Nutrition Path to Vitality Rotorua


There is a lot of controversy in nutrition – making it hard to know where to begin or what to do to eat healthily.
 
But, today we’ve compiled 3 nutrition facts that everyone agrees on.
 
1. Added sugar is a disaster
 
There are 2 types of sugars in our diets that we hear about most often: natural and added.
 
Natural sugars are just as they sound – they occur naturally in certain foods such as fruit, vegetables, and milk. Not only do these sugars come with added health benefits, like fiber and antioxidants, but since our body is able to digest them slowly, they offer a steady supply of energy to your cells.
 
But, problems occur when we consume too much-added sugar – that is, sugar that food manufacturers add to products to increase flavour or extend shelf life – but, they don’t provide any nutrients (besides calories).
 
Unfortunately, added sugar can be found in just about everything boxed or packaged at the supermarket – from soft drinks and cookies, to flavoured yoghurts and cereals, and even in soups, breads and sauces. That means that you’re probably eating and drinking more sugar than you realise.
 
That’s why it’s important that we read food labels, to monitor our intake of added sugar. Look for names like brown sugar, corn sweetener, invert sugar, and molasses, and try to avoid, or cut back on the amount or frequency of the foods where they are found.
 
Where possible, try opting for reduced-sugar food varieties, and choose nutrient-rich snacks, such as vegetables, fruits, low-fat cheese, whole-grain crackers and low-calorie yoghurt.
 
2. Omega-3 fats are crucial for the proper functioning of our body.
 
When it comes to fat, there’s one type you don’t want to cut back on – Omega-3 fatty acids.
 
These fats, commonly called Omega-3s are a group of unsaturated fatty acids that our bodies need for many functions, including immunity, muscle activity, digestion, and fertility.
 
Although our bodies can make most of the types of fats we need, that isn’t the case for Omega-3s, which are essential fats – meaning we must get them from the food and beverages we consume.
 
So, what foods are a good source of Omega-3?
  • Fish and other seafood (especially cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring and sardines)
  • Nuts and seeds (e.g. flaxseed, chia seeds and walnuts)
  • Plant oils (e.g. flaxseed, soybean and canola oil)
  • Fortified foods (e.g. eggs, yoghurt, juice, milk and soy beverages)
3. Unprocessed food is healthiest.
 
While processed foods are extremely convenient, they also harm our health, as during food processing, many of the beneficial nutrients are removed from food.
 
By contrast, unprocessed foods:
  • are loaded with important nutrients
  • are lower in sugar
  • are better for the environment
  • are high in fiber – helping to boost digestive function, metabolic health, and feelings of fulness
  • help control blood sugar
  • cost less in the long run
Whole foods are foods that resemble how they’re found in nature, such as:
  • fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables and fruit
  • dried, frozen, and canned beans and legumes like lentils and chickpeas
  • whole grains like oats, brown rice, barley, and quinoa
  • fresh and frozen poultry and meat
  • fresh, frozen, and canned fish and seafood
  • milk and plain yoghurt
  • eggs
  • nuts and seeds
Next time you’re out shopping, try to aim for 40% of your weekly shop to be fruit and veges. You may even like to see if you can swap out processed snacks like chips for natural alternatives, like home popped corn, or flavoured milk for plain yoghurt.
 
Keen to learn more?
 
If you’d like to learn more about nutrition, we can help! Simply email Muiread at [email protected] to book a free 20-minute consultation or make your next appointment.