

Get enough sleep– The importance of getting enough quality sleep cannot be overstated. Poor sleep can drive insulin resistance, disrupt your appetite hormones, and reduce your physical and mental performance.

What’s more, poor sleep is one of the strongest individual risk factors for weight gain and obesity. One study linked insufficient sleep to 89% and 55% increased risk of obesity in children and adults, respectively.

Take care of your Gut health with probiotics and fiber– The bacteria in your gut, collectively called the gut microbiota, are incredibly important for overall health. A disruption in gut bacteria is linked to some of the world’s most serious chronic diseases, including obesity.

Good ways to improve gut health include eating probiotic foods like yogurt and sauerkraut, taking probiotic supplements, and eating plenty of fiber. Notably, fiber functions as fuel for your gut bacteria.

Drink some water especially before meals– Drinking enough water can have numerous benefits. Surprisingly, it can boost the number of calories you burn.

Two studies note that it can increase metabolism by 24–30% over 1–1.5 hours. This can amount to 96 additional calories burned if you drink 8.4 cups (2 liters) of water per day.

The optimal time to drink it is before meals. One study showed that downing 2.1 cups (500 ml) of water 30 minutes before each meal increased weight loss by 44%.

Don’t overcook or burn your meat– Meat can be a nutritious and healthy part of your diet. It’s very high in protein and contains various important nutrients.

However, problems occur when meat is overcooked or burnt. This can lead to the formation of harmful compounds that raise your risk of cancer. When you cook meat, make sure not to overcook or burn it.

Avoid bright light before sleep– When you’re exposed to bright lights in the evening, it may disrupt your production of the sleep hormone melatonin. One strategy is to use a pair of amber-tinted glasses that block blue light from entering your eyes in the evening.

This allows melatonin to be produced as if it were completely dark, helping you sleep better.

Take vitamin D3 if you don’t get much sun exposure– Sunlight is a great source of vitamin D. Yet, most people don’t get enough sun exposure. If you’re unable to get adequate sun exposure, vitamin D supplements are a good alternative.

Their benefits include improved bone health, increased strength, reduced symptoms of depression, and a lower risk of cancer. Vitamin D may also help you live longer.

Eat vegetables and fruits– Vegetables and fruits are loaded with prebiotic fiber, vitamins, minerals, and many antioxidants, some of which have potent biological effects.

Studies show that people who eat the most vegetables and fruits live longer and have a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other illnesses.

Make sure to eat enough protein– Eating enough protein is vital for optimal health. What’s more, this nutrient is particularly important for weight loss. High protein intake can boost metabolism significantly while making you feel full enough to automatically eat fewer calories.

It can also reduce cravings and your desire to snack late at night. Sufficient protein intake has also been shown to lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels.

Do some Cardio– Doing aerobic exercise, also called cardio, is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health.

It’s particularly effective at reducing belly fat, the harmful type of fat that builds up around your organs. Reduced belly fat should lead to major improvements in metabolic health.

Don’t smoke or do drugs, and only drink in moderation– If you smoke or abuse drugs, tackle those problems first. Diet and exercise can wait. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation and consider avoiding it completely if you tend to drink too much.

Minimize your sugar intake– Added sugar is one of the worst ingredients in the modern diet, as large amounts can harm your metabolic health. High sugar intake is linked to numerous ailments, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many forms of cancer.

Don’t eat a lot of refined carbs– Not all carbs are created equal. Refined carbs have been highly processed to remove their fiber. They’re relatively low in nutrients and can harm your health when eaten in excess.

Studies show that refined carbs are linked to overeating and numerous metabolic diseases.

Don’t fear saturated fat– Saturated fat has been controversial. While it’s true that saturated fat raises cholesterol levels, it also raises HDL (good) cholesterol and shrinks your LDL (bad) particles, which is linked to a lower risk of heart disease.

New studies in hundreds of thousands of people have questioned the association between saturated fat intake and heart disease.

