Knowing The Basics of Healthy Diet

“Healthy Eating” is about moving in the right direction, not giving you some simple answers that don’t ultimately lead to results. Ideal healthy diet would look a bit different for everyone, depending on work issues and overall life situation. Every one of us works differently, but I wanted to provide you a template to work with, and to have an idea what your healthy diet is supposed to look like. So here’s the template I’m suggesting.

Lower Carbs

Most of Us Can’t Take a Lot of Carbs

The amount of carbs you take should always be relative to how much you moved, and even then it should be much less than you probably thought. What for many people looks like a normal meal looks to me like something I’d only eat after a heavy training session that sapped all the energy out of my muscles – bottom line, always go for less rather than more.

Low-carb diets are popular these days, but many do it wrong. In fact lowering carbs is only the first step in your path towards better health, but in many of these popular diets it’s the only step since it already provides some results and is simple – people love simple solutions.

Lowering carbs alone will decrease your insulin, which in turns leads to less cortisol in your system, which again affects in a chain reaction to other hormones. The progress, while useful in itself, is still only an increment of the total. If you ignore other principles of healthy diet, you might get some decent results at first but still be hindering your progress overall.

Greens, Greens, Greens

Vegetables contain vitamins, they contain fiber and they contain important nutrients. They don’t have too much calories, and they don’t spike your insulin. They should be a big part of everyone’s diet.

Everyone knows vegetables and fruit are healthy. Just as low carbs being healthy is common knowledge by now, eating a lot of greens is widely known to be healthy as well.

In case you need some convincing, here’s a comprehensive list of benefits of fruits and veggies:

● supports digestion

● doesn’t add excessive calories

● contains fiber

● contains enzymes

● contains vitamins

● they promote liver function

● contains antioxidants

● Improves sleep by providing you with vitamins and minerals necessary for good sleep.

● Makes your body more tolerant of stress

● Clears up your mind by improving brain function

Good old multivitamin can help with most of those, but it’s a supplement for a reason – it’s supposed to supplement a healthy diet, not replace a segment of it. Eat your greens!

The Real Food

Organic food is the real food – the food that is naturally produced with the methods all the food was produced just a few decades ago, before environment was filled with chemicals. The same food your grandparents used to eat.

Simply put, No additives, no pesticides

Nowadays of course nothing is completely chemical free, but at least organic food doesn’t have any further added chemicals, only the trace amounts that can be found everywhere. Organic food is still expensive compared to regular food, but situation is improving all the time with more farmers getting into it as the demand has steadily been growing over the years.

High on Protein

Millions of cells get destroyed every minute in your body. 180 million blood cells alone are destroyed every minute. Everywhere tissue gets taken apart and new is built in it’s place. Your skin and muscle tissue need constant repairs. All of this takes a lot of raw materials.

So you must realize that all of that alone requires a lot of protein. You can’t be healthy eating only little bit of it. Whether you are a man or a woman, your daily intake should be somewhere above 100 grams – where exactly depends on how much muscle tissue you have to maintain – to grow new muscle tissue takes even more protein!

It is pretty safe to say that you are eating too little protein at the moment. If your aim is weight loss, it often feels counter-intuitive to need to add the amounts of foods you eat, but protein being in question that is exactly the case. It is hard to ingest too much protein. So much of it goes to simply to maintain living functions, that you need a lot of extra to even start building new muscle mass. New muscle mass takes up 100 calories / kg of energy just simply existing, so building it will make further weight loss even automatic.

How Much Protein Do You Need?

Hell of a lot more than you are having right now, unless you already have this handled. However, you don’t need to go to bodybuilder levels or protein. If your activity level isn’t that high, you don’t even need to go much above 100 grams. But in general, if you’re an average-sized male, and do some intense activity levels, you should be aiming for around 150 grams of protein a day.

Omega-3 – You Are Taking Too Little Of It

As far as single nutrients go, omega-3 is the clearly the most important and beneficial one. It’s commonly marketed as something that thins the blood, thus decreasing blood pressure, but this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to omega-3 benefits.

Omega-3 importance cannot be downplayed and it is one of those supplements that has broken through into the mainstream. You don’t have to be a nutrition enthusiast to have heard about omega-3, and there is a massive selection of omega-3 products available. Unfortunately, the dosage information seems to be for larger part insufficient. I’m sure even the usually recommended 1 gram a day can yield some benefits, but to get the full benefits of omega-3, you really need to get a total of 6-12 grams of EPA and DHA combined.

Sources of ALA (alpha-linoleic acid)

● flaxseed

● hempseed

● canola oil

● soybeans

● pumpkin seed, pumpkin seed oil

● linseed

● walnut, walnut oil

Sources of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid):

● seafood

● algae

● coldwater fish (ie. salmon, sardines, cod, herring, mackerel, halibut, albacore tuna, etc.)

● Fortified sources (ie. omega-3 eggs or other food with added omega-3)

Zinc – Increase Your Testosterone and Improve Your Digestion

It’s one of those important nutrients that we tend to get too little from our food. It’s especially important for men, due to us needing much more testosterone, but as we have established testosterone is very important for women too.

Regardless of the sex, zinc is needed for stomach acid formation anyway, so you should have plenty of it. In fact, it’s possible that you get into the vicious cycle of having too low stomach acid which in turn leads to poor absorption of zinc – and so you don’t form enough stomach acid!

Having enough zinc is important also for bone structure, healthy skin and eyes. Furthermore a diet lacking in zinc may cause loss of appetite, diarrhea and hair loss. Zinc also helps with vitamin C absorption.

Magnesium – The Most Important Mineral?

Magnesium affects a whole host of bodily functions, from digestion to sleep and the magnesium in your body is depleted especially fast if you are highly stressed. It takes part in 300 (!!!) reactions throughout the body and thus is probably the most important mineral to the body.

Lack of magnesium might be the cause of interrupted sleep and other sleep problems. We don’t get enough magnesium from our food, so it’s one of those things that pretty much has to be supplemented.

Now of course I recommend you take a lot of magnesium from food sources as well. Best real food sources of magnesium are:

● raw grains, such as barley, buckwheat, raw oat bran

● artichokes

● nuts, such as almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, pine nuts

● pumpkin seeds, beans

● spinach

● cornmeal

Ultimately, while everything in this article is based on studies and is telling you about how human body functions… Everyone is different. What works for me, and what was healthy in studies, might not prove to be healthy for you. You need to do your own experimenting while following a healthy diet.