It’s important to eat a balanced diet every day. This can mean many things to many people, so here are some basic guidelines:
Vitamins and minerals
These are micronutrients and are a necessary part of your daily diet.
- They are best derived from fresh food, as storage and processing can reduce or remove some essential nutrients.
- Our body can only manufacture a couple of vitamins.
- Our body doesn’t make any minerals at all.
- Vitamins and minerals must be sourced from your diet.
- When required, take good quality supplements if your dietary intake is inadequate.
Protein, carbohydrates and fats
These are macronutrients and are also an essential part of a daily diet. They provide calories or energy for the body. You need a certain amount of these macronutrients every day.
Carbohydrates are the fuel that provides energy to every single cell of your body.
Complex carbohydrates are the most important type to incorporate into your everyday diet because our body has to work to break them down, which in turn requires energy.
Simple carbohydrates – like sugar – provide instant energy, but are quickly used up which is why we often look for more.
There are healthy fats and not so healthy fats in our diet. It is ideal to incorporate as many of the good fats, or essential fats into our daily diet.
Essential fats come from foods such as cold, deep-water fish, which are predominately what fish oil supplements are made of.
These essential fats play a role in reducing pain associated with arthritis, by working on an anti-inflammatory pathway in the body. They also play a role in cognitive function.
Fats are found naturally in nuts and seeds and many other foods. While some are better than others, nuts and seeds have various fat profiles. A handful of almonds, for example, will have a better fat profile than a handful of macadamia nuts.
When cooking with fats and oils their structure can change when exposed to high temperatures, increasing the chance of oxidation.
It’s important to choose oils for cooking that are able to withstand higher temperatures – such as olive oil – and only use them once.
When their structure changes the fats can oxidise and increase the chance of free radical damage. Oxidised fats should generally be avoided in our diet.
To find out the types of protein, carbohydrates and fats to suit you, please see one of our Lighten Up consultants today.
|Daily repair and maintenance||Fuel for the body and the brain||Help absorb fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D, K) which all have crucial roles to help you stay healthy|
|Our body turns over a certain amount of protein daily||Our body can’t function properly without them||Need a certain amount of body fat for warmth and storage|
|Helps maintain muscle mass||The type and amount of carbohydrates is a key to healthy eating||Essential fats are needed from the diet for brain, eye and cell health|