Optimum Nutrition for a Well Balanced Diet?

  • 1 Apr 2009
  • Reading time 11 mins
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Your entire body is made from the food you eat and the water you drink.

The human body is roughly 63% water, 22% protein, 13% fat, 2% minerals and vitamins. Eating the highest quality food in the right quantity helps you to achieve your highest potential for health, weight control, vitality and freedom from disease. In short, a long and healthy life. Based on 12 years research at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition here’s how to eat yourself to better health.

Fat

There are two kinds: saturated (hard) fat, and unsaturated fat which comes from seed and nut oils or fish. It is neither essential to eat saturated fat, nor ideal to eat too much. The main sources are meat and dairy products. There are also two kinds of unsaturated fats: mono-unsaturated fats, rich in olive oil; and poly-unsaturated fats, found in other nuts and seeds. Certain poly-unsaturated fats are essential. These are called linoleic and linolenic acid and are vital for the brain and nervous system, immune system, cardiovascular system and skin. A common sign of deficiency is dry skin.

The optimal diet provides a balance of these two essential fats, also known as Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats. Linoleic acid (Omega 6) is rich in sesame and sunflower seeds, while linolenic acid (Omega 3) is rich in pumpkin and flax seeds. Linolenic acid is converted in the body into DHA and EPA, which are also rich in mackerel, herring, salmon and tuna. These essential fats are easily destroyed by heating or exposure to oxygen, so having a fresh daily source is important. Processed foods often contain hardened or ‘hydrogenated’ poly-unsaturated fats. These are worse for you than saturated fat and are best avoided.

Eat 1 tablespoon of cold-pressed seed oil (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, flax seed etc.) or 1 heaped tablespoon of ground seeds a day.

Avoid fried food, burnt or browned fat, saturated and ‘hydrogenated’ fat.

Protein

Protein is made out of 22 amino acids, which are the building blocks of the body. , As well as being vital for growth and repair of body tissue they are used to make hormones, enzymes, antibodies, neurotransmitters and helps transport substances around the body. Both the quality of the protein you eat, determined by the balance of these amino acids, and the quantity you eat is important.

In terms of quantity the Government recommends that we ......

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