We eat to gain strength and energy for our every day activities and keep our body healthy and prolong our life. However, today, eating has become the main reason why we are unhealthy and sick of deadly diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, stroke, kidney problems, cancers, asthma and liver diseases. These diseases are the number one killers in the world and they are from eating, only one percent is hereditary.
Eating today is taking away the joy of living and sending us to early graves. We are not healthy in these days and we die early than expected because of things we eat and the hobbits of eating. So instead of the fun, good appetite and good taste, energy and fitness we all delight to have in our daily delightful foods, we end up sick, depressed and live shorter lives.
How Eating Is Taking Away The Joy of Sex
Many men are sexually weak and unable to satisfy their female partners in bed and have resulted to dangerous sex-boasting substances and alcohol because they eat too much, and often fast foods, sugars and sweet substances, alcohol and alcoholic drinks, soft drinks, processed grains and junks and eat very early in the morning and very late in the night.
If you are a man or woman, and desire to be naturally healthy and fit in bed, stop consuming sugar and sugary foods, especially added sugar, limit processed grains such as white rice, white bread and processed cereals, soft drinks and beverages, alcoholic drinks and beverages and cease from eating more than two meals a day, the early meal at noon and the late meal latest before 8 pm.
Foods Are No More Friends
Food and eating used to be our best companions, but they are no longer our friends as we used to think. Be afraid of eating and don’t eat for fun or taste any longer. You have to make laws to regulate your foods and how you eat them. If they have become traps of diseases and deaths, they are no longer your friends, and don’t let them be your friends, because they are not.
There are ten rules for food and eating, and you should apply to your foods and eating habits. These are:
- Enjoy food, but eat less. If you are not on medications, eat from midday, and not earlier, contrarily to the old popular knowledge that breakfast is healthy, and don’t eat more than twice a day and not later than 8pm. The portions should not be heaped up and should contain all the varieties of foods; that is, carbs, protein, fat, fibre, vitamins, minerals and drinking of water later.
- Eat more vegetables and fruits, they should form half of the plate.
- Consume beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
- Eat more seafoods.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks, soda drinks and fruit juices.
- Avoid alcohol and alcoholic drinks and beverages.
- Eat less sodium or salt.
- Eat no sugary food or substance, add no sugar to your drinks or foods. Once at a party, you may eat a piece of cake and drink a cocktail drink, but not routinely.
- Reduce intake of processed carbohydrates or refined grains, if possible stop eating any processed carbohydrate or refined grain.
- Eat less amounts of lean meats, poultry and eggs.
Breaking the fast late and taking the last meal early is the healthiest eating lifestyle.
The breakfast is our first meal of the day. It means that we have been fasting for the whole night during sleep. If we can prolong it further into the day, the healthier we become. Whenever we eat a meal, we increase our blood sugar and the secretion of the hormone called insulin. This triggers weight gain and stops the hormone called human growth hormone which helps our body to repair itself and get rid of diseases and elongates our life.
So if we can drink water, tea or coffee without sugar or sweetener, or eat something which is not carbohydrate, a grain or cereal, protein or any of the normal food components to keep us fasting till noon we benefit.
Again, the last meal of the day should not be later then 8 pm, so that we can have longer fasting night and limit weight gain, snoring and other sleep disturbances during the night.
Why We Eat
We don’t eat because we want fun or have appetite or feel the taste. Don’t eat because of the fun or for the taste. If you are the party type who goes out everyday to eat and drink until you throw out, cease from thot habit. We eat because we want to stay fit and healthy. Therefore, know the foods to eat, when to eat and the health aspects. A healthy diet is good for your physical and mental health. It reduces the risk and severity of obesity, heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension, depression and cancer and elongates your lifespan.
What and why a balanced diet?
Eating is not for fun or for taste, as it’s already stated, so we shouldn’t eat because of fun or because your friends are inviting you to come over to eat or for the taste. Often than not, we eat because we enjoy the taste and experience the different foods. Sharing food and meals are important social events. But other than for taste and pleasure, we need food to get nutrients, vitamins, minerals and energy.
