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What are we eating?
Diets, juice cleanses, raw, vegan, sugar-free, intermittent fasting, it’s now so popular and normalized to drag our bodies to these different extremes.
What if instead of following ridiculous diets, we took the time to understand what we put in our bodies? Because all of us are unique, it makes sense that our needs are different. I strongly believe your body will tell you exactly what it needs if you listen to it.
By understanding what we eat and the reasons why we should eat it, it becomes easier to make enlightened and healthy choices.
Vitamin B12 is probably one of the most underrated of all vitamins, although it’s not a very popular one. When I was 11 years old, I decided to stop eating meat and I got to a point where I was very tired all the time. I would sleep 10-11 hours every day and wake up with a foggy brain. My parents thought I wasn’t getting enough protein and iron in my diet, so I started eating food with lots of protein, but I didn’t get any results. As it turns out, my blood showed low levels of B12. My doctor then explained how B12 helps you absorb and process the vitamins, minerals, and proteins you eat.
To give you a guide, a cup of enriched oat milk contains half your daily required dose and 200g of salmon provides a whole daily dose.
When I think about sodium I immediately think about salt, but did you know it’s 40% sodium and 60% chloride? Anyways, what we care about is sodium. There’s a very fine line between what is considered too much and not enough. We need sodium because it’s an important mineral for our nervous system and muscles. It’s present in many sports drinks but in these cases, it’s marketed as an electrolyte. Yes, not having enough electrolytes can cause cramping and can lead to dehydration. If that’s what you’re concerned about, try food rich in electrolytes such as bananas, coconut water and avocados. Keep in mind that sodium is not a mineral you need to add to your diet, it already chases you. Eating too much can be the difference between a healthy and unhealthy heart when we’re older. For now, you can tell if you’ve been eating too much sodium when your face is puffy in the morning!
First, why is sugar so bad for us? How come something so sweet can be so bad? The answer is simple. It triggers inflammation throughout the body. But who cares about inflammation, right? Actually… The inflammation takes different forms, for example, acne is inflammation. An injury like a broken ankle or a cut is inflammation, being bloated is also a sign of inflammation. It takes various forms, so here are some signs you have inflammation. If you feel pain, if you notice redness, swelling or heat, and/or have a loss of functions in your body, it might mean that you have inflammation. Eating too much sugar will only increase those symptoms. Also, know that all sugars are metabolized the same way, meaning that honey or maple syrup is still considered sugar. Lastly, it might come as a shock, but juice is also metabolized the same way as sugar. Even if it’s a freshly pressed juice with no sugar added, your body will process the sugar coming from the fruit, even if it is natural, the same way it would process it if it was pure white sugar added into the juice. You will still benefit from the vitamins and the minerals in the fruit when juicing. When eating a fruit whole, the fibers present will force your organs to take more time to digest it. With a juiced fruit, the body will receive an important amount of sugar all at once, leading to a blood sugar spike! That being said, keep in mind women shouldn’t be eating more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day.
If you’re like me, you hate brown bread and multigrain options. I never understood the reasons why people would get dry brown bread instead of fluffy white bread. Now I’m happy I know the importance of fibers. To make it simple, fibers play a big part in bowel movements and the extraction of your digestive waste. We use the bathroom to get rid of the things our body did not need from the food. It’s waste and toxins ready to take out. When you have a bad digestion and bowel movement, you’re stuck with those toxins and waste in your body. Just like when you cook, you will throw away the waste in the garbage. If you left all the waste on the counter for days, your kitchen would be dirty and even at some point, rotten. Professionals agree we should eat between 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day. To give you a general idea, one cup of raspberries contains 8 grams, and ¼ cup of steel-cut oats has 4 grams.
At the end of the day, we only live once, and I think following a strict and boring diet is not the way to live. It is simply important to be mindful of what we eat and the reasons why we eat it. Understanding “how my diet impacts my health” allows me to make healthier choices.
My philosophy is to eat healthy food first, then if I still feel like it, I will eat salty and sugary food. But in the end, it’s all about finding your own balance!
Disclaimer: The content of this article is for educational and entertainment purposes and is not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Added