Everyone wants to eat healthier, however many of us barely understand what that means, let alone where to start.
We wrote this article to try to take some of the mystery out of it, and help put you on the right track.
By definition, a healthy diet is defined as being a nutritional regime that either improves your health or maintains a level of good health. There are many controversial arguments about what exactly should make up a healthy diet, which is supported by countless studies and nutritional profiles. However, there are some general rules about healthy eating which should be followed regardless of the specific health-related diet that you are following.
Getting a sufficient amount of protein is one of the most important things that you can do to ensure that your body remains in good health. Proteins are made up of special amino acids, which aid in the overall regenerative and repair functions of the human body. In addition to this, getting enough protein is essential for proper growth during childhood. As a general rule, it’s best to consume one gram of protein for each pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you will need approximately 140 grams of protein in your diet per day.
The issue of including carbohydrates in a healthy diet has recently come under scrutiny by many dietary experts. Many people are turning to low-carbohydrate diets to help lose or maintain their weight. However, it is a generally accepted fact that it is not healthy to completely eliminate carbohydrates from your diet. Instead, it’s best to only consume certain types of carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates (such as sugar) cause a spike in blood sugar levels, which can lead to health problems. It’s best to only consume complex carbohydrates, such as those found in highly nutritional grains. Some high-nutrient grains include quinoa, millet and flaxseed.
Vitamins and Nutrients
There are many different vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are classified as being ‘essential’ for good health. However, it is only recommended that you supplement your diet with additional vitamins if you are not absorbing a sufficient amount of these elements through your diet. Some vitamins can cause health problems if consumed in excess, which is a mistake many people make when supplementing their diet. In general, it’s best to add a multivitamin to your diet, since these types of vitamins are usually composed of elements that are most commonly lacking in the average person’s diet.
Putting it All Together for a Proper Diet
The best way to eat a properly balanced diet that will improve your health is to use common sense. Fresh fruits and vegetables are always a great way to make your diet healthier, often containing essential vitamins that promote good health. Grains that are high in fiber, Omega 3 fatty acids and other ingredients are also useful for improving your health. Try to avoid excessive amounts of simple carbohydrates, which are contained in cake, candy, artificial juice products, white flour pastries and other high-sugar foods. Be sure to include a sufficient amount of protein in your diet, which should ideally come from a variety of sources. Chicken, beef, eggs and fish are the most common sources of protein, and should be made an integral part of a generally healthy diet.
Carbohydrates are one of the basic nutrients your body needs to function properly. Today, it is now differentiated as either good or bad carbohydrate. The difference between bad and good carbohydrate is that the bad carbohydrate is also known as the simple carbohydrate, and the good carbohydrate is known as the complex carbohydrate.
The other difference between bad and good carbohydrate is that the bad carbohydrate is the refined, simple sugar. The reason this is not the more desirable carbohydrate to eat is that eating it gives you a surge in your blood sugar and causes you to gain weight. It can also promote the development of diabetes.
The good carbohydrate does not cause you to have sudden surges in your blood sugar.
It is also the recommended kind of carbohydrate for those on low carb diets.
To illustrate the difference between bad and good carbohydrate, let’s look at a simple scenario of eating dessert. If you use a good substitute for sugar in your cake like brown sugar, you are going to be able to enjoy your desert better because of the switch to a less refined carbohydrate. You don’t expose your body to plain sugar, which can leave you feeling lethargic after the sugar rush. Neither do you gain excessive weight from all the simple white sugar you consume?
Some good carbohydrates come in the most natural form as possible as fruits and vegetables that contain natural sugar.
This is good because our body needs it to keep us going. Aside from giving us the energy to do physical activities, good carbohydrates help us in our normal body functions like breathing and digestion.
Meanwhile, the problem with bad carbohydrates is the weight gain and the sudden crash from the sugar high. Do you ever get that feeling when you suddenly lose energy? After a whole day of stocking up on carbohydrates, at one point in the afternoon, you suddenly feel a heavyweight come down upon you. Your eyes feel tired, your body feels heavy, you can hardly function much more engage in any strenuous activity. You have been eating the wrong kind of carbohydrates. What you have been feeding your body was sugar, plain and simple.
If you plan on having an active day, instead of eating candy and chocolate to keep you going, why not try some whole grain cereal or pasta? Not only will you be able to stock up on reserve energy to get you through your day, you do not get hungry. This is one of the obvious difference in bad and good carbohydrates that you can personally experience.
Bad carbohydrates are also easy to digest which will explain why we can get hungry and tired after a while. If we eat good carbohydrates, the nutrients are not as easily digested and are usually packed with fibre.
Easily the difference between bad and good carbohydrates is that one is refined, and the other is more natural. The problem with refined carbohydrates is that when the process of refining happens, nutrients are lost. Since the concentration is on the sugar content, you can bombard your pancreas with too much glucose. Glucose is the blood sugar that is made when we consume carbohydrates. It is glucose that is used to give us the energy to function.
Refined carbohydrates are also not good because the fibre is removed from the carbohydrates which are needed to slow down the sugar release into our body. We need to lessen the number of bad carbohydrates in our body, especially if we want to lose a few pounds. The increase in intake of good carbohydrates will more than compensate for the need for sugar by our bodies. Clearly, there is a big difference between bad and good carbohydrates.