Very few foods are either all good or all bad. By having an idea of the balance in your diet, it should be easier to enjoy food and be healthy. There are seven essential factors for a balanced diet: carbs, protein, fat, fibre, vitamins, minerals and water.
The rough percentage of daily calories that should come from each factor is shown in Table 1 below.
Table 1: Essential nutrients for a healthy balanced diet
|Nutrient||% of daily calories||Function||Source|
|Carbs||45–55%||Energy||Grains (refined & unrefined): wheat, maize, corn, millet, oats, rice, flour, pasta, noodles; potatoes; sweet potatoes, yam. Fruit (sugar). (As much as possible avoid added sugar and refined carbs.)|
|Protein||10–35%||Tissue growth and maintenance||Meat, fish, nuts, eggs, soya, beans and pulses.|
|Fat||20–35% from fat||Energy, energy storage, hormone production||Nuts, seeds, plant oils, dairy products (milk, cheese).|
|Fibre||Included in carbs.||Regulates blood sugar levels, bowel function and bowel health.||Peas, beans, vegetables, fruit, oats, whole grains, brown rice, nuts, seeds.|
|Vitamins & minerals||trace||Metabolism regulation, aiding cell growth, other biochemical functions||Specific to each vitamin/mineral. A range of vegetables, lean meat, nuts and seeds will cover most people’s needs.|
|Water||0||Maintaining hydration||Drinking water, other beverages. About 20% of water intake comes from food. (Avoid sugary drinks)|
A healthy diet should include a varied selection of foods. But some types of food are better for us (“5-a-day” for fruit and vegetables) than others (cakes, biscuits etc), see table 2 below.
Table 2: Eat more, eat less…
|Eat more||Raw and cooked vegetables & fruit (“5-a-day”), nuts, seeds, beans & pulses, whole grain cereals/bread, lean white meat (chicken without skin), fish (especially oily)||Linked to many aspects of better health including reducing LDL.|
|Eat in moderation||Lean cuts of beef, lamb, pork, shellfish, dairy products (low fat), unsaturated fats (olive oil, vegetable oil). Dried fruit, jams. Sucrose, honey, fructose, chocolate, or none at all, especially added sucrose.||These foods can all be an important part of your diet.|
|Eat less and in limited amounts||Saturated fat (butter, margarine, lard, cheese, cream, high fat milk), trans fat, salt (less than 5g daily). Processed meats/fatty cuts of meat (sausages, salami, bacon, ribs etc).Processed meals (high in fat, sugar and salt).Pastries, muffins, pies, cakes, sweets, etc.Alcohol is high in sugar and calories and is only recommended in moderation.||These foods are not good for your health. Some guidelines include specific recommendations.|
Eating a wide range of different foods will give your body the nutrients and micronutrients that it needs.
Diet and weight
In general, if we eat fewer calories than our body needs for energy, we will lose weight. If we eat more than we need we put on weight.
But this is not the whole story. We all have an individual balance depending on how our body signals to itself to process food. Some people burn more energy and in different ways, and this explains some of the diversity in how we all look.
This can also change over time through life depending on whether we are still growing and when we get older.
Some foods are processed by our bodies in ways that are more healthy. This tends to be foods that release sugars more slowly and that contain fibre.
Other foods including saturated fats and foods that are high in salt or simple sugars can have a negative impact on health because of how the body processes them.
Calories and lifestyle
The average number of calories you need each day can vary. It is influenced by many factors including sex, age, metabolism, physical activity, growth and pregnancy.
Body height, weight and size, genetics, hormone levels and any illness can affect how much energy we need.
Average daily guidelines recommend around 2500 calories for men and 2000 calories for women.
Differences within nutrients
There are healthy and less healthy dietary sources of nutrients, especially for carbohydrates (carbs) and fats. These are explained in below and in Table 3
Carbs: simple vs complex
Guidelines recommend that carbohydrates (“carbs”) form the basis of most diets, making up half of total energy (calorie) intake. This food group can be separated into complex (good) and simple (bad) carbs.