Lift heavy things– Lifting weights is one of the best things you can do to strengthen your muscles and improve your body composition. It also leads to massive improvements in metabolic health, including improved insulin sensitivity.

The best approach is to lift weights, but doing bodyweight exercises can be just as effective.

Avoid artificial trans fat– Artificial trans fats are harmful, man-made fats that are strongly linked to inflammation and heart disease. Although trans fats have been largely banned in the United States and elsewhere, the U.S. ban hasn’t gone fully into effect — and some foods still contain them.

Use plenty of herbs and spices– Many incredibly healthy herbs and spices exist. For example, ginger and turmeric both have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, leading to various health benefits.

Due to their powerful benefits, you should try to include as many herbs and spices as possible in your diet.

Track your food intake daily– The only way to know exactly how many calories you eat is to weigh your food and use a nutrition tracker. It’s also essential to make sure that you’re getting enough protein, fiber, and micronutrients.

Studies reveal that people who track their food intake tend to be more successful at losing weight and sticking to a healthy diet.

If you have excess belly fat, get rid of it— Belly fat is particularly harmful. It accumulates around your organs and is strongly linked to metabolic disease.

For this reason, your waist size may be a much stronger marker of your health than your weight. Cutting carbs and eating more protein and fiber are all excellent ways to get rid of belly fat.

Eat eggs, yolk, and all– Whole eggs are so nutritious that they’re often termed “nature’s multivitamin.” It’s a myth that eggs are bad for you because of their cholesterol content. Studies show that they have no effect on blood cholesterol in the majority of people.

Additionally, a massive review of a large number of people found that egg intake had no association with heart disease risk. Instead, eggs are one of the planet’s most nutritious foods. Notably, the yolk contains almost all of the healthy compounds.

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Click here for Nutrition facts that should be common sense ( but aren’t )-

Common sense should not be taken for granted when people are discussing nutrition.

Many myths and misconceptions are being spread — even by so-called experts.

Artificial trans fat is unsuitable for human consumption:

Trans fats are unhealthy. Their production involves high pressure, heat, and hydrogen gas in the presence of a metal catalyst. This process makes liquid vegetable oils solid at room temperature.

Of course, trans fats are more than just unappetizing. Studies show that they are unhealthy and linked to a drastic increase in heart disease risk. FDA has banned trans fat since June 2018. Plus, foods with less than 0.5 grams of trans fats per serving may be labeled as having 0 grams.

You don’t need to eat every 2-3 hours:

Some people believe that having smaller, more frequent meals may help them lose weight. However, some studies suggest that meal size and frequency have no effect on fat burning or body weight.

Eating every 2–3 hours is inconvenient and completely unnecessary for the majority of people. Simply eat when you’re hungry and be sure to choose healthy and nutritious foods.

 Take news headlines with a grain of salt:

The mainstream media is one of the reasons behind many circulating nutrition myths and confusions. It seems as if a new study makes headlines every week — often contradicting research that came out just a few months earlier.

These stories often get a lot of attention, but when you look past the headlines and read the studies involved, you may find that they’re often taken out of context. In many cases, other higher-quality studies directly contradict the media frenzy — but these rarely get mentioned.

Meat doesn’t rot in your colon:

It’s entirely false that meat rots in your colon. Your body is well equipped to digest and absorb all the important nutrients found in meat. The protein gets broken down in your stomach by stomach acids. Then, powerful digestive enzymes break down the rest in your small intestine.

Most of the fats, proteins, and nutrients are then absorbed by your body. While small amounts of protein and fat may escape digestion in healthy people, there is not much left to rot in your colon.

Eggs are one of  the healthiest:

Eggs have been unfairly demonized because their yolks are high in cholesterol. However, studies show that cholesterol from eggs doesn’t raise blood cholesterol in the majority of people.

New studies that include hundreds of thousands of people show that eggs have no effect on heart disease in otherwise healthy individuals. The truth is, eggs are one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods you can eat.

