There are many misconceptions about nutrition in our minds. Let’s get some facts straight.
Health is more important than weight
- Do not obsess about weight, focus on health. Most people tend to forget that being thin is not necessarily being healthy. Sometimes people eat a lot but still do not put on weight. Weight depends on a lot of factors like genetics, metabolic rate, age, physical activity etc.
Fat is an essential nutrient
- Removing fat is not the only solution to lose weight. Fats are also essential for our health. They are necessary to transport fat soluble vitamins, to lubricate joints, concentrated source of energy and to carry out other functions. Consume fat in moderation and keep an eye on how much saturated fat you are consuming.
One plan doesn’t suit everyone
- One diet plan does not fit everyone. Each body type is different therefore it is very important to have a plan which is personalized. If a friend of yours has reached ideal weight with a plan it is most likely that it will not work for you. Make a diet chart based on your needs and factors such as your age, physical activity.
Be wary about what all you read on social media
- Do not believe everything that is circulated on social media. For example, the video that went viral about plastic in wheat flour. It was actually gluten, the major wheat protein. People started to get their own wheat and got it ground in local mills since they were worried about the plastic in flour.
It really affected commercial wheat flour sellers. Check the veracity of the video. Check out who is the person giving the information and what are his/her credentials.
Importance of gut microflora
- The human body contains trillions of microorganisms. The micro-organisms number is much more than human cells (10 to 1 ratio). But when it comes to their mass it is only about 1 to 3 percent of the body’s total mass. For example, if a man is 90 kgs in weight the microorganisms in his body weigh about 0.9 kgs to 2.7 kgs (1).
They play a very important role in gut health, strengthening the immune system and synthesis of certain nutrients. Make sure your diet has plenty of fiber which serves as substrate or food for the health promoting bacteria.
- Diabetic diet has many factors common with weight loss diet or even a healthy diet. Diabetes is growing worldwide at an alarming rate.
A healthy diet should
- contain limited amount of simple sugars
- have adequate amount of protein
- carbohydrate as complex carbohydrate
- derive less than 30 % calories from fat and should be low in saturated fat
- contain ample amount of fiber in the form of fruits and vegetables which contain phytochemicals that promote health
- not contain a lot of refined food, the less the better
- not include processed foods which have a lot of salt
- have limited or no alcohol
- contain variety and everything should be consumed in moderation
Make sure you get your information about your diet from the right people. And do not blame everything on genetics. There is a lot of good we can do to our health by making suitable changes to our lifestyle such as making our diet healthy and increasing physical activity. Let us be proactive.
- NIH Human Microbiome Project defines normal bacterial makeup of the body (2012) https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-human-microbiome-project-defines-normal-bacterial-makeup-body