Diet and Nutrition
The best thing to eat in your diet is… food! When we talk about eating well, it’s a bunch of different factors that determine the best diet for you.
While you’re at the doctor, that blood panel will tell you a lot, including what diet might benefit you the most. Understand, diets are not about losing weight, diets are about nourishing your body. You need a certain amount of calories per day, and as | have written before, you need micronutrients, macronutrients, and hydration.
The proportion and the method in which you take these in should naturally be in a form that you find pleasing, but there are a few quick cautions about certain types of diets that are not good for people with certain medical conditions.
- People with a history of kidney disorders, chronic kidney disease, pancreatitis, or other disorders should not attempt high-protein diets such as Paleo, Keto, Atkins, and others.
- People with diabetes should limit their carbohydrate intake, choosing complex carbohydrates that are slower to be converted into glucose by your body and stored as fat.
- Other chronic conditions mean that you might have special dietary considerations to take into account, including Chron’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, anemia, vitamin deficiencies, or autoimmune disorders.
See? This is why you see a doctor.
You might have special nutritional requirement to keep your body nourished the way it needs to be.
A diet is not about losing weight, in fact starving your body might even be counterproductive in the long run since forcing your body to go without proper calories and nutrition makes you burn muscle — not fat — for energy.
Having less muscle slows your metabolism, which means you burn fewer calories and lose less fat, it may even open the doorway to diabetes and cardiovascular issues.
Now, let’s talk about what you really need from a diet that nourishes you in a healthy way.
- Get adequate hydration. This is defined as sight eight-ounce glasses of liquids like coffee, tea, milk, fruit smoothies, juice, and water, and so on per day.
- DON’T drink sodas or energy drinks, they have too much sugar and sometimes a lot of sodium that can dehydrate you.
- Remember that there is such a thing as overhydration!
- For sustained activities, you might want infusion water or a special hydration formula to deliver the minerals and carbs your body needs to keep up the level of activity.
- Get adequate portions of all three macronutrients — carbohydrates, protein, and fat. You definitely need all three, as carbohydrates give energy and support the central nervous system — including the brain — muscles, heart, and kidneys. Protein is important if you want to build muscle — it supports the growth of lean muscle and your immune system. Fats are the biggest concentration of energy, and hence the ones with the most calories, but there are micronutrients that you can’t absorb without fat, and it’s necessary to build strong cell walls.
- Get your macronutrients as unprocessed as possible. Fresher is better in all cases, without the added salt, sugar, and additives that processed food contains.
- Control your portions, and understand that smaller portions do not mean less nutrition, just less food.
- DON’T be afraid to experiment with what makes you feel fuller and more satisfied. Changes are easier to make into habits when we enjoy them.
- Get adequate micronutrients and pay strict attention to the dosing guidelines for any supplements you’re taking. If some is good, more is not necessarily better. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals, fiber, choline, essential fatty acids, enzymes, and other factors that we take in from our food, and sometimes need to supplement. We need these for healthy bones, eyesight, immunity, and even memory and cognitive function.
- Remember that food based sources are the most bioavailable — meaning your body can more easily absorb and use these micronutrients. Whole, fresh, healthy food is best, but the higher in quality the supplement, the more bioavailable the nutrients will be.
You can work with a nutritionist, or investigate what type of diet appeals the most to you. A lot of us would like the once with unlimited Ben & Jerry’s, but as tasty as it is, it doesn’t seem to be working out.