There are an endless amount of things to consider when you start looking at eating healthily. Everyone is different and everyone needs to consider different things when you want to start eating better and doing good things for your body.
There’s also a lot to learn about nutrition and the like, so it’s going to be an ongoing process that will take months or maybe even years to get right. Hopefully, this page will offer you just a little insight into what you can do to start eating a little bit healthier and doing the right things for your body.
What is Nutrition?
Nutrition is what is needed to make the process of surviving and being alive possible. IT’s all about obtaining the necessary food, vitamins and minerals for being healthy and healthy growth. Put simply, it’s the food and drink that we consume that gives us the energy to survive and thrive.,
You need to know a little about your body’s dietary needs in order to learn about what nutrition it is that you need to survive. Finding out what you lack and what you need is essential for establishing what it is you need to eat to rectify your weaknesses and b as strong as you can be. Poor nutrition is bad and can reduce your immune system, impact your weight and halt your development both physical and mental.
Understanding Food Labels
Nutrition labels are really important when beginning your nutritional journey, reading and understanding these are the key to making smart decisions for you and your family. In the UK it is the law to have this clearly displayed on the packaging. So what does it all mean?
The label will break down the food/drink into the main nutrition categories: energy, fat (saturates), Carbohydrate (sugars), fibre, protein and salt. Usually, the packet will then break the contents down into 100g, one portion and the whole pack, stating how much of each nutrient is in all three measurements, with the recommended daily amount next to it for reference (more on that shortly).
Working out if any of these measurements are good for you is the tricky part. Luckily there is a reference for what sort of amounts are good/bad.
High: >17.5g per 100g
Low: <3g per 100g
High: >5g per 100g
Low: <1.5g per 100g
High: >22.5g per 100g
Low: <5g per 100g
High: >1.5g100g (or 0.6g sodium)
Low: <0.3g 100g (or 0.1g sodium)
Recommended Daily Amounts
These are the suggested guidelines for how much of everything you should be ingesting on a day to day basis. It’s the recommended amount for the average, healthy adult. But, like I’ve said before, it should just be a starting point as everyone is different and each person needs varying amount of each depending on their personal needs and any health goals they are reaching for.
Experiment a bit with the values and see if there is a difference when you have different amounts of different nutrients.
Here is the general table just for reference, but remember, it is just for ‘reference’.
Dietician V Nutritionist
This can be a very confusing issue for some people, so it is important to remember to always ask your doctor for help if you want a health professional to give advice on your diet and food intake options.
Simply put, dieticians are the only nutritional professionals to be regulated by law – meaning they need qualifications and experience and are governed by a specific code of ethics. Their title is protected by law and they need a bare minimum of a Bachelors of Science with honours in Dietetics. Dieticians work in the NHS or in private clinical, they are health professionals and are always up to date with the most recent medical information regarding nutrition.
Nutritionists differ in the sense that anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. That’s not to say that you should steer clear of nutritionists altogether – look for ones on the UK Voluntary Registry of Nutritionists, these are registered nutritionists and have some authority of diet and healthy eating. Nutritionists tend to work in non-clinical settings such as within the government, in the food industry and in the sports and exercise industries.
- Added sugars is bad
If sugar has to be added to food, then it is not supposed to be there. Added sugar such as sucrose and high fructose corn syrup is just empty calories. There are no nutrients of value in added sugar and what’s more, it’s a leading cause of obesity, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes.
- You don’t need to eat every 2-3 hours
Just eat when you’re hungry and make sure it’s nutritious! There’s no evidence that eating little and often is in any way better for you.
- Low fat does not equal healthy
Low fat foods that are supposed to contain fat taste bad, so manufacturers add lots of sugar to them. They’re not ‘bad’ for you, but they’re definitely not the better option.
- Eat carbs after working out
Don’t be scared of carbohydrates, they are a great source of energy for the body. When you work out your body needs to refuel to make up for the energy spent, carbohydrates are needed to provide that energy that has been lost. Similarly, it’s better to eat sugar BEFORE working out. The burst of energy it gives you will be good for the energy needed and if you eat it after, the body will just turn it straight back in to fat.
- Unprocessed food is the healthiest food
When food is processed, nutrients are removed and harmful ingredients are often added. Try to get food from the source and avoid food in a tin or food that has serious packaging.