Six Important Components of a Healthy Diet
Six Important Components of a Healthy Diet
Proper nutrition can aid in the prevention of a number of health conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and obesity. Understanding the importance of the six components of a healthy diet will help you incorporate a nutrient dense diet into your daily routine with ease.
Our main source of energy
Fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and tubers are carbohydrates
These foods play an important role in the functioning of the internal organs, the nervous system, and the muscles
Are needed to regulate protein and fat metabolism
With proteins and fats, help to fight infections, promote growth of body tissues, and lubricate joints
High source of fibre
The general starting point for a moderate-size woman is 45-60 grams of carbohydrates at each meal; for moderate-size men, 60-75 grams of carbs per meal.
Makes up about 20% of our body weight
Is a primary component of our muscles, hair, nails, skin, eyes, and internal organs, especially the heart and brain
Immune defense system requires protein, especially for the formation of antibodies which help fight infections
Hormones that regulate our metabolism, such as thyroid hormone and insulin, are proteins
Is needed for growth and the maintenance of body tissues
To figure out your daily requirements for protein multiply your weight in kilograms by 0.8. Weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg. So 150 lbs = 68 kg, multiplied by 0.8 = 54 grams of protein per day.
Fats are primarily a form of energy reserves and insulation in the body
Can be burned to make energy
Are important in transporting other nutrients, such as Vitamins A, D, E, and K, the “fat-soluble vitamins”
Essential component of the cell membrane, and internal fatty tissues protect the vital organs from trauma and temperature change by providing padding and insulation
Helps regulate body temperature
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) can’t be made by the body and must be obtained through diet
Some examples of healthy fats: coconut oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, avocado oil, hemp oil, flax seed oil
Healthy fats don’t make you fat!
Daily intake of healthy fat for the average adult is 70 grams.
Are essential in human nutrition
Are obtained by eating plants and animals that make them
Most vitamins cannot be manufactured in our body
Some B vitamins can be made by our intestinal bacteria
Vitamins are not sources of energy
Are essential for growth, vitality, and health and are helpful in digestion, elimination, and resistance to disease
Depletions and deficiencies can lead to a variety of nutritional disorders and general health problems
Water-soluble vitamins include many of the B vitamins and Vitamin C, they are stable in raw foods, but may be lost during cooking and processing, they are not stored in the body, so they are needed regularly in our diets
Fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K, which are found in the lipid component of vegetable and animal-source foods, they can be stored in the body tissues, so we can function for longer periods of time without obtaining them through diet, for this reason, toxic levels can occur
Bones, teeth, nails, skin, hair and all other tissues require minerals for their formation
Tissue requires relatively large amounts of some minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium and sulfur - these minerals are called macro-minerals
Trace Minerals - the remaining minerals that are essential for good health are known as trace minerals, or micro-minerals
The trace elements generally recognized as essential to good health are chromium, cobalt, copper, fluorine, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, selenium, silicon and zinc
Is essential for all life
The medium in which all other nutrients are found
Our bodies are at least 60% water
The human brain is composed of 70% water
It is involved in almost every bodily function: circulation, digestion, absorption, and elimination of wastes
Keeps body properly hydrated
Carries toxins from body
Drink 1 litre of water for every 50 lbs. of bodyweight per day
Natural nutrition is an approach to personal well-being, highlighting wellness through a clean, organic, fresh, whole foods diet consisting of natural, alive, good quality foods.
Whole foods are unprocessed and unrefined, meaning they haven’t been altered from their natural state, are free of artificial ingredients and preservatives. They contain all of their nutrients, in proper proportions. They also contain fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Many of these nutrients are lost in refined foods.
You want to ensure you receive a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, vitamins and minerals.
Plan your meals in advance. Your plate should be filled with a variety of fresh vegetables, healthy proteins and if you desire, whole grains such as brown rice or quinoa.