What Is Proper Nutrition?
Unfortunately, for many of us, proper nutrition is far from what we get from our daily diet. We are obsessed with junk food and processed food that comes from a box or carton. Many of us eat little or, worse yet, no whole real food that provides the body with the proper nutrition that it needs.
The term “proper nutrition” is often misinterpreted by people and most people don’t fully understand how to implement it into their daily lives. This article is going to break down exactly what proper nutrition means.
How To Achieve Proper Nutrition
The World Health Organization defines proper nutrition as an adequate, well-balanced diet combined with regular physical activity. They state that are five key points to defining a proper, well-balanced diet for an adult.
1. Fruits And Vegetables
The main part of a healthy diet and proper nutrition is the presence of fruits, vegetables, legumes (eg, lentils and beans), nuts and whole grains (eg, whole wheat, steel cut oats, millet, oats and brown rice). It’s important to get 5 portions or 400g of fruits and vegetables a day. It is essential to get a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet and get as many different colors as possible.
2. Limit Your Starch Intake
Potatoes and starchy roots are not classified as fruits or vegetables. They are in fact starches, like grains and should be limited.
3. Watch Your Sugar Levels
Less than 10% of your total daily calories should come from simple sugars. Ideally this amount should be less than 5%. This is equivalent to about 12 level teaspoons for a 2000 calorie a day diet. Simple sugars, include table sugar, sugar found in fruit, added to processed foods and is found in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates.
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4. What Is Your Fat Intake?
Less than 30% of total calorie intake should be from fats. Most of your fats should be unsaturated fats, such as those found in fish, avocado, nuts, sunflower, olive and canola oils. These are preferable over saturated fats, such as those found in fatty meat, butter, cream, ghee, lard, cheese, and palm and coconut oil. The American Heart Association advises 7% or less of total daily calories should come from saturated fats, which are found in meat, chicken, butter and tropical oils. Trans fats found in processed foods, fried foods, snack foods, fast foods, frozen pizza, pies, cookies, margarine, and spreads are not part of a healthy diet and should be limited to 1% or less of daily caloric intake.
5. How Much Salt?
You should be consuming less than 1 teaspoon, or 5g, of salt per day. Iodized salt is the healthier option.
How To Maintain Proper Nutrition
In order to maintain proper nutrition, there are some principles that you need to apply in addition to the ones above from the World Health Organization:
- Do not completely eliminate any type of food from your diet. Instead, incorporate all foods into your diet according to their ratio that is set by the food pyramid.
- Limit your saturated fats, starch, and sugars, but generously include lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and good fats into your diet.
- Consume as much of your food as you can to their raw or original form.
- Minimize your intake of processed foods and junk foods. These typically offer no nutritional value and are much higher in calories than the natural choices.
- Replace your juice with raw fruit and avoid sodas.
- Vitamins, enzymes, and fiber are best consumed in the form of raw fruits and vegetables.
- Consume six smaller portioned meals in a day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, two daytime snacks, and one pre-bed snack will help you feel full and avoid binge eating.
- Drink lots of water every day.The general recommendation is to consume at least eight to ten glasses a day.
Choosing The Right Foods For Proper Nutrition
It’s really simple to get proper nutrition by eating a wide variety of real whole food. Fresh meats, vegetables, fruits and low fat dairy will allow you to get all the various nutrients these foods provide. So, toss the boxes, and fill your plate with nature’s goodness and you will see and feel a marked difference in your energy levels, health and weight. These simple and fast steps to proper nutrition will transform your kitchen and make it nearly impossible to eat the wrong foods so you will never need to ever count calories again.