Sugary drinks are the most fattening product in the modern diet:

Excess added sugar can be detrimental to health — and getting it in liquid form is even worse. The problem with liquid sugar is that your brain doesn’t compensate for the calories by eating less of other foods.

In other words, your brain doesn’t register these calories, making you eat more calories overall. Of all the junk foods, sugar-sweetened beverages are likely the most fattening.

Low-fat doesn’t mean healthy:

The low-fat diet promoted by the mainstream nutrition guidelines seems to have been a failure. Numerous long-term studies suggest that it neither works for weight loss nor disease prevention. What’s more, the trend led to a plethora of new, processed, low-fat foods.

Yet, because foods tend to taste worse without the fat, manufacturers added sugar and other additives instead. Foods that are naturally low-fat — like fruits and vegetables — are great, but processed foods labeled “low-fat” are usually loaded with unhealthy ingredients.

Fruit juice isn’t that different from sugary soft drinks:

Many people believe that fruit juices are healthy, as they come from fruit. Though fresh fruit juice may provide some of the antioxidants found in fruit, it contains just as much sugar as sugary soft drinks like Coca-Cola. As juice offers no chewing resistance and negligible amounts of fiber, it’s very easy to consume a lot of sugar.

A single cup (240 ml) of orange juice contains just as much sugar as 2 whole oranges. If you’re trying to avoid sugar for health reasons, you should avoid fruit juice as well. While fruit juice is healthier than soft drinks, its antioxidant content doesn’t make up for the large amounts of sugar.

Feeding your gut bacteria is critical:

People are really only about 10% human — the bacteria in your intestine, known as the gut flora, outnumber your human cells 10 to 1. In recent years, research has shown that the types and number of these bacteria can have profound implications for human health — affecting everything from body weight to brain function.

Just like your body’s cells, the bacteria need to eat — and soluble fiber is their preferred fuel source. This may be the most important reason to include plenty of fiber in your diet — to feed the beneficial bacteria in your intestine.

Cholesterol isn’t the enemy:

What people generally refer to as “cholesterol” isn’t really cholesterol. When people talk about the so-called “bad” LDL and “good” HDL cholesterol, they’re really referring to the proteins that carry cholesterol around in your blood. LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein, whereas HDL refers to high-density lipoprotein.

The truth is, cholesterol is not the enemy. The main determinant for heart disease risk is the type of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol around — not cholesterol itself. For most people, dietary cholesterol has little or no effect on lipoprotein levels.

Weight loss supplements rarely work:

There are many different weight loss supplements on the market — and they almost never work. They’re claimed to lead to magical results but fail when put to the test in studies.

Even for the few that work — like glucomannan — the effect is too small to really make a noticeable difference. The truth is that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to adopt a healthy lifestyle change.

Health is about more than your weight:

Most people focus too much on weight gain or loss. The truth is that health goes way beyond that. Many obese people are metabolically healthy, while many normal-weight people have the same metabolic problems associated with obesity.

Focusing just on body weight is counterproductive. It’s possible to improve health without losing weight — and vice versa. It appears that the area where fat builds up is important. The fat in your abdominal cavity (belly fat) is associated with metabolic problems, while the fat under your skin is mostly a cosmetic problem.

Therefore, reducing belly fat should be a priority for health improvement. The fat under your skin or the number on the scale doesn’t matter as much.

Calories count – But you don’t necessarily count them:

Calories are important. Obesity is a matter of excess stored energy, or calories, accumulating in the form of body fat. However, this doesn’t mean you need to monitor everything that enters your body and track or count calories.

Though calorie counting works for a lot of people, you can do many things to lose weight — without ever having to count a single calorie. For example, eating more protein has been shown to lead to automatic calorie restriction and significant weight loss — without deliberately restricting calories.

