HEALTHY EATING HABITS – PART one

Healthy Eating means eating a variety of foods that give you the nutrients you need to maintain your health, feel good, and have energy.

Nutrition is important for everyone! When good nutrition is combined with being physically active your body becomes healthier and stronger letting us live longer and fuller lives, with less chance of disease or injury.

A balanced healthy diet should contain approximately:
1.5 g of protein per kg body weight per day
1.0 g of fats per kg body weight per day
2.0 g of carbohydrates per kg body weight per day
For example:  A 150lb (68Kg) person should be taking in approximately 102 grams of protein, 68 grams of fats, and 136 grams of carbohydrates every day. Remember these should be spread over 5 or 6 meals and snacks during the day.

GENERAL DIETARY GUIDELINES SHOULD INCLUDE:

  • Eating dinner no less than 4 hours before bed time
    • Eating slowly and chewing well
    • Eating when you are calm and relaxed greatly increases the absorption of nutrients from your food
  • When possible eat organic fruits, vegetables and meats
  • Eat a variety of fresh whole (not processed) foods
  • Aim for high quality proteins at every meal
  • NO “mystery meats” like spam, hot dogs or other fake meats
  • Fresh is best when it comes to protein but things like canned fish are OK (salmon is better than tuna)
  • Eat 100% vegetarian at least 1 day per week (Remember to still keep up the protein!)
  • Best – sauté in olive oil at moderate temperature, steaming, baking, stir-frying quickly at high temperatures
  • Worst – High-fat deep frying (Clogs the arteries), boiling (decreases vitamins and minerals), microwaving
  • Cooking methods
 
MEAL PLANNING:
Aim for 5-6 “meals” a day, try to have your larger meals at the beginning or middle of your day so that you have a chance to use the nutrients and calories you consume. Smaller lighter meals towards the end of the day are best.

When you are selecting foods, try choosing more foods that have a low glycemic index. Foods that are lower on the glycemic index have less impact on your blood sugar and will provide constant energy, hopefully avoiding that crash we often get after meals. Eat more foods in the LOW GI, eat some food in MODERATE GI, limit and/or avoid foods in the HIGH GI. The University of Sydney has a great website www.glycemicindex.com, it has a searchable database.

EATING THE NUTRIENT DENSE WAY:
Nutrient dense foods have a lot of nutrients but relatively few calories. To eat well, it’s best to choose a mixture of different nutrient dense foods every day. When choosing foods, look for foods that contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fats.
You can even try the nutrient dense food pyramid, basically the old food pyramid flipped on its head. Limiting sugars, red meats and processed foods and choosing to eat mostly vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes instead.

UNDERSTANDING CALORIC DENSITY:

Nutrient density and caloric density are different. Caloric density refers to how many calories are in food NOT how many nutrients. Calorie dense foods like oils/fats and proteins take up very little room in your stomach and do not trigger stretch receptors in the stomach lining. These stretch receptors are located throughout your stomach. Eating nutrient dense, high fiber, whole plant foods, you can eat the most quantity for the least amount of calories there by triggering the stretch receptors and sending signals to your brain to tell you to stop eating.


On a day-to-day basis, people generally eat a similar amount of food by weight. Therefore, choosing foods with a lower caloric density allows us to consume our usual amount of food (or more) while reducing our caloric intake.

About Paul Bradshaw:

Paul Bradshaw is a Kinesiologist at Sparkling Hill Resort. He graduated from the University of British Columbia Vancouver in 2010 with a Bachelor of Human Kinetics. He is the lead Whole Body Cryotherapy practitioner and also specializes in injury rehabilitation and prevention, and healthy weight loss. Paul is also a certified Kinesio Tape practitioner.

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