Optimum Nutrition for a Well Balanced Diet?

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 obtain 15 per cent of our total calorie intake from protein, but gives little guidance as to the kind of protein. This is in sharp contrast to the average breast-fed baby who receives just 1 per cent of its total calories from protein and manages to double it’s birthweight in six months. This is because the protein from breast milk is very good quality and easily absorbed. Assuming good quality protein, 10 per cent of calorie intake, or around 35 grams of protein a day is an optimal intake for most people, unless pregnant, recovering from surgery or undertaking large amounts of exercise.

The best quality protein foods in terms of amino acid...

Want to keep reading? Members have full access...

Join Today!

JOIN NOW!

First month free

Then £7.99 per month & free cancellation at any time

FREE health check

Find out your health score & see how healthy you are

Personal Health Plan

Detailed report, analysis & tailored action plan

Free Vitamin D3

With your first purchase at HOLFORDirect (suitable for vegans)

Save money

20% off all Patrick Holford supplements & events plus free delivery over £30

Exclusive Health support

Ask Patrick your questions, access to Low GL recipes & research updates