Complex carbs (wholewheat flour and pasta, and brown rice) contain larger chains of sugar molecules. These take longer to digest than processed grains. This makes you feel full for longer, helping to control your appetite.
Complex carbs provide energy and are key sources of fibre, B vitamins and minerals.
Refined complex carbs (white flour, pasta and rice) are digested more quickly by the body. This makes them a faster source of energy. However, these types of carbs do not offer as many additional nutrients. This is why whole-wheat and brown carbs help improve the overall quality of your diet.
Simple carbs are the sugars. These can be natural (e.g. fructose found in fruit) or refined (e.g. sucrose or glucose in soft drinks, sweets and biscuits).
Another key carb-related term is the Glycaemic Index (GI). This relates to how quickly the sugar is released into the blood stream.
Low GI foods release sugar slowly. This gives a prolonged supply of energy to the body. Higher GI foods give shorter bursts of energy.
Many factors affect the GI of a carbohydrate including whether the carb is simple or complex, how the food is cooked and also what it is eaten with.
Fruit and vegetables are carbohydrate foods. They include a wide range of vitamins and minerals as well as soluble fibre. Aiming for five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is good for your heath.
Fruit juice is counted as one of your 5-a-day, but if you are watching your weight it is better to eat whole fruit which takes longer to digest and keeps you feeling full for longer.
Fat: saturated and unsaturated
Dietary fat is important for making healthy cells. It produces hormones and other signalling molecules and is a source of energy and energy storage.
Two categories of dietary fat are saturated and unsaturated. They have the same amount of calories but different effects on your health. We need to aim for a good balance between the different dietary fats to optimise our health and reduce health risks.
Saturated fats are generally solid at room temperature and these are the fats that will have a negative impact on our health. They are the naturally occurring ‘bad fats’ and are found in butter, hard cheeses, fatty meat and meat products, cream, lard, suet and some plant oils including coconut oil and palm oil.
Unsaturated fats include the polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and Omega 3 fats. These will have a positive impact on our health. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are found in oils such as olive, rapeseed and sunflower.
Omega-3 and omega-6 are known as essential fatty acids (EFA’s) because the body can only get these from diet. They are found in oily fish such as sardines, salmon and mackerel.
Trans fats are a form of unsaturated fat that rarely exists in natural food but are associated with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. They are often added to processed foods such as cakes and biscuits and so these should be eaten less often and in small amounts.
Trans fats as cooking oils have been banned in some regions because of their impact on cardiovascular health.
Table 3: Types of fat and their impact on your health
|Saturated||Generally solid at room temperature. Animal fat from meat and dairy (butter, cheese, cream). Some plant oils including coconut oil and palm oil.||Less healthy. Linked to high LDL and an increase in heart disease. Diets high in saturated fat are linked to raising levels of LDL; this can be a risk factor for heart disease. Saturated fat should not be excluded from the diet however, just consumed in smaller amounts (7-10% of fat intake). A range of fats is needed for healthy functioning of the body.|
|Unsaturated||Vegetable oils like olive, sunflower, and rapeseed/canola oil. Nuts, avocados.Omega-3 (from oily fish or supplements) and omega-6.||Improve insulin sensitivity, LDL and TG compared to saturated fats.Replacing saturated fats by unsaturated fats and carbs reduces the risk of heart disease.|
|Trans fats||Trans fats are included in processed foods.As a processed cooking oil, it was widely used by fast food outlets for frying.||Trans fats increase bad cholesterol, reduce good cholesterol and are bad for your health, especially “partially hydrogenated trans fats”.They are banned in some countries and US states for being used as cooking oils.|
Diet and cholesterol
Cholesterol is a compound that is similar to fat. It is needed by the body to form the outside barrier of cells (membrane). It can be made both by the body and consumed through sources in the diet. Absorption of dietary cholesterol is complicated. Other factors such as genetics can affect the overall level of cholesterol circulating in the blood.
