Nutrition-An Overview


The benefits of correct nutrition

· Controls Weight

· Increases Quality Of Life (Better Able To Do Everyday Tasks)

· Better Concentration

· Better Complexion

· Increases Energy

· Prevents Many Illnesses And Diseases

· Slows Down The Aging Process

Explanation of nutrition

The first rule is to eat foods as close to nature as possible, avoiding processed food.

The results you will achieve with this type of training are much better if you are on a proper diet. Most people eat too many carbohydrates because they are trying to stay on a low fat diet. A lot of the low fat foods on supermarket shelves are high in carbs or sugar instead. This is actually worse than the fats they are trying to avoid. The problem with carbohydrates is that what you don’t use up for energy, you will store as body fat. There is a lot of research to show that we should eat foods that have a low glycemic index. The G.I. is a rating of foods in relation to blood sugar response. If a food has a high G.I. then it will raise the blood sugar quickly and cause a surge of insulin, which in turn causes the storage of fat. These foods are also very bad for your energy because when a lot of insulin is released it not only brings your blood sugar back to where it was at the start, but can bring it way down below this. This is why you may feel sleepy after a large meal with a lot of carbs in the form of potatoes etc. Potatoes are high on this G.I. scale. Most carbohydrate foods are high in this scale, even some of the ones that people think are healthy foods such as pasta, potatoes, rice, bread, most cereals and most fruit Sugars are even worse offenders. That is sugar in any form; table sugar, confectionary, soft drinks etc. the ones that are low on the G.I. scale are basically all protein and fat foods. That is all meat, fish, foul, full fat dairy products etc.


Proper nutrition and why “dieting makes you fat”

When encouraging people to eat sensibly I try to avoid the word ‘diet’. People associate this with the fad starvation diets that are always advertised. These diets are misinforming and dangerous. They encourage people to lose weight by dramatically reducing calories. Cutting calories will inevitably reduce energy because you lose more muscle than fat and it’s this muscle that gives you energy, in other words you’re losing the muscle that helps you to burn calories/fat. The body then loses its muscle tone and you get softer. The body then learns to live on fewer calories and when you return to a normal diet (as is inevitable) you will be more susceptible to gaining fat because your metabolism has slowed down. The way around this is to go on a proper nutrition plan that can be sustained long term and will enhance your body shape and energy levels.

Conversely, if you lose fat and gain muscle then your body’s energy levels and metabolism are increased and you burn more calories. Therefore you can actually eat more while staying lean and without gaining fat!
Your dietician may also suggest some dietary supplements, which have proven to improve results for many people.


Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats supply 90% of the dry weight of the diet and 100% of its energy. All three provide energy (measured in calories), but the amount of energy in 1 gram differs: 4 calories in a gram of carbohydrate or protein and 9 calories in a gram of fat. These nutrients also differ in how quickly they supply energy. Carbohydrates are the quickest, and fats are the slowest.
Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are digested in the intestine, where they are broken down into their basic units: carbohydrates into sugars, proteins into amino acids, and fats into fatty acids and glycerol. The body uses these basic units to build substances it needs for growth, maintenance, and activity (including other carbohydrates, proteins, and fats).


Carbohydrates may be simple or complex.
· Simple carbohydrates: Various forms of sugar, such as glucose and sucrose (table sugar), are simple carbohydrates. They can be broken down and absorbed by the body quickly and are the quickest source of energy. They quickly increase the level of blood glucose (blood sugar).

· Complex carbohydrates: These carbohydrates must be broken down into simple carbohydrates before they can be absorbed. Thus, they tend to provide energy to the body more slowly than simple carbohydrates but still more quickly than protein or fat. Because they are digested more slowly than simple carbohydrates, they are less likely to be converted to fat. They also increase blood sugar levels more slowly and to lower levels than simple carbohydrates but for a longer time. Complex carbohydrates include starches and fibers, which occur in wheat products (such as breads and pastas), other grains (such as rye and corn), beans, and root vegetables (such as potatoes).
Carbohydrates may be refined or unrefined. Refined means that the food is highly processed. The fiber and bran, as well as many of the vitamins and minerals they contain, have been stripped away. Thus, the body processes these carbohydrates quickly, and they provide little nutrition although they contain about the same number of calories. Refined products are often enriched, meaning vitamins and minerals have been added back to increase their nutritional value. A diet high in simple or refined carbohydrates tends to increase the risk of obesity and diabetes.
If people consume more carbohydrates than they need at the time, the body stores some of these carbohydrates within cells (as glycogen) and converts the rest to fat. Glycogen is a complex carbohydrate that the body can easily and rapidly convert to energy. Glycogen is stored in the liver and the muscles. Muscles use glycogen for energy during periods of intense exercise. The amount of carbohydrates stored as glycogen can provide almost a day’s worth of calories. A few other body tissues store carbohydrates as complex carbohydrates that cannot be used to provide energy.
Most authorities recommend that about 50 to 55% of total daily calories should consist of carbohydrates.


