Fitness

The truth about your food

1 Protein has the highest thermic effect among macronutrients. Just like how walking and running require energy, digestion is a process that requires energy too. When you eat food, the body breaks the macronutrients down into simpler units. This breaking down requires energy and protein is the hardest to breakdown and hence requires the most energy for breakdown. For this reason, and because protein is more satiating than any other macronutrient, upping the protein is a good idea when fat loss is a goal.

2 Fruit is nature’s candy and are healthful too. No doubt. But when you look into the nutritional profile, you’ll realise that fruit is basically water, sugar and some micronutrients.

While some fruits contain more of some micronutrients than the others, fruits in general should be considered as nature’s candy and consumed in moderation.

3 Most of the fruits we eat today were selectively bred for sweetness. For example, apples used to be sour. Well, most of them.

We humans liked the sweeter ones among them and so we started looking for them. Slowly, with agricultural evolution, we started breeding more of the sweeter ones, and today, we know apple as sweet and the only type of apples we get are sweet.

4 Not all vegetables are created equal. Some contain more starch, while some others contain more micronutrients. Roots and tubers like potatoes, carrots, radishes and raw banana are starchy in nature while leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and ladies finger are lower in starch and are packed with vitamins and minerals.

The way things are today, we don’t have any problems getting enough starch, but we struggle to get even half the required amount of micronutrients. So, get as much green leafy vegetables as possible.

5 As a general rule, it’s a good idea to eat little to no oil when eating outside. Firstly, oils are expensive and most restaurants cook with low-quality vegetable oils.

The oils used in high heat cooking are detrimental to your health due to the high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids they contain. Secondly, it’s safe to assume most oil used outside is reused, which makes the already harmful vegetable oil just plain dangerous.

6 Vegetarian protein options are limited but not non-existent. Being a vegetarian, you won’t be able to get big doses of protein like a non-vegetarian could from meat or seafood.

So it is important to eat plenty of protein-rich vegetarian foods and reduce the amount of protein-deficient foods. For example, a meal dominated by lentils, millets, vegetables and curd is a great idea for a vegetarian, while a starch-dominated meal with a tiny portion of vegetables and daal is not.

7 You are gaining and losing weight every moment. You may only check it once a week or month, but it is happening right now as you read this. Every moment of your life, you are either consuming or expending energy. At any moment, if the amount of energy you consume is more than the amount your expend, it is stored as fat for future use.

Likewise, the opposite is true too. So understand that fitness and wellness are continuous processes and not challenges you do for a week or a couple of months. In other words, you will constantly need to stay active and eat smart to stay in shape and enjoy good health.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 2:21:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fitness/the-truth-about-your-food/article7264767.ece

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