The word “Nutrition” is Incomplete for me; I would rather use the word “Correct Nutrition” instead of simply “Nutrition.” We should consume the correct nutrients in the right proportion to stay Healthy. Nutrition as per biology means, “Nutrition is the process of taking in food and converting it into energy and other vital nutrients required for life.”
In Layman’s language, Nutrition means providing your body with quality food that nourishes it and provides all required precursors for metabolic activity. While doing so, you might need to follow and develop some new habits. Living healthy and eating healthy is not a particular diet or food pattern to be followed instead, it’s a lifestyle you choose to provide your body with the rich, nourishing food it needs and all the ways that aids in the process.
What To Eat?
There are two categories of Nutrients.
Macro Nutrients are needed more than 10 grams per day in our body. Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates come under this category. They give energy to the body to perform the body’s metabolism plus all physical activities. They are the “Petrol” or fuel needed by the body to work. Water can also be called the macronutrient. Our body needs it in large quantities per day (in liters). But it doesn’t give any energy or calories.
- 1 gram Carbohydrate gives 4 kcal(calories)
- 1 gram protein provides 4 kcal(calories)
- 1 gram Fat provides 9 kcal(calories)
Out of the above three macronutrients, fat is the only macronutrient that provides 9-kilo calories of energy. This can be considered as the most excellent source of energy.
The Indian diet largely comprises Grains, Cereals, Pulses, Fruits, Starchy vegetables and fibrous green leafy vegetables and a trickle of low-fat dairy. Indian diets mistakenly avoid Fats, mainly due to the influence of the wellness Industry, consequently making our staple food contain high amounts of unnecessary carbohydrates and very low Protein.
Protein is the only nutrient that is made up of Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen & Nitrogen. Nitrogen is the reason that it has a particular property to repair muscles. Since proteins are considered as building blocks of the body, so primary function of Protein is to build and repair muscles in our body.
Amongst other roles, one of the vital functions is that it helps to build Immunity by producing Antibodies, also known as immunoglobulins which are used by the immune system to protect the body from foreign substances entering the body.
Micronutrients are needed by the body in smaller quantities per day, usually <10 grams, in milligrams (mg) or micrograms (mcg). Vitamins and minerals are considered micronutrients. Though they do not provide energy or calories, yet they are needed for the smooth functioning of our body.
Except for few Vitamins such as Vitamin D and Vitamin K, Vitamins and minerals cannot be made in the body, and they are required from the diet. All foods supply different Vitamins and minerals, but the richest sources are Egg yolks, Red meat, Organ meat, mutton and less quantity in fruits and vegetables.
Vitamins are of two types: Fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamins A, D, E & K) and Water-soluble Vitamins (Vitamin B and C).
When To Eat:
People who are not on “Correct Nutrition” tend to follow a periodic timetable of eating food. There are many eating patterns followed by people like Intermittent Fasting (we wait for the eating window even if we feel hungry), eating smaller chunks after every 2 hours (even if the body is not asking for it) etc. We somehow ignore the body’s hunger mechanism, and as a result of this, we end up under eating or overeating.
This can be avoided if a person follows signals given to the brain in a particular area called Hypothalamus about Hunger and Satiety by the Leptin and Ghrelin hormones. But these hormones work better on Correct Nutrition. On High Carb, Low Fat, and Low Protein diet, these Hormones go for a toss.
How Much to Eat:
Now the question arises How much should one eat? This depends on various factors like age, physical activities, environmental factors and body composition. Calories are a measure of how much energy is present in the food we eat. But this no way says that how many calories we should put into our body for proper metabolic functions. It would vary from day to day activity for a person. Daily Calorie intake for a person may vary based on the factors mentioned earlier.
Nowadays, Calorie In and Calorie Out concept is very much in trend. But there is no such evidence to prove that Calorie out more than Calorie In would make us Healthy, help us lose fat permanently without piling up those extra kilos back.
According to a paper published by WHO in 1981, our Basal Metabolic Rate is the minimum calories required when the body is at complete rest (during sleep) is supposed to be 2377 calories, and the Resting Metabolic Rate is much higher than this.
So here the question arises- Do we consume these many calories even when we are Active? The answer is a big “NO” to this. We usually eat significantly fewer calories as compared to what is needed at BMR. But then why most of the population is “FAT” on a calorie deficit diet remains unknown.
MYTHS AND FACTS
Dietary fat makes you fat
The fact which will be surprising to many of us is that it’s not the FAT that makes you FAT, but the real culprit is Dietary CARBOHYDRATES/SUGARS. Carbohydrates and sugars spike Insulin, causing Insulin Resistance and Insulin once spiked is LIPOGENIC (Fat generating). The condition is called Hyperinsulinemia. This gives birth to all the metabolic disorders existing today in the majority of the population.
Dietary Fat and Stored Body Fat is the best source of fuel for the body. The next best source is derived through Gluconeogenesis of Protein. Lastly, Carbohydrates which are referred to as the preferred source of fuel, are actually the poorest, providing momentary energy at the cost of gaining body fat or, at the very least, at the cost of inhibition of loss of body Fat.
Dietary Cholesterol is BAD for health
Contrary to popular belief, cholesterol is your friend. There is no such thing as bad cholesterol. Cholesterol below 150 is very bad and will lead to low Testosterone levels leading to clinical depression, low Vitamin D3 levels despite exposure to Sunlight and compromised brain function with a Higher propensity for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Low cholesterol is a sign of compromised Liver function.
Triglycerides are flooded in the body due to Sugar and NOT FAT
Triglycerides, which is one of the few values in the Lipid profile report that needs to be very low, are found to be very high in those eating minimal fat but high carb diet. This clearly indicates that it is sugar that causes Serum Triglyceride levels to shoot up and not Dietary Fats.
Protein Intake can cause Damage to Kidneys
No upper limit on the quantum of Protein has ever been shown to cause any stress to internal organs. No clinical trials have proven that. In fact, lots of clinical trials have shown absolutely no link between high protein intake and renal issues. Almost all people diagnosed with these issues have been on a protein deficit diet throughout their life. However, those people who are already facing renal issues should consume less Protein.
Medicines cannot drug away from the cellular defects that develop in response to improper Nutrition throughout life.
— Joel Fuhrman