We are all somewhat familiar with the food pyramid and we often glance at the nutritional information on the pre-packaged foods we eat—but what does it really mean to nourish your body? It seems like every time you pop online there is a new diet, supplement or superfood that claims to change your life. But every dietary trend you read about has a long list of conflicting information, which is frustrating. Here’s a closer look at what it means to nourish your body.
The food pyramid is meant to be a guideline for the average adult, designed to provide our body with the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients we require to thrive. The largest problem with the pyramid is that it doesn’t really cover portion size or the difference between fake food and whole food—refined food or unrefined food. For example, in terms of your carbohydrate intake there is a vast difference between white instant rice and quinoa. Or the difference between steamed broccoli and broccoli slathered in fake cheese product. Without understanding these defining differences many of us choose foods with little to no nutritional value.
Most of us try to eat healthy but don’t understand when we miss the mark. Our intention for eating a salad for lunch might account for our 3 to 5 servings of vegetables each day, which is positive. But between the large portion of salad dressing, the fried chicken breast, and the 3 breadsticks you ate with your salad it’s not as healthy as you intended. In terms of nutrition, there is also a vast difference between iceberg lettuce and dark leafy greens.
We must also be mindful of the sugar and calories (especially the sugar) in the beverages we drink because beverages alone can contribute substantially to weight gain.
The first thing that we must consider is that fads and superfood trends aside, we all have unique nutritional needs. On top of that, our nutritional needs change as we age and as our lifestyle and level of physical fitness change. In order to determine what you need to thrive, you must go beyond reading labels and sticking to the standard 2,200 calorie diet—and have a personal health assessment completed. A health assessment focuses on more than food; including your lifestyle, medical health, sleep, physical activity, family history, and more. After the assessment, a targeted solution designed to address your individual needs will be determined.
As overwhelming as healthy eating may feel at times you don’t have to go it alone. By working with a nutrition consultant at Personalized Nutrition Concepts you will uncover your individual nutritional needs—and the precise foods that will nourish your body. Reach out today for your personal nutrition assessment!