Get your nutrition right with nutritional therapy. Proteins, fats and carbohydrates are known as macronutrients and need to be consumed in good proportions to one another in order for good health.
Protein means “of first importance” in Greek, so when you are choosing what to eat, chose a good quality source of protein. Proteins are made of 20 different amino acids, some amino acids are essential – they must be consumed in the diet – whereas some are non-essential – your body can manufacture them. Amino acids and proteins are found in many foods. Meat, fish, seafood, dairy and eggs are primary sources of protein, but small amounts of protein are also found in grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
Proteins are essential for building muscle tissue, collagen, bones, neurotransmitters, some hormones and for liver detoxification. Aim to eat good quality, lean and preferably organic sources of protein. It is recommended that we consume between 0.8-1.2g of protein per kg of bodyweight per day. In nutritional therapy we use this calculation – a 70kg man would need to eat up to 84g of protein. Most meat is roughly 22% protein so if you divide 84 by 0.22 it will equal the amount of “flesh” you would need to eat to meet that protein requirement. In practice an average chicken breast is 170g chicken breast would have around 37g of protein. A 70kg male would need to eat roughly 2 eggs for breakfast, a piece of fish for lunch and a piece of chicken for dinner to get the top end of protein they require on a daily basis. Obviously, more would be needed if you exercise as exercise damages muscles and more protein is required for muscle repair. In this case more protein can be gained by using protein shakes. Nutritional therapy can help you establish how much protein you should be consuming day to day and from what sources.
Fats and nutritional therapy
Fats can be classified as saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and trans fats. Apart form CLA a natural tans fat found in grass fed meat all other trans fats are created during the processing of fats. These are extremely bad for your health and lead to heart attacks. Anything that states hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated on a food label should be avoided like the plague!
Saturated fats can also lead to high cholesterol levels in some people; however some saturated fats are healthy such as those found butter, in coconuts and in coconut oils. In nutritional therapy we encourage people to keep saturated fats from cheese and milk to small amounts in the diet as these fats can raise cholesterol levels, and consume fatty meats in moderation. Instead consume more seafood, fish and poultry. Some fats are essential, these are known as polyunsaturated fats – they can’t be made in the body and have to be acquired through the diet. These fats include linoleic acid, alpha linolenic acid, EPA and DHA – also termed omega 3’s and omega 6’s. These fats are found in fish, fish oils, nuts and seeds, grains and seeds oils. These fats actually protect your heart, your brain and your nervous system so they are extremely important. Fats also provide fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
Carbs and nutritional therapy
There is a reason that carbohydrates are last on this list, they are the most consumed macronutrient and they are contributing to the epidemic of obesity and heart disease you see all around you. YOU DO NOT NEED AS MUCH CARBOHYDRATES AS YOU THINK! In fact you can survive without eating carbohydrates at all – the same cannot be said for fats and proteins though. Unfortunately most people are educated to get 6-11 serving of starchy carbohydrates per day but this is way too much. Anything form a Mars bar to Broccoli is carbohydrate, they are important for energy but sugar from processed carbohydrates messes up your hormones and makes you fat.
However, fibre, water, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and small amounts of natural sugar from fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes and small amounts of whole grains are good for you and should be consumed on a daily basis.
Use this nutritional therapy rule of thumb to help you you – all over ground vegetables and thin skinned fruits are low carb, all underground vegetables and thick skinned fruits are higher carb along with whole grains, pulses, nuts,seeds and legumes. All white grains and processed foods are high carbs and should be avoided.
If you want to work on your nutritional therapy contact Steve today.
Nutritional therapy – nutrition basics.