High levels of cholesterol in the blood are associated with damaging arteries and heart disease.
Specifically, having high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) in the blood increase the risk of heart disease.
Changes in diet can make a difference though. Choosing foods with more unsaturated fats compared to saturated fats can increase levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and lower levels of LDL (bad choleterol).
Diet and triglycerides
Similar to cholesterol, triglycerides are fat molecules that help in metabolism and moving other fats around the body.
Like cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides in the blood have been linked to heart disease.
Dietary fibre: soluble and insoluble
Dietary fibre is classed as either soluble or insoluable. A mixture of both soluble and insoluble fibre is needed for good health.
Soluble fibre changes how other nutrients are absorbed in the digestive system. Insoluble fibre is not metabolised and absorbs water itself.
Soluble fibre regulates blood sugar levels and balances intestinal pH levels.
Insoluble fibre helps with digestion and elimination by speeding up the passage of food in the digestive system.
Dietary fibre typically contains a proportion of the carbohydrate cellulose, which cannot be digested by humans as we lack the enzyme to break it down.
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins are chemical compounds and minerals are chemical elements that the body needs in small quantities. They are used by the body for a wide range of functions and very low levels (deficiency) are related to some health complications.
Unless you have a low level of a particular mineral or vitamin, there is unlikely to be a benefit from taking a supplement.
Protein is a source of energy. It is essential in maintaining the function of all cells in the body.
Protein is made up by complex combinations of 22 amino acids. Ten of these amino acids can only be obtained by diet.
Although protein is an essential part of your diet, this is also only needed in moderation.
Salt refers to the crystal-like chemical compound sodium chloride, while "sodium" refers to the dietary mineral sodium. Health experts suggest remembering the distinction in this way: Sodium is found in food, either naturally or manufactured into processed foods.
It’s a common misconception that "sodium" and "salt" are the same thing; in fact, the words are often used interchangeably. But understanding the difference between the two could affect how you manage the nutritional quality of your diet.
"Salt" refers to the crystal-like chemical compound sodium chloride, while "sodium" refers to the dietary mineral sodium. Health experts suggest remembering the distinction in this way:
- Sodium is found in food, either naturally or manufactured into processed foods.
- Salt is what we add to our food when we are cooking or eating and use the salt shaker.
Table salt is a combination of the mineral elements sodium and chloride. Broken down by weight, sodium makes up approximately 40% of table salt.
Sodium is an essential mineral found in many common foods, sometimes naturally and sometimes added as salt during cooking or manufacturing for flavor or as a preservative. Sodium plays an important role in cell function, blood pressure control, muscle contraction, and nerve transmission. It’s essential for keeping body fluids stay balanced. But although sodium is important for optimal health, consuming too much has been linked to health problems including hypertension (high blood pressure), cardiovascular disease, and kidney stones.
The words “table salt” and “sodium” are often used interchangeably, but they do not mean the same thing. Remember it thus way, table salt (also known by its chemical name, sodium chloride) is the crystal-like compound that is abundant in nature. Sodium is a mineral, and one of the chemical elements found in salt.
One teaspoon of table salt is 5.8 grams combination of sodium and chloride, and has 2,325 milligrams (mg) of sodium. That's slightly more than the daily limit of 2,300 mg of sodium recommended by health experts. Americans eat on average about 3,400 mg of sodium per day or 8.5g of salt. However, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends adults limit sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day—that's slightly equal to about 1 teaspoon of table salt! For children under age 14, recommended limits are even lower.
When one is recommended to take salt- or sodium-free meals for health reasons, it is less than 5 mg of sodium or 0.0125g of salt. When recommended to eat very low sodium diet, it is 35 mg of sodium or less per day or 0.0875g of salt,
High intake of salt and high salt-containing foods increase the risk of high blood pressure. This increases risk of heart disease. Most salt in our diet comes from processed foods such as pastries, bread, pizza, bacon, sausage, convenience and savoury snacks. Tinned foods can also be high in salt so if in doubt check the label.
