Understanding the value of food is essential to making the correct choices when it comes to a healthy diet or optimal recovery, many people believe they are keeping a healthy diet due to “low fat options” or not eating sweets and chocolates, this does leave the whole of the rest of our diet almost up to chance. If we imagine our body as a machine, food is our fuel. You should enjoy your food but also have a knowledge and understanding of why you are eating what your eating.
“You are what you eat” is something you’ve undoubtedly heard before, and internet meme’s have elaborated on this and i really liked one in particular, “you are what you eat so dont be fast, easy, cheap or fake”. This is easier said than done in todays world of convenience food and even with the best of intentions you can often find yourself with very little options for food when eating on the go.
All this comes down to priorities, and its easy to undervalue the importance of food types and quality when you don’t have all the relevant information to hand. Below I have very simply broken things down.
The building blocks
The 3 big boys, protein, carbohydrate and fats. Of course there are other important food classifications such as fibre and subsects of these 3 main groups but for the purpose of this blog lets keep it to just the 3 “macros”.
Protein- Energy, Growth, Repair
Hailed as the “bringer of gains” to all in the strength and conditioning world. Essential for those engaging in strength training and looking to increase muscle tone/size.
Fats- Energy, Hormone production, promotes cell health
Fat is the victim of the biggest crime in the nutrition world, sharing the same name as the loose stuff that sits around the waste.However all recent research has shown no correlation between high fat diets and a higher bodyfat percentage and fat is essential in our diet.
Carbohydrate- Energy, eliciting insulin response (be it advantageous of maladaptive)
These guys are the rocket fuel of the nutrition world and should be used treated as such, as noted above you can get energy from protein and fats, in my opinion carbohydrate should be used to support exercise and not as a primary source of calories. One note here is you should try to avoid ‘sugary’ carbs with no nutritional value. This could be the subject of a whole other blog so I won’t go into that now!
To quote CrossFit HQ “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.” This is a simple rule of thumb that is true for all looking for a healthy lifestyle, it can be adapted to aid higher level of performance or for those with dietary related health issues. Sometimes nutrition really is overthought and made too complicated, I like the above, simple statement from CFHQ.
If you have any questions please do contact us!