NUTRITION 101 WHAT DOES YOUR BODY REALLY NEED?

NUTRITION 101 WHAT DOES YOUR BODY REALLY NEED?

Good carbs, bad carbs, low-fat, low-sugar, superfoods… it’s enough to make anyone want to reach for the biscuit tin in total confusion. 

Don’t do it! (Or not too often). Here's a three-point guide to the right fuel for your body:

1.     CALORIES VERSUS NUTRITION

Most of us know that we need roughly 2000 calories a day to keep existing, give or take. Those calories need to come from the right food sources – get it wrong and you can be overweight but malnourished.

It is also possible to have all the right nutrition but not enough calories, and so become ill that way. We can’t survive on vitamin pills, we also need calories. Just ask anyone stranded on Mars!

2.     WHAT NUTRIENT GROUPS ARE ESSENTIAL?

The six essentials for life are: water, carbohydrates, fats, protein, minerals and vitamins.

3.     WHAT SHOULD I EAT TO GET THE RIGHT NUTRIENTS?

Because human beings are omnivorous animals, we can choose from a huge number of possible food sources to get the nutrition we need. So there’s no ideal menu for everyone, just a suggested mix of food sources. Aim for this rough mix:

  • 35% vegetables and fruit, ideally in season. Mix your colours and choose your favourites.
  • 35% starchy foods such as grains, potatoes and whole cereals
  • 20% protein-rich foods; beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat (if eaten)
  • The remaining 10% should be made up of sources of calcium (dairy foods or the equivalent) and a small amount of fat.

So enjoy some different foods! Vary what you eat, wash it down with plenty of water and your body will thank you. Then all you have to do is take it for some exercise.


The Author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves boxercise, yoga, pilates, weight training and long distance running..

Comments

Frank H.
25 May 2016

Frank H.

I'm with Matthew - processed foods have no place in a truly nutritious diet. This is a really handy and informative post though - cuts through all the fads out there and makes it easy to understand!

Matthew C.
15 May 2016

Matthew C.

the main thing i stick to is eat wholefoods and avoid processed food as much as possible. Works for me.

Sasha B.
12 May 2016

Sasha B.

I probably eat well, but I do add in 10% of processed food, including chocolate and cake, but that's for psychological reasons (keeps me sane!)

Mike D.
12 May 2016

Mike D.

According to that article on what was eaten in 'The Martian',film, pinto beans are the best choice for protein. I'm off to get me some beans!

Roger B.
11 May 2016

Roger B.

how pleasingly straightforward in a blizzard of fad diets and questionable 'studies'. I think I'm on the right lines with my nutrition, although like many others portions are my downfall. Self-control needed!

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