Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Healthy Eating - Organic Beef Meal or a Big Mac? - Part 1

Healthy eating is a broad generalization of the perception of certain food types or choices.  I guess the types of foods that are classed as or perceived as ‘healthy’ or even ‘nutritious’ are made up of or contain vitamins, minerals, are low in fat, especially saturated fat (I’ll get to this later), low in sugar, are low GI, high in fibre, wholegrain etc etc etc. As you can see the list is never ending.

‘Healthy eating’ = dieting. Well that is most people’s thinking when they use or hear those words. Some people also think of another word - BORING.  I personally think of this word – DUMB. Yes dumb.
Quite simply does there need to be a classification or dumb generalization on food? No. I hate the ‘food pyramid’ with a passion!

The ‘food pyramid’ as well as some old bodybuilding/fitness nutrition myths (that have been disproven a number of times and I will cover them in future articles) have contributed to the unfortunate continuation of the OCD behavior that the vast majority of people live and breathe by. Food choices and certain diet protocols consume every waking moment and even the thought of a Pizza will send them to hell. Well god, I should have been to hell once a week for the past 5 years if that was the case!

The body requires a number of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, water, protein and fat to maintain function ability for a number of processes. Carbohydrates are NOT essential nutrients, as our body can make glucose from protein or ketones from fat for brain function and fuel etc. I’d like to note that for sports performance, carbohydrates can be seen as conditionally essential or beneficial. Fibre is also a non essential nutrient but I certainly think it is necessary and we all know why!

The essential nutrients our body requires are broken into micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and macronutrients (protein and fats). Micronutrients means they are required in amounts under a gram and macronutrients are required in amounts of grams.  Depending on what your physique/body composition and or exercise/sports performance goals are, will determine the amounts required of these nutrients.

Now, the typical fitness fanatic will tell you that ‘you must eat clean/healthy all the time with only 1 ‘cheat’ meal a week’ or something along those lines if you want to look great and have lots of energy blah blah blah. Because they ‘look good’ or better than the person in question, the (poor) advice is taken as gospel and the anal behavior starts almost immediately.  Well I’m going against the ‘grain’ (see what I did there) and saying that does not need to be nor is it the case!

Stay tuned for part 2!

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