Proteins consist of units called amino acids. Because proteins are complex molecules, the body takes longer to break them down. As a result, they are a much slower and longer-lasting source of energy than carbohydrates.
There are 20 amino acids. The body synthesizes some of them from components within the body, but it cannot synthesize 9 of the amino acids—called essential amino acids. They must be consumed in the diet. Everyone needs 8 of these amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Infants also need a 9th one, histidine. The percentage of protein the body can use to synthesize essential amino acids varies from protein to protein. The body can use 100% of the protein in egg and a high percentage of the proteins in milk and meats.
The body needs proteins to maintain and replace tissues and to function and grow. If the body is getting enough calories, it does not use protein for energy. If more protein is consumed than is needed, the body breaks the protein down and stores its components as fat.
The body contains large amounts of protein. Protein, the main building block in the body, is the primary component of most cells. For example, muscle, connective tissues, and skin are all built of protein.
Adults need to eat about 60 grams of protein per day (0.8 grams per kilogram of weight or 10 to 15% of total calories). Adults who are trying to build muscle need slightly more. Children also need more because they are growing.
Fats are complex molecules composed of fatty acids and glycerol. The body needs fats for growth and energy. It also uses them to synthesize hormones and other substances needed for the body’s activities (such as prostaglandins). Fats are the slowest source of energy but the most energy-efficient form of food. Each gram of fat supplies the body with about 9 calories, more than twice that supplied by proteins or carbohydrates. Because fats are such an efficient form of energy, the body stores any excess energy as fat. The body deposits excess fat in the abdomen (omental fat) and under the skin (subcutaneous fat) to use when it needs more energy. The body may also deposit excess fat in blood vessels and within organs, where it can block blood flow and damage organs, often causing serious disorders.
Fatty Acids: When the body needs fatty acids, it can make (synthesize) certain ones. Others, called essential fatty acids, cannot be synthesized and must be consumed in the diet. The essential fatty acids make up about 7% of the fat consumed in a normal diet and about 3% of total calories (about 8 grams). They include linoleic acid and linolenic acid, which are present in certain vegetable oils. Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, which are fatty acids essential for brain development, can be synthesized from linolenic acid. However, they also are present in certain marine fish oils, which are a more efficient source.

Linoleic acid and arachidonic acid are omega-6 fatty acids. Linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid are omega-3 fatty acids. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Lake trout and certain deep-sea fish contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. People tend to consume enough omega-6 fatty acids, which occur in the oils used in many processed foods, but not enough omega-3 fatty acids.
Kinds of Fat: There are different kinds of fat: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated. In general, saturated fats are more likely to increase cholesterol levels and increase the risk of atherosclerosis. Foods derived from animals commonly contain saturated fats, which tend to be solid at room temperature. Fats derived from plants commonly contain monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids, which tend to be liquid at room temperature. Palm and coconut oil are exceptions. They contain more saturated fats than other plant oils.
Trans fats (trans fatty acids) are a different category of fat. They are man-made, formed by adding hydrogen atoms (hydrogenation) to monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids. Fats may be partially or fully hydrogenated (or saturated with hydrogen atoms). In the United States, the main dietary source of trans fats is partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, present in many commercially prepared foods. Consuming trans fats may adversely affect cholesterol levels in the body and may contribute to the risk of atherosclerosis.
Fat in the Diet: Authorities generally recommend that fat be limited to less than 30% of daily total calories (or fewer than 90 grams per day) and that saturated fats and trans fats should be limited to less than 10%. When possible, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, particularly omega-3 fats, should be substituted for saturated fats and trans fats. People with high cholesterol levels may need to reduce their total fat intake even more. When fat intake is reduced to 10% or less of daily total calories, cholesterol levels tend to decrease dramatically.

There is a lot of research to show that you can get extra benefit from supplementing your diet with the Natural Health Food Supplements.

A good quality Multi-Vitamin and Mineral is a good way to start but there are many others that you can use depending on your lifestyle and the goals you wish to achieve.

These supplements are not meant to replace healthy food but rather, as the name suggests, supplement the diet with nutrients that we are not getting the optimum levels of from our diet.