March is Dallas ISD Nutrition Month: The ins and outs of nutrition
Nutrition deals with how the food you consume works in your body and how your body uses it to function. Dallas ISD is celebrating good nutrition during the month of March to help be healthier.
Because what we eat has an effect not just on weight but also on health, energy and focus, good nutrition dietary choices are crucial to reduce your risk of disease and to function during the day.
A balanced diet—or good nutrition—involves the right combinations of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water. If you don’t have the right balance of any of these in your daily diet, your risk of developing certain disease or health conditions increases dramatically.
What are macronutrients that are the building block of nutrition?
Macronutrients are nutrients that we need in high quantities: carbohydrates, proteins, fats and water.
Carbohydrates—The best carbohydrates are not sugars. They are whole grains like brown rice, wild rice, oatmeal, whole-grain barley, bulgur, farro, buckwheat, starchy vegetables including regular and sweet potatoes, and corn. It takes the body a while to break fiber down and absorb, but afterward your body will feel fuller longer and may reduce risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and colorectal.
Proteins—Some foods provide complete proteins that contain all essential amino acids the body needs while other foods have various combinations of amino acids. Most plant-based foods don’t contain complete proteins, so vegans need to eat a range of foods daily to get the essential amino acids for optimum nutrition.
Fats—The type of fat we eat makes a difference. Plant based or unsaturated fats like from olive oil are healthier than saturated fat that come from animals. Too much fat can lead to obesity, high cholesterol, liver disease, etc. A healthy balance is crucial. Fats are an important part of good nutrition because they lubricate joints, help organs produce hormones, enable the body to absorb certain vitamins, reduces inflammation, and help preserve brain health.
Water—It doesn’t contribute calories to the body, but it remains an important part of overall nutrition because it makes up about 60% of the adult body and is needed for just about every bodily process. Water doesn’t just come in a bottle; it is a big part of most fruits and vegetables, which makes it hard to gauge what is enough water based just on quantities. The recommendation is to monitor urine color, and if it’s a pale yellow, then water levels are adequate. But the rule of thumb is that if you are thirsty you are already dehydrated, which means your body doesn’t have the optimal fluids to function at its best.
Micronutrients are nots as flashy, but they also contribute to good nutrition. They include including vitamins and minerals, water soluble vitamins, fat soluble vitamins, and antioxidants.