Components of diet and nutrition
Whenever you make food choices, there are six basic building blocks making its nutritional value. Understanding these building blocks is the key to making decent food buying decisions.
Diet is more about knowing nutritional value and choosing to keep your food choices healthy as you walk the food aisles, and way less about fads and special meal plans.
Six building blocks of food nutrition
- Glycemic index
Some of these components are listed there on the packaging, others you’ll need to do a little homework on. It’s not rocket science and most people catch on quick once they get the basics.
The problem is there’s a lot of information out there, and it’s not all based on the science of nutrition.
The most misrepresented nutritional aspect of health in this country today is diet
We are a nation of dieters.
We have diet plans.
We have diet centers.
We have diet foods.
We have diet experts.
You would think that with all the available resources on diet we would collectively represent the healthiest nation on earth. Unfortunately, the opposite is true.
In fact, the more we diet, the fatter we get.
Most diet plans aren’t about nutrition
For all the hype about diet, there’s little scientific backing presented about how nutrition in food joins with your body’s daily activity to make you fit, or fat.
Well, here’s the deal. Your body is not just an amazing machine, it’s an amazing machine with a specific, finite set of elements that need to be balanced every day. Let’s represent the balance with the idea of energy.
We’ve even come up with a formula to show how the thing works.
The way simple human body energy formula
Es = Ei – Eo
- Es = Energy stored in your body
- Ei = Energy in
- Eo = Energy out
Now, let’s replace Es, the energy stored, with the name we all use to reference stored energy in our body.
Let’s talk about fat, muscle, diet, training, and nutrition
Every day you consume a certain amount of energy in the form of food intake, and every day you burn a certain amount of energy through activity. The balance you keep in check and maintain is set by how you eat and how active you are.
Whether that balance is fit, fat, obese or anorexic depends on your lifestyle.
Bottom line, you’ll get the body you work at every day.
Take in too much, you’ll store the excess as fat, you’ll get that body.
Take in too little, and the body begins to burn its energy stores trying to keep you above ground and sucking wind, you’ll get that body.
Strike a good balance of nutrition with diet and exercise, you’ll get that body.
It’s all about your body’s fat and muscle composition.
Types of body fat
- Visceral fat
- Sub Cutaneous (Sub Q) fat
Types of body muscle
- Slow-twitch anaerobic
- Slow-twitch aerobic
Here’s the deal with fat and muscle. Not all fat is bad, and your body burns muscle just as it does fat when it needs energy. Tuck that away in the memory banks, it’s important.
As for muscles, you want to maintain and build on what you have, not burn what you have. Having said that, the nirvana of muscle fitness is what’s called the training effect.
The training effect happens when you engage routinely in activities that load your muscular system at a level above your normal daily activity.
With all this in mind, balancing the way simple body energy formula effectively means establishing and maintaining healthy muscle and keeping visceral and sub-Q fat to the optimum amount.
This is all accomplished with two simple factors: diet and exercise.
How diet and exercise factor on the way simple body energy formula
The food you take into your body is simply the Ei that your muscle system has to use during its Eo activity. Put in terms of the formula:
- Ei = Food
- Eo = Activity
Do the simple math and you’ll see that if you eat more energy than your muscular system uses, you’re going to have excess energy hanging around. The body transforms this excess energy to fat and has it hang around your vital organs in the form of visceral fat, and under your skin in the form of sub-Q fat.
Mentioned earlier, visceral fat is a critical body component that surrounds your internal organs insulating and protecting them against damage from things like shock. Quite literally it’s padding. Visceral fat is different than sub-Q in that it is denser and not white, but rather brownish.
Too much visceral fat surrounding the organs is what contributes to diseases like Adult Onset Diabetes. What happens, among other things, is that the hormones that need to get to and from the vital organs are inhibited so the stuff your body needs to work is harder to get at. Let’s not forget to mention that packaging your heart, lungs, and liver in a good, thick layer of fat really isn’t a good idea in general.
Sub-Q fat isn’t troublesome in the same way, but it’s still trouble. Sub-Q affects the body like any other insulation layer making heat transfer more difficult, it also adds unnecessary weight on the muscular skeletal structure, and can limit normal ranges of motion. It makes you have to buy new clothes all the time too, and it’s harder to get the nice looking stuff to fit. They don’t make it in that size kind of thing.
So this is what diet actually is
First, keep in mind that water and an elemental food source are all you need to maintain your basic biological life. Everything else is icing on the cake. Problems arise when we focus too much on the cake and icing and not enough the elemental food sources.
With that in mind, when you choose “diet” food to put into your body, you should get as close to those two concepts as possible. You know, the water and basic food stuff we just mentioned.This is part of the theory behind the “raw” food movement.
But you don’t have to go full-on vegan, non-gmo, farm-raised radical activist to get the effects of raw foods. Quite simply eating raw food is as simple as shying away from the pre-prepared, breaded, stuffed, easy to fix meals in the frozen foods section and instead opting to buy fresh fruits and veggies, non-processed meats, higher quality dairy, and simple grains instead of boxed cereals.
Stated another way, keep your diet as raw and unprocessed as possible.