The food we eat contains nutrients, which are required for a healthy body and mind. Nutrients are divided into six classes, namely, proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, lipids and water. Furthermore, food contains other elements which can be detrimental (such as cholesterol) as well as beneficial (such as antioxidants).
Read on to explore a few intriguing facts you probably didn’t know about nutrition.
Sugars are Unhealthy
Most agree that sugar is empty calories – meaning that, there are no nutrients in it. To make matters worse, sugar is usually added to many processed foods to improve their taste.
Humans like sugar, because everything we consume it, the brain releases dopamine, the “feel-good hormone”. However, consuming excessive amounts of it can have disastrous effects on the body.
Studies have conclusively shown that excess sugar is one of the contributing factors for causing heart diseases and diabetes. Furthermore, sugar can also affect dental health, usually causing a host of dental problems. The takeaway here is to control the intake of sugar – and products that contain added sugar.
Processed Foods are Inherently Bad
Building on the previous point, processed food contains sugar and other preservatives to make it taste better and have a longer shelf life. Furthermore, processed foods may not contain all the essential nutrients and minerals the body needs. Hence, it contributes to weight gain as well as other health repercussions.
Unprocessed food, on the other hand, is not infused with artificial chemicals nor does it contain preservatives. Examples of unprocessed foods include tubers, grains, fruits and vegetables. They may not taste as good as processed foods but are far healthier.
All Carbohydrates are Not Bad
Refined carbohydrates are the carbohydrates which are stripped of all nutrients, fibre and bran. Examples include white rice, white flour, and white bread. As stated in the previous point, these refined carbohydrates are processed foods, which means they have significantly lower nutritional value.
Unrefined carbohydrates are not processed, hence, all of its nutritional value remains intact. Therefore, these are far healthier than unrefined carbohydrates. Examples include beans, fruits, whole grains, etc.
Supplements cannot Supplement Real Food
Supplements cannot replace real food. They cannot replicate all the nutrients found in whole foods such as fruits and vegetables. So when do we take supplements?
Supplements are meant to be taken when specific nutrients cannot be derived from food – such as vitamin D. However, no nutritional supplement can replace real food or even a poor diet.
Frequently Asked Questions on Facts About Nutrients
What are Refined Carbohydrates?
The carbohydrates which are stripped of all nutrients, fibre and bran are called refined carbohydrates. Examples include white rice, white flour, and white bread.
Why are added sugars bad?
Added sugars are empty calories – meaning that there are no nutrients in it. It is also one of the major contributing factors for heart diseases and diabetes.
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