Category Archives: Nutrition Guides

NUTRITION by albajuma

NUTRITION by albajuma


Once in a while, we all have digestive problems, whether
it’s bloating, flatulence, belching, nausea or indigestion. However, if these
problems occur regularly, it’s a message from your body that needs to make some
changes. What one need to understand is that what we eat is not us and we are
only what we can digest and absorb. If you are not absorbing the goodness from
your food, you simply don’t have the raw materials needed to make the rest of
your body work. Initially, this can mean low energy, poor skin, headaches,
clouded thinking and food allergies, and you can end up with various ailments,
ranging from rashes and arthritis to ulcers and colitis.

Here are easy to implement suggestion to improve your digestion;

Take time to eat.
Wolfing down your food does not do you good. It is very important to chew
it because, as you chew, messages are sent to the digestive tract to
prepare itself for the food that’s on the way. In fact, just taking the
time to look at and smell what the enzyme process is on your plate gets
started. Without this enzyme action, you can begin to feel quite heavy
after a quickly- eaten meal.
When stressed
don’t eat. Your digestion is the first thing to shut down when you’re
stressed or worried. When we’re stressed, our bodies expect areal physical
danger and utilize the energy that’s earmarked for digestion to get our muscles
ready for action. So again, take time to eat and enjoy. Walking, talking
or even just standing also diverts this digesting energy, so sit down.
Don’t overeat.
It’s very easy to eat too much when you are eating for the sake of it.
Over eating can lead to fermentation, gas and digestion. So enjoy your
food and you’ll realize that you start eating the amount you need.
Don’t drink too
much at meals. For people with digestive problems, anything more than a
few sips of water with their meal can dilute their stomach acid and
compromise digestion. Drink your daily two liters between meals instead.
Avoid refined
carbohydrates. You don’t need to be told that things like sugar, white
bread, pasta, cakes etc, aren’t good for you, but if you have digestive
problems, they can be twice as bad. Because refining takes away beneficial
fibre, these foods cause a surge of acid in the stomach, giving you that nasty
feeling. Go for high- fibre foods like vegetables, beans and whole grains
Avoid antacids.
Antacids can provide temporary relief by neutralizing the acid in the
stomach, but this acid is one of the things needed to break down food in
the first place. It is better to deal with the cause of any burning
sensation, especially since some antacids can make the stomach produce
even more acid once the effects have worn off, creating a nasty vicious
Exercise not only improves nutrient absorption, but also stimulates the muscles
that keep the movement of food and waste matter through the gut in good
working order. A more efficient gut means less constipation, diarrhea and
Consider food
intolerance. Sometimes the foods we crave are the very ones that make us
ill. While dairy produce and wheat are known “allergens”, others include
tomatoes, citrus fruits, eggs, coffee and gluten. The best way to identify
your problem food is to eliminate the suspected item from your diet for
two weeks, re-introduce it, and note any changes.


How To Understand Nutrition Facts And Fiction

How To Understand Nutrition Facts And Fiction

Photo Credit:  WikiCommons Ayda

Nutrition Tips and Advice

There is an overabundance of tips and advice about nutrition everywhere! We are saturated with it. Some folks claim that if you eat a low-carb diet, you’ll lose weight and be healthier. Still others claim that low-fat is the way to go. Stop the madness – I want to get off!

Some of the information available is sound advice – some of the other information out there is not so sound advice.

Keep in mind that I am a person who believes in the conservative approach – all things in moderation and all that. That said, here are my views and tips on nutrition and some of the myths I think we’ve all heard.

Nutrition and Weight Loss

Nutrition Basics

Some basic facts about nutrition:

Whole unprocessed foods in any form are going to give you the best nutrition
Maintaining the proper caloric and nutrient intake is going to keep you in good health
Exercise combined with nutritious eating will keep your metabolism on an even keel
Preparation of food has the most significant effect on what you eat
Any diet that is too limited/specific is probably not going to be nutritious in the long run
Missing meals is NOT a nutritious practice
Taking multiple supplements and additions to your diet is not good nutrition common sense
Labels on foods are only as good as we understand them and research them
Eating something every 4 hours is good for your metabolism
Lean meat is actually better for you than chicken with the skin on
Dietitians and nutritionists have a better handle on nutrition than diet advocates and gurus
Fruits and vegetables (3 of each) should be part of the daily diet
Alcohol should be consumed in moderation to avoid excessive calories and health risks
Calories matter – it is the only way to have a stable weight

