Balanced nutrition – why?
A well-balanced diet means a varied and targeted diet and should first contain the main nutrients – carbohydrates 55-60%, fats 20-30% and protein 10-15% – in this ratio. If this is not the case, this alone can lead to illnesses.
In addition to the main nutrients, we still need a lot of other substances (such as micronutrients, enzymes, phytochemicals, etc.) to stay healthy or diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, metabolic disorders (eg: diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, etc.) and even cancer relieve or even cure.
The main nutrients are primarily energy suppliers and building material. To fulfill all life processes, we basically need energy.
Nutrients (especially fats and proteins) also serve the body as necessary suppliers of building substances , which we constantly need for the rebuilding of the cells in the context of growth and regeneration.
To maintain the entire metabolism , we need active ingredients such as micronutrients, enzymes and hormones.
An important importance comes to the various defense systems of the body, which should protect us from external and internal disease-causing factors, which in turn are dependent on appropriate nutrient supply.
In addition to the physiological aspects, the psychological, sociological and cultural aspects must not be ignored, since they also contribute to an increased well-being and thus to better health.
Main nutrients nutrition
Carbohydrates are one of the important energy suppliers. But they also play an important role in the development of bones, cartilage and connective tissue. The carbohydrates consist of the elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
In photosynthesis, they arise from the existing simple sugars stored in the plant. This releases oxygen to the air and absorbs carbon dioxide. This means that with the help of chlorophyll, the plant converts the light energy into chemical energy and thus makes it usable for animals and humans. From these simple sugars, the plant can then build up double sugars, multiple sugars and multiple sugars as well as fats and proteins.
Simple sugar (monosaccharides) is from a single sugar molecule
Monosaccharides are glucose (glucose) and fructose (fructose).
All ingested sugars are converted into glucose in the body. The normal blood glucose concentration is as fast as 80-100 mg / dl (4.5 mmol / l) and after a meal up to 130 mg / dl (7.5 mmol / l). In diabetics, this value is increased after food intake. Glucose is released directly into the blood. In excess, it is converted to fat and stored, which can lead to weight gain in the long term.
Double sugar (disaccharides)
Disaccharides consist of two molecules of monosaccharides, such as maltose, sucrose, and lactose.
It is produced in germinating grain. Single and double sugars are found mainly in foods such as chocolates, sweets and sweet drinks. Mono- and disaccharides are water-soluble.
Multiple sugars (oligosaccharides)
Especially in sports nutrition, the so-called multiple sugars such as maltodextrins are important. A multiple sugar means a carbohydrate with a chain length of 3-9 molecules. These sugars slowly deliver energy without raising blood sugar levels too fast.
These are found in vegetables such as potatoes, legumes etc. and cereals.
Multiple sugars (polysaccharides)
These are not simple, long chains of individual glucose molecules but they form spirals or branched chains. Polysaccharides are starch, glycogen, cellulose, pectins, dextrins and agar agar.
Dietary fibers are also chemically multi-sugars. Fiber is usually part of the outer cell walls or shells of plant foods. Whole grains contain a lot of fiber. They promote digestion and help prevent constipation, overweight (obesity) and possibly also colon cancer.
High-quality cereals are bulgur, spelled and wholemeal spelled grain, cous-cous, rye, barley, oats, etc.
Gluten-free cereals: buckwheat, rice flour, corn, millet, amaranth, quinoa, locust bean gum, coconut flour etc.
It differentiates saturated from unsaturated fats or fatty acids.
Saturated fat is not good for our health. If you want to reduce your cardiovascular risk, you should do without saturated fatty acids. They clog our blood vessels, which can eventually lead to heart disease such as heart attack, stroke, arterial circulatory disorders and can sustainably increase cholesterol levels. Saturated fatty acids are found almost exclusively in animal products.
BUT there are also healthy saturated fats such as coconut or palm oil;
Unsaturated fatty acids: Monounsaturated fatty acids can be produced by the body itself and are mainly contained in vegetable oils (olive oil, sesame oil, walnut oil, linseed oil, hemp oil, avocado and nuts, etc.). These also contain a lot of vitamins.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are also called essential fatty acids. Since the organism can not produce them themselves, they must be ingested with food. High intake of essential fatty acids lowers LDL and total cholesterol, respectively. The polyunsaturated fatty acids are divided into omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids:
Alpha-linolenic acid occurs in linseed oil, walnut oil, in dark green leafy vegetables and nuts. Eicosapentaenoic docosahexaenoic acid is found in high-fat fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel.
Omega-6 fatty acids:
Linoleic acid: pumpkin seed oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil.
Arachidonic acid: animal foods such as meat, offal etc.
The decisive factor is the fatty acid ratio: For our health is not only important that we consume less saturated fat from fatty animal products, but also that the ratio of omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids in the right proportion is: We recommend a Ratio of 5: 1.
Is the relationship between the intake of omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids, however unfavorable, more inflammatory substances are produced, certain diseases such as cardiovascular disease favor.
Some vegetable, unsaturated fatty acids / oils such as rapeseed oil, soybean oil, thistle oil, sunflower oil or corn oil may cause chronic inflammation. The explanation for this is that these oils contain large amounts of omega-6 fatty acids.
Proteins / Proteins:
For a proper metabolism, it is necessary that all amino acids (components of the proteins) are in the right proportion to each other. If one amino acid is missing, the whole recycling process gets messy. Therefore, a balanced and high quality protein intake is so important.
The body needs protein for:
the immune system
the cell structure – muscles, bones, skin, hair, etc.
the building of enzymes and hormones
the transmission of nerve impulses
the transport of oxygen and fats
the structure of collagen, antibodies, coagulation factors etc.
Our body protein is composed of 20 different amino acids, 8 of which the human organism can not build itself. We are therefore dependent on taking these amino acids in the diet because they are vital in various functions for metabolic processes (= essential). The content of essential amino acids determines the value of the protein in the food.
Essential amino acids:
The confusing views on fat and protein are perhaps the biggest misunderstanding in the field of nutrition. If someone says he needs protein, that’s what he really needs and generally wants fat! Most people and even nutritionists can not really differentiate between craving for fat and protein.
As you know, a baby will double its body weight in a few months by drinking breast milk. Breast milk contains mostly fat and less than two percent protein. Proteins are made up of the available free amino acids in the body. Proteins are nothing more than compounds of amino acids. The recommended daily protein intake is 0.8 g protein per kilo body weight. Their proportion should never be higher than 10-12 percent of the food quantity, on training days max. 15 percent.
In the metabolism of fat, sugar and starch, carbon dioxide and water remain as waste products. This does not apply to protein, which leaves uric acid and urea as end products, which harm the organism or pose a potential health risk to the liver and kidneys if they are not excreted (eg: in the case of protein surplus). Too much protein – whether of plant or animal origin – is a major burden on the body, because he excreted the excess protein or / and must convert with high energy expenditure via the liver into glucose. Accordingly, the currently highly regarded low-carb diet represents a very unhealthy diet!