Recommended intake of salt varies depending on your age, health and other factors. Several guidelines recommend no more than 6 grams a day salt intake for adults, which is the equivalent to 2400 (2.4) milligrams of sodium.
To convert salt (which is often the stated name on packagings) to sodium, you need to divide the amount by 2.5. Then multiply the concentration of salt per 100g (as often stated on the package) by 100 and multiply by the serving size or portion. If 2.4g of salt per 100g is stated on the package, and the size of package is 500g, you have 12.0g of salt or 4800mg of sodium in the package.
If you add half to cooking or serve half of the package on table, you are eating 6.0 g of salt or 2400mg of sodium, which is slightly more than whole day’s salt intake. It means, by eating that amount of food from that package alone, you have exceeded your daily salt intake, if you add table salt to the cooking or serving, or if you eat any other food that contains salt, you are putting your health at high risk of hypertension, heart diseases and kidney failure.
Often, high salt intake is from processed foods we cook or serve. When we add table salt to it while cooking or serving, we make things worse. But while eating them without added table salt, it’s often tasteless. However, one cooking or serving portion of these processed foods alone is highly above recommended daily salt intake. And we eat several portions of it a day.
And often with added table salt. One teaspoon of table salt is 5.8 grams of salt and its equivalent to 2,325 milligrams (mg) of sodium, which is slightly higher than the recommended daily intake guidelines. Average person today takes in more than 10.0g of salt, equivalent to 4000mg of sodium.
UK guidelines are less than 6 grams of salt a day and US are 5 g/day while recognising that actual average intake is often twice these highs.
Sodium in the Diet
Sodium occurs naturally in foods like celery, beets, and milk. It’s also added to many packaged foods during manufacturing—often in amounts that are considered much too high. High-sodium products include processed meats, canned soups, salad dressings, and soy sauce. Restaurant and fast foods are also typically high in sodium.
In fact, most of the sodium we take in comes from eating packaged, processed, and restaurant foods—not from the salt we add to food when cooking or eating at the dinner table. Federal health agencies estimate that more than 70% of the sodium Americans take in is hidden in those processed or packaged foods.
As an added ingredient in packaged products, sodium is used for thickening, enhancing flavor, and preserving foods. It’s also used to prevent microbial growth that would cause food to spoil or people to get sick.
Other potential sources of sodium include drinking water, soda drinks and certain medications, such as acetaminophen, antacids and mineral/vitamin supplements. If you’re concerned that your over-the-counter drug may be a factor in your overall sodium intake, your healthcare provider will be able to tell you if any of the medicine you take is potentially problematic.
Consuming excessive amounts of sodium can cause high blood pressure in some people, which can lead to other health issues such heart disease, stroke and kidney problems. That’s because the accumulation of sodium causes the body to hang on to excess water, forcing your organs to work harder to flush it out as they try to maintain a healthy fluid balance. If your kidneys can’t get rid of extra fluids, sodium will start to build up in the bloodstream.
To avoid those risks, experts recommend most healthy adults take in no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day; 1,500 mg per day is even better. For some context, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that the average American consumes about 3,400 mg of sodium per day—much more than is generally recommended.
Since most diets are too high in sodium, it’s important to pay attention to how much salt and added sodium is present in our food—especially in processed foods like pizza, deli meats, soups, salad dressings, and cheese. But as experts point out, you can’t always count on your taste buds to sound the alarm. Keep in mind that foods high in sodium don’t always taste salty, so watch out for sweet offenders like cereals and pastries.
Ways of cooking
The way that we cook and prepare food is important. Certain cooking methods are also better at retaining the nutrients within food.
Cooking techniques such as roasting and frying can be less healthy if a large amount of fat (oil or butter) is added during the cooking.
However, you can fry and roast using small amounts of healthier fats such as olive and rapeseed oil.
Grilling and steaming are widely considered to be healthier cooking techniques in most cases. Eat healthily and live long.