Author: Healing Headquarters LLC
Today we hear the word diet much more than we hear the word nutrition. There are so many diets on the market that itâ€™s easy to get lost in the fad and forget what nutrition truly is. There is the Atkins Diet, the Zone Diet, Weight Watchers and many others, from Slim Fast to the various one-food diets, such as the cabbage soup diet or the grapefruit diet. Society has become fixated on the â€˜dietâ€™, instead of quality nutrition. Unfortunately, this fixation isnâ€™t working. America is the fattest nation in the world, with high rates of diabetes, heart disease and other life threatening illnesses. While diets are becoming more popular, nutrition is suffering.
What is a diet?
While many people think a diet is a set of rules you follow to try to lose weight, your diet is actually the food that you eat to supply your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly. While an average American diet consists of large quantities of processed sugar, white flour, meat and fast foods, a healthy diet is one that supplies the body with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and enzymes. These nutritional building blocks affect your energy levels, your quality of life, and have a direct affect on your mood, memory, eyesight, body functions and lifespan. Without a healthy diet that supplies the body with much needed nutrients, you are more susceptible to colds, infections, and illnesses. Your diet, in other words your nutrition, is what sustains your life.
There is much confusion surrounding nutritional labels. Most people look strictly toward the top for calories, fat grams and serving size information. The truth is that nutritional labels offer a look at the nutrients in oneâ€™s food, such as vitamins A, C, D and E, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and folic acid. This information, although lower down on the nutritional label, is very important information if you are seeking to supply your body with nutrients, as opposed to empty calories.
The most important aspect of a nutritional label, although almost completely overlooked, is the actual ingredients within your food. While it may be easier to check to see how many calories and fat grams a certain food product has in each serving, when it comes to healthy nutrition the most important ingredient is what you are actually ingesting. It may have only 220 calories, but where are those calories coming from? Are you ingesting mostly corn syrup and sodium phosphate, or high amounts of preservatives, such as sorbic acid and sulfur dioxide? The ingredients in your food are the tell-tale clues to how much nutrition you are actually taking in. If your food is strictly cheese and flour, as opposed to nutrient providing vegetables and vitamins, it doesnâ€™t really matter if the calories are low.
A Nutritional Diet
Nutrition comes from vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Food sources that are rich with nutrients are whole, living foods that are supplied from the earth. Dark leafy greens offer more calcium than milk, while beans and grains offer high amounts of iron. It is easy to turn your focus from diet to nutrition. And when you do, you might find yourself eating a diet that is rich in nutrients and optimal for losing weight.
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