Guide to a Healthy Balanced Diet (Part 1)
Nutritional Quality is Vital For Optimum Dietary Nutrition
Diet & Weight Control - My Diet Forum - Stone Age Diet - How Hunter Gatherer Diet Changed
Development of Carbs - Carbs in Modern Diet - Fats in Modern Diet - Evolution & Modern Diet
Guide to Healthy Diet - Healthy Eating - Diet For Optimum Weight - Guide to Calorie Needs
How to Reduce Calories - Calories Used by Exercise - Exercise Information - Calorie Counting
Good Carbs - Good Protein - Good Fats - Advice About Sugar - Dietary Fiber - Fiber and Weight
Best Vitamins for Weight - Best Minerals - General Diet Nutrition - Diet Foods - Sodium in Foods
Protein in Food - Cholesterol in Foods - Healthy Vegetarianism - Guide to GI Diet - Special Diets

Healthy Diet (Part 1)

Healthy Balanced Diets Come in Various Forms

There is no one type of balanced diet, with a fixed amount of fat, carbohydrate and protein, that suits everyone. An elderly person may need a different balance of foods to that of a teenager. Or an obese diabetic may need a different type of balanced diet to that of an underweight athlete, and so on. Also, tastes and digestive preferences vary considerably. Thus a healthy diet may take a variety of different forms with differing proportions of fat, protein and carbohydrate.

Healthy Eating in a Nutshell - Nutritional Quality Counts

Instead of focusing on calorie-counting, carb-counting or fat-counting, focus on the nutritional quality of the food. For example, choose less-processed foods (eg. oats) rather than highly processed alternatives (eg. regular breakfast cereal). Choose whole grain carbs (eg. wholegrain rye bread) rather than refined versions (eg. fluffy white bread). Choose extra low fat ground beef/steak, rather than fattier alternatives. Choose unrefined or extra virgin vegetable oils, rather than the refined brands. Choose foods that require a little cooking, rather than instant foods.

Chances are, the more processed or refined the food is, the less healthy and nutritious it is likely to be.

Refined Foods Cause Us to Overeat

According to a recent study, at least 58 percent of the calories in a typical Western diet come from empty calorie foods, meaning: white fats, white (refined) oils, white sugar, white flour products and alcohol, most of whose minerals, vitamins and fiber have been removed by processing and refining. These refined empty calorie foods are likely to cause us to gain fat, because they cause us to overeat.

One of the mechanisms that turns off hunger is a feeling of fullness. By the time we've filled up on these concentrated-calorie, fiber-poor foods we've eaten more calories than we need - and the excess turns to fat. When we obtain adequate amounts of all essential nutrients, biological hunger ceases. If our foods are nutrient-deficient we may overeat until we get them which is one reason why nutrient enrichment is important for achieving a healthy weight.

We Absorb More Calories From Refined Foods

Because they lack fiber and bulk, high calorie refined foods also slow down intestinal activity. They take up to five times longer to pass through the intestinal tract than do natural unrefined high fiber foods (75 hours compared to 15) and the body absorbs calories during the entire time of their constipated passage.

Non-Nutritious Refined Foods More Likely to be Stored as Fat

Foods cannot be metabolised properly without minerals and vitamins. The energy that empty calorie foods contain becomes unavailable to our body and is stored as fat until (or in the hope that) we get the necessary minerals and vitamins at some later time. In the meantime we feel hungry and eat more. This too turns into fat unless minerals and vitamins are also provided.

Non-Nutritious Refined Foods Reduce Calorie-Burning

Minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids are systematically removed from foods during refining. Their absence lowers our metabolic rate; we feel less like being active and become lethargic. Then even if we eat less we don't burn up the calories we eat and get fat even on a low calorie diet.

Our Digestive System

Our food digestion system (mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine) helps us to convert and absorb energy and nutrients from food. Carbohydrate, fats and protein are each digested differently within the upper gastrointestinal tract, but surplus calories from these three micronutrients are ALL converted to body fat. Malabsorption, an unhealthy diet, infections and food toxins can cause a range of digestive disorders including: Indigestion, Dyspepsia, Constipation, Diarrhea, Gastroenteritis, and other digestion problems, or even food poisoning.

Back to Top

Next: Basic Principles of Healthy Balanced Eating
Back to Healthy Diet Advice

 

OBESITY, OVERWEIGHT and HEALTH
Weight Loss Help | Healthy Weight Advice | Health Risks of Obesity | Body Mass Index Chart | Obesity Information
Weight & Health Risks | Ideal Weight for Women | Ideal Weight for Men | Waist Circumference | Body Fat Percent
Body Fat & Health | Body Fat Calculators | Reduce Fat Belly | Obesity & Breast Cancer | What Causes Weight Gain
Hypothyroidism | Weight Loss Plateau | Healthy Cholesterol Level | How to Lower Cholesterol | Low Cholesterol Diet
Diabetes Diet | Diabetic Diet Questions | Eating Disorders | Food Cravings | Health & Weight Benefits of Exercise
WEIGHT CONTROL
Weight Loss Tips | Best Support Group | Easy Ways to Lose Weight | Lose Last 10 Pounds | Nutrition and Pregnancy
Lose Weight After Pregnancy | Weight Loss - Pregnancy | Mid-Life Weight Gain | Weight Control in Menopause
Menopause & Diet | Weight and Depression | Teen Weight Loss & Healthy Eating | Help For Overweight Children
Child Obesity | Weight Chart For Children | Weight Loss For Men | Fast Weight Loss | Raise Metabolism
Best Exercise to Burn Calories | Exercise and Calories Burned | Diet Pills | Weight Loss Drugs to Reduce Obesity
Bariatric Surgery | Gastrointestinal Surgery | Health Dangers of Bariatric Surgery | Health Dangers of Gastric Bypass
Weight Loss Programs | Articles | Weight Loss Questions | How to Reduce Weight | Weight Loss Advice
DIETING and DIETARY ADVICE
Healthy Diet Advice | Healthy Diets For Women | Reviews of Diets | Diet News | Fad Diets | Cabbage Soup Diet
Weight Watchers Diet | Low Fat Diet | Carbs and Diet | Dr Atkins Diet | South Beach Diet | Zone | Cider Vinegar Diet
Carbs Guide | Carbs & Blood Sugar | Carbs & Insulin | Carbohydrate Needs | Glycemic Index Guide | GI Diet Method
Low GI Foods | Glycemic Load | Diets For Health | Diet & Health | Diet For High Blood Pressure | Fibromyalgia Diet
Gluten-Free Diet | Irritable Bowel (IBS) Diet | Lactose-Free Diet | Best PCOS Diet | PMS Diet | Online Diet Plans
ENERGY and NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
Food Digestion | Calories Index | Guide to Calorie Needs | Calorie Needs for Women | Calories & Weight Loss
Burn Calories and Lose Weight | Calories Used by Exercise | Calorie Savings | Diet Nutrition | Vegetarian Nutrition
Guide to Healthy Diet | Guide to Healthy Eating | Diet Foods | Diet Fat | Good Fat | Protein in Diet | Protein Needs
Good Protein | Good Carbs | Dietary Fiber Guide | Sodium in Diet | Dietary Sugar | Water Needs

© 2000-2013 Anne Collins. All rights reserved.