Nutritionally speaking, what we consume has two core functions:
Firstly, it must give us energy for movement and body functions and nutrition for growth and repair.
Secondly it should protect us from and minimise the risk of disease development.
We know that food represents so much more than that. Food can bring us together socially and be a source of joy, it can also be a source of comfort and reassurance.
So, we have established that our bodies need “nutrients” for energy, growth, repair and function but as humans we eat FOODS, not nutrients. It’s a subtle but important difference.
When was the last time you looked in the fridge and thought “I’d really love some beta carotene right now, mixed with some zinc and a side of polyunsaturated fat?”
What’s my point? Carry on reading to find out.....
Essential Information on Losing Weight
Modern life can get hectic and it can be tempting to grab and go on the run and to keep cooking the same 5-8 dishes over and over.
We believe in finding shortcuts to great nutrition and making life as easy as possible. Even with shortcuts and quick recipes, it can take time to adapt to new habits and to get used to having certain ingredients in the house as staple items.
**Don’t worry. ** It’s better to start making some changes than making none at all.
The image below is the UK Eatwell guide (taken from gov.uk) The guide shows us the overall balance of foods from the five different food groups. The Eatwell Plate is a great starting point to reflect on the overall balance of your diet. Most of us eat too much of the purple section (high fat/sugar) even the “health conscious” people so it’s a great reminder to make some changes to readdress the balance!
How does food quality affect your bodyweight:
Hormones. The food you eat can influence hormones like insulin. One hundred calories of pure sugar will increase insulin rapidly, causing a crash later, and leaving you craving more sugar. Whereas one hundred calories of protein provide sustained energy, does not spike insulin, and will likely stave off hunger longer.
Fullness. Certain foods can trigger a feeling of fullness, whereas others make you hungry faster. Foods high in protein, water, and fibre keep you full. Foods high in sugar or refined carbohydrates can leave you feeling more hungry shortly after and not satisfied, so you end up eating more.
Digestion Time. How long a food takes to digest can also impact your metabolism. Protein takes the longest to digest. Your body has to work harder to break down high protein foods. A high protein diet has been found to utilize 80-100 extra calories per day for digestion.
Nutrition. Food is not just calories, it is also a source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Some foods are more nutrient-dense than others. For example, fruits and vegetables are loaded with all sorts of nutrients, cake is not. Although it hasn’t been proven by science, people find that when they focus on eating foods high in nutrients, over time they feel more satisfied and have fewer cravings. Nutrient-rich foods also improve health and lower risk of disease.