We often meet people in Chesapeake that ask us “Is there a reasonable amount of consumption of sugar, salt and fat?”
As much as our bodies need all these three, it matters that the amount consumed is right. The form in which you obtain them and the source from which you opt to obtain them from matters a great deal.
There are so many cultures that bring about confusion regarding what to eat. The good and the bad have been interchanged that you are no longer sure of what to eat. As for sugar, salt and fat, all these are good which all depends on the conditions or a given criteria. It is not necessarily based on the amounts as different bodies require different amounts. Also, it all depends on the quality of the type of sugar,salt and fat.
A good source of good sugar is sugars found naturally in foods like honey, fruits and dates. These are considered healthy as they are a part of the natural food supply. Secondly, they are bound to fiber and are combined with enzymes, vitamins, phytonutrients, minerals, co-factors, etc. which help in their digestion.
Despite this, it would be unhealthy to consume it in large portions. Centuries before now, the concern on abundance was irrelevant as they raised more concerns on famine. In this, we can survive on less amounts of natural sugars but not on excess amounts of it. Back in the day, there was always a constant supply of these naturally providing fruits which were pure unlike the hybrid grown fruits of nowadays. Many individuals think that fruit juices are equally good sugars. This is not true as the sugars are no longer bound to all the other nutrients as when they are in the fruits. While in juice form, it is a refined sugar just like that that you buy from a shop.
Consume natural sugars in moderation. Natural good sugars can be found in:
- Whole fruit
- raw honey
- whole dates
- blackstrap molasses
Generally, all refined sugars are not good for your health. In this, most sweeteners used in foods with the exception of honey, dates, and Stevia are refined sugars. Sugars that are processed by humans are highly concentrated unnatural sugars, such as the table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, crystalline fructose and the myriad of sugar derivatives. As observed in the old ages, these unnatural, man-made sugars which are intoxicating to our health were not present. As a result, we end up with damaged body organs, tissues and cells as a result of diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, cancer and obesity.
Consume very little bad sugars. They include:
- Sucrose which is table sugar
- Corn syrup
- High fructose corn syrup
- Crystalline fructose
- Extracted, filtered, pasteurized fruit juices
- Fruit juices concentrates
Our bodies are on the way to destruction every time we consume foods that cause an increase our glucose levels which in turn causes high insulin levels. Consumption of the unnatural concentrated sugars will lead to:
- Increase in weight
- Increased insulin levels
- Insulin resistance
- Impaired glucose tolerance
- High triglycerides
Soldiers in ancient Rome were partly paid in salt. If you have heard of the phrase, ‘he is not worth his salt’ it came from this ancient times as the term salary was derived from the Latin word salarium which meant salt money.
Salt is important and vital for all living creatures. Salted water provides several metabolic functions within our bodies. Being healthy is partly determined by a balance between mineral salts and water that are inside and out of our cells.
Using salt as a food additive has been around for almost 6,000 years and since then, it has always been used as a spice or condiment. Unrefined sea salt which is salt in its natural form is considered healthy as it provides some necessary minerals and trace elements. Even when it is in its natural form, it should not be over consumed. Today, the table salt we use is not natural.
Good salts: those found in foods naturally
Salt contains some natural minerals such as
- trace elements
Salt that is in the right quantities can be found in fruits and vegetables. It is therefore not important to add salt to vegetables as too much of it is deadly. It is better to eat a whole foods based diet for the right amount of salt.
- processed table salt
A large percentage of Americans have grown using iodized salt which contains about 98% sodium chloride and 2% chemical additives and has been processed under high heat of 1,200F with a final touch of iodine. This process eliminates all the minerals that our bodies need.
According to USDA, individuals should consume 2400mg of salt in a day. Individuals on the other hand consume this amount on several occasions on the very same day. This is consumed from all the processed foods and table salt. A better option would be to stick to fruits and vegetables as a source for good salts.
Sufficient intake of quality fats is healthy for you. This applies for both vegetable and animal fats. It has been said that eating fats leads to people gaining weight. This is not entirely true. It is not about avoiding fat but about consuming grains, sugars and processed vegetable oils.
The reason fat does not increase weight is because the body uses it for nearly every metabolic processes. These processes include: brain functioning, immune system and hormone production and regulation which require constant fueling from fat so as to perform their functions.
There are some essential fats known as essential fatty acids (EFA). These are important in our bodies though we cannot manufacture them. Some rare fats that are good for us are omega-3 essential fatty acids which are found in the wild in fish, grass or pasture fed animal, walnuts avocados. We also have omega-6 fats found in processed vegetable oils and grains. For a healthy body, omega-3 fats and omega-6 should be consumed in the ratio 1:1. Currently, individuals are consuming more of omega-6 which leads to heart diseases and cancer.
Good fats include:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fish in the wild
- Pasture-fed, grass-fed meats
- Fish oil supplements
Bad fats include:
- All deep fried foods
- Processed vegetable oil used with all junk foods
- Hydrogenated oils
- Cured meat
- Dairy that is processed such as pasteurized, homogenized milk, ice cream, cheese
It is essential that the consumption of these three foods is done in the right proportions and served from the right sources. For more information on the dietary trifecta contact Planet Wellness. Follow these simple tips and you are on your way to a healthy lifestyle.
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