More Nutrition Tips

Some Myths About Nutrition

Some of the  most common misconceptions about nutrition:

If foods are low-carb or low-fat, I can eat as much as I want of them
If I take enough vitamins and supplements, I don’t have to worry about content in food
I should eat until I feel stuffed – then I will know that I’m full
If I overeat, I should miss a meal
As long as a food is low-carb or low-fat, it doesn’t matter how it was prepared
I eat right, I’m thin and I do not need to exercise regularly
Sugar causes diabetes
Skipping meals occasionally can’t hurt – it helps lose weight
Fruit juices are nutritionally beneficial
Canned soups, vegetables, fruits are just as good as fresh
If I buy 7-grain bread, it is healthy
Nuts are bad for you because they have too much fat and calories
All fat is bad for you
If I’m pregnant, I should eat more
If I eat brown sugar, I’m making a healthier choice
Seafood such as shrimp elevates cholesterol
Avoiding carbs will help me lose weight fast
Avoiding red meats is the healthiest choice
Brown eggs are better for me than white eggs
As long as it says ‘natural’ it is good for me
Pop and caffeinated drinks are a great way to lose weight and speed up metabolism
Margarine is better for me than butter or oils

American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide
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Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating
Amazon Price: $5.96
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The Art of Nutritional Cooking, 3rd Edition
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Vegetables: Preparing, Choosing, Cooking – With Recipes and Nutritional Information
Amazon Price: $92.26

As you can see above, there are a lot of contradictory ideas floating around about nutrition! Who are we to believe? First, if you are considering a nutritional program, take the time to check out the person’s credentials – whether is a diet on-line or a nutrition book – or even a face-to-face with a nutritionist. Make sure that the person you are turning over your nutritional life to knows what they are talking about.

Whole foods and foods closest to their natural state will always be more nutritional than processed foods. However, in order to realize the difference between let’s say 7-grain bread and whole grain bread, you have to read the label. If the 7-grain bread is processed then no – the bread is not as nutritious as it would be were it left in whole grain state so a whole grain bread would be more nutritious.

Eating low-carb or low-fat foods still adds calories – it is ALL about the calories. You cannot stay fit and healthy or maintain proper nutrition if you are exceeding the cap level for calories for your individual body frame. It simply can’t be done. If you consider how much exercise it takes to burn off 300 calories (for example 30 minutes of 2.5 miles per hour on a treadmill), you can see that adding 3 extra cookies or a couple glasses of wine has just taken care of what you worked to burn off. It cannot be said too many times – nutrition and/or weight loss – or staying where you would like to be – it is all about the calories. Numbers don’t lie.

Exercising increases metabolism and is essential for burning fat. It also has the added benefit of keeping you fit and mentally alert. There are so many pluses to exercise that exercise should be a routine part of everyone’s day. It is not something that needs to be scheduled – it can be varied and entertaining – but it should be part of any all-around nutritional program.

No one should be taking more than 1 all-purpose vitamin per day. Vitamins and supplements are not a replacement for sound nutrition. If additional supplements are recommended, they should be recommended by a physician. Herbalists and health food store personnel do not qualify to give out nutritional advice! Sometimes you can do your body more harm than good in listening to people who ‘think’ they know nutrition but really don’t.

How a food is prepared has a lot to do with many things – the remaining nutritional value for one thing; the caloric content for another. While canned soups and vegetables for instance may sound nutritious, they are but they aren’t as good as the ORIGINAL. By the very fact of being in a can or processed in some way, they have lost nutritional value because of that processing. You also need to be aware of the additives, preservatives, enhanced coloring, and sodium that go into all of these foods. These ‘add-ons’ can impact your diet and nutrition significantly.

Labels, labels, labels – you almost have to be a rocket scientist to decipher food labels. However, here is a great site on reading and understanding them at You must understand what you are reading though to actually have an impact on your nutritional balance. Portion size is critical – understanding that the whole bag of chips does not have 100 calories in it but rather 1200! Understanding what you are looking for in terms of good fats, bad fats, fiber, sugar, and sodium for instance – these are all vital to knowing what is in the food. Also reading the footnote – based on caloric intake, etc. gives you another fund of information.

Brown eggs and white eggs are exactly the same in nutritional value. The only difference is the color of the hen’s feathers that laid them! However, there are many ‘enhanced’ egg products out there and it is important to read that label as well. Calories can be doubled by some eggs with ‘add-ons’.