People with type 2 diabetes shouldn’t follow a high-carb diet:

For decades, people have been advised to eat a low-fat diet with carbs making up 50–60% of calories. Surprisingly, this advice was extended to include people with type 2 diabetes — who cannot tolerate a lot of easily digestible carbs, like sugar and refined starch.

People with type 2 diabetes are resistant to insulin and any carbs they eat will cause a big rise in blood sugar levels. For this reason, they need to take blood-sugar-lowering drugs to bring their levels down.

If anyone benefits from a low-carb diet, it is people with diabetes. In one study, following a low-carb diet for only 6 months allowed 95.2% of participants to reduce or eliminate their blood sugar medication

Neither Fat nor Carbs make you fat:

Fat has often been blamed for obesity, as it has more calories per gram than protein and carbs. Yet, people who eat a diet high in fat — but low in carbs — end up eating fewer calories than people on low-fat, high-carb diets.

This has conversely led many people to blame carbs for obesity — which is incorrect as well. Plenty of populations throughout history have eaten high-carb diets but remained healthy. As with almost everything in nutrition science, the issue depends on the context.

Both fat and carbs can be fattening — it all depends on the rest of your diet and your overall lifestyle.

Junk food can be addictive:

In the past 100 years or so, food has changed. People are eating more processed food than ever before, and the technologies used to engineer foods have become more elaborate. These days, food engineers have found ways to make food so rewarding that your brain gets flooded with dopamine.

For this reason, some people can completely lose control over their consumption. Many studies examining this phenomenon have found similarities between processed junk foods and commonly abused drugs.

Never trust health claims on packaging:

People are more health-conscious than ever before. The food manufacturers are well aware of this and have found ways to market junk food to health-conscious people as well. They do this by adding misleading labels like “whole-grain” or “low-fat.”

You can find many unhealthy junk foods with these health claims, such as “whole-grain” Fruit Loops and Cocoa Puffs. These labels are used to trick people into thinking that they’re making the right choice for themselves — and their children. If the packaging of a food tells you it’s healthy, chances are it isn’t.

Certain vegetable oils should be avoided:

Certain vegetable oils — like sunflower, soybean, and corn oil — contain large amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. Studies suggest that a high intake of omega-6 fatty acids — relative to omega-3 — increases low-grade inflammation in your body.

Oils high in omega-6 may contribute to oxidative stress in some people, potentially contributing to heart disease For this reason, it may be a good health strategy to choose vegetable oils that are relatively low in omega-6 fatty

acids. These include olive oil, canola oil, and high-oleic safflower oil.

This allows you to optimize your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio

‘Organic’or gluten-free doesn’t  mean healthy:

There are many health trends in the world today. Both organic and gluten-free food is becoming increasingly popular. However, just because something is organic or gluten-free doesn’t mean that it’s healthy.

You can make junk foods from organic ingredients just as well as non-organic ones. Foods that are naturally gluten-free are fine, but gluten-free processed foods are often made with unhealthy ingredients that may even be worse than their gluten-containing counterparts.

The truth is, organic sugar is still sugar and gluten-free junk food is still junk food. Don’t blame new health problems on old foods. The obesity epidemic started around 1980 and the type 2 diabetes epidemic followed soon after.

These are two of the biggest health problems in the world — and diet has a lot to do with them.

Don’t blame new health problems on old foods:

The obesity epidemic started around 1980 and the type 2 diabetes epidemic followed soon after. These are two of the biggest health problems in the world — and diet has a lot to do with them.

Some scientists started blaming these epidemics on foods like red meat, eggs, and butter, but these foods have been a part of the human diet for thousands of years — whereas these health problems are relatively new.

It seems more sensible to suspect new foods to be the culprit, such as processed foods, trans fat, added sugar, refined grains, and vegetable oils. Blaming new health problems on old foods simply doesn’t make sense.

Conclusion: Many nutrition myths and misconceptions are easily debunked with a bit of common sense and scientific evidence. The above list gives you some insight into common misconceptions, helping you be more informed on your way to a balanced, healthy diet. 

Nutrition and Health