Whether you’re a dedicated athlete, a workout novice, or somewhere in between, understanding a bit about nutrition will help you reach your goals while looking and feeling great. We won’t bore you with the basic stuff about calories consumed versus calories burned or the importance of protein for those living an active lifestyle. Instead, we’ll assume a basic working knowledge of nutrition and build upon that, offering a few useful insights that you can apply to your daily life starting now.
- Added Sugar is Bad News.Though naturally occurring sugars offer energy and a delicious treat, added sugars are the very definition of empty calories, harming the body while offering very little in the way of nutrition.
- Omega 3’s Live Up To The Hype.Omega-3 fatty acids assist in brain, muscle, and nerve function, and most of us aren’t getting enough of them. The best natural sources? Fish, nuts, and seeds, in that order.
- Not all Fat is Bad…But Trans Fat Definitely Is.Fat gets a bad rap, when in fact there are many healthy fats found in foods such as avocados, nuts, and fish. Even animal fats are only harmful inasmuch as they contain calories from fat. But trans fat — found in all sorts is junk foods — truly is terrible for your body.
- Fruits and Veggies: The More, The Merrier.There’s virtually no downside to eating fruits and veggies, and they tend to be loaded with vitamins and nutrients. The only exception to this is juiced fruits, which tend to have all the sugar with none of the fiber.
- Complex Carbs > Simple Carbs.Unexpected chemistry time! Complex carbs are made up of sugar molecules that are strung together in long, complex strings. Simple carbs, as you might imagine, have a more independent structure. What does all this mean for your body? Simple sugars are broken down quickly, which is bad news. It means your pancreas has to work extra hard to produce lots of insulin really fast, and it means that most of those carbs are going to be stored away as fat before your body has the time to use them up as energy. Complex carbs, on the other hand, are easier on your pancreas, and they are more likely to be used up rather than stored as fat. Foods with complex carbs include whole bread, brown rice, wheat bread, potatoes, and beans. Foods with simple carbs include soda, white bread, high fructose corn syrup, and sugar.
- Deficiency Is Still A Problem in 2017.Even with so many nutritious foods and vitamin-packed supplements available at our fingertips, many people still suffer from vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Eating until full does not guarantee that you’re getting all the nutrition you need: it is necessary to make an effort to eat a healthy and well-varied diet, as well as to supplement that diet with daily vitamins and supplements according to your personal needs.
- Diet Alone Won’t Cut It!A healthy diet is the foundation of good health, but it is not enough on its own. Daily exercise, consistent sleep habits, regular doctor’s visits, and other healthy habits all have important roles to play in your health, so don’t neglect any of these factors!