Brown sugar is simply white sugar with molasses added to it! Honey is a much better alternative if you can find recipes using it – or use recipes with less sugar than the norm.

All fat is not bad! All carbs are not bad! We need some of that fat and those carbs to maintain brain health and steady our metabolism. Without these 2 entities (in moderation and the right kinds of both) in our systems, our metabolism shifts yet again and it becomes harder rather than easier to lose weight or maintain good health.

Caffeine and pop have NO nutritional value. Lattes I have always argued do to some extent because of the milk but for the most part, people using soda or coffee, etc. to speed up their metabolism are actually having the opposite effect. Caffeine makes you hungrier and also produces the ‘crash’ effect of a less than healthy diet.

Fruit juice, while a better alternative to pop or coffee, is not the same as actually eating an apple. By the time the fruit has made it to the juice, it is not the same nutritionally once it has been processed and wrung out of most of its beneficial properties.

Skipping meals is a great way to overeat at the next meal. It also throws off your body’s metabolism and makes it that much harder to regulate. Eating something every 4 hours (such as a few nuts or an apple or celery) is a far better way to maintain steadiness in your metabolism and thus not feel hungry. Even switching your main meal to noontime and then eating a salad for instance at dinner is an excellent way to eat as well. Also eating at the same time each day is an excellent regulatory practice for metabolism. Eating a few nuts per day is a great way to supplement your nutrition and get the right kind of fat. Everything in moderation – substituting a few nuts for a huge bowl of chips for instance is a good practice!

Fried anything is never going to be as nutritious as the ‘real thing’ or non-fried like product. However, most of us do enjoy certain comfort foods and good nutrition doesn’t have to be about eliminating everything. It should be about finding alternative methods for standard recipes. There are millions of good cookbooks on cooking nutritionally and that is a great start. I personally have always liked Cooking Light cookbooks and magazines because they give me options on making something I love while still cutting calories AND fat, adding more fiber, etc. Investing in these can be a wonderful addition to your nutritional database and finding new ways to cook can be invaluable.

For instance, I make an oven-fried chicken that is marvelous. I first remove the skin from the chicken pieces dip it in low-fat buttermilk, but when it is finished, it is delicious! I generally use nonfat milk or nonfat dairy products in place of whole milk products unless I absolutely cannot get around it. I cook with butter over margarine, olive oil over any other oil – however, I look for recipes consistently that cut the fat content by at least half. I also look for high fiber recipes and recipes that use other things instead of sugar or at least less sugar for sweetening. I also eliminate completely toppings or frostings – if a recipe absolutely has to have one, I make sure it is a watered down version or a light dusting with only powdered sugar for instance.

Cutting out the amount of sugar that we consume every day would go a long way to making us ALL healthier and ultimately happier. I am a huge advocate for learning to prepare food alternative ways to boost nutrition and think if we can read, we can cook! Even substituting things works well for me so instead of a bread crumb base for my cheesecake, I whir up a bit of granola and nuts to make the crust instead. I substitute more nutritious flours in recipes for the same reason – to put back the nutritional content that so many processed foods have removed.

Steaming vegetables or eating stir-fried is another great way to retain nutrients and not overcook the life out of fruits, vegetables, etc. Eating more salads and adding fresh fruits and vegetables, or a sprinkling of nuts to cereals, salads, vegetables is a great way to enhance your nutrition. I also use o
live oil spray as much as possible to brown anything that I need to instead of frying. I use it to oil pans or bowls. I also use it as a spray on things I bake instead of brushing with butter or margarine.

Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating
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Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition
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Nutrition For Dummies
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Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating
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American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, Revised and Updated 4th Edition
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The Chemistry of Food and Nutrition
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Nutrition: An Applied Approach, MyPlate Edition with MyNutritionLab plus MyDietAnalysis (3rd Edition)
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Summing It Up

In short, nutrition doesn’t have to be difficult. I always think that if we just get back to ‘basics’ or if we think about the way people ate in other times, we might have a better shot at maintaining adequate nutrition – also reducing obesity and heart disease, etc. There are so many simple ways to boost nutrition and I discover more each day as I continue to search for answers.

Nutrition doesn’t have to be boring. In many ways it is just good common sense – the more natural a food is or the more it resembles its original state, probably the more nutritious it is going to be.

Preparation of food and nutrition also go hand in hand – prepare it the best way to retain the viable components of that food and you will maximize nutrition.

How to change a traditional meal such as KFC fried chicken into a healthier meal.

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