There’s so much information about what to eat and what not to eat at the moment that it can be hard to know what to do for the best. Cut through the headlines and hype find out more about the 6 basic nutrients we all need to keep ourselves healthy…
Carbohydrates should be the basis of most meals. Eat whole, unrefined carbohydrates such as wholegrain breads, pasta and rices. Vegetables are also a carbohydrate which should be eaten in abundance. They are low in calories but packed full of nutrients to really make those calories count. Fruits should be eaten 2 – 3 times a day, again packed full of nutrients but fruits differ from vegetables as they contain more sugar and therefore more calories than vegetables.
Proteins such as fish, poultry and eggs should be eaten up to 2 times a day. Nuts and legumes are an excellent source of protein and can be eaten up to 3 times a day.
Fats are a controversial subject. The fats we needs for a balanced diet are unsaturated fats found in oily fish, nuts, olive oil and sunflower oil to list a few. Stay away from saturated fat such as in lard, butter and hard cheeses and definitely do not eat hydrogenated fats.
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and minerals fine tune your health by preventing diseases and help your body convert foods into energy. They are vital to good health and I recommend supplementing your diet with a high quality multi-vitamin and mineral tablet to fill in any gaps left by your diet.
Water above all the other nutrients is essential to life. We all know that we can go longer without food than water – in fact we can go up to 8 weeks without food but only a few days without water. Our bodies are about 60% water and it is found in our blood, bones and organs – it is found in every cell! We lose water through our breath, sweating and excretion and this must be replaced in our diet – either through the food we eat or drinks. We need between 2 – 3 litres a day depending on our activity levels and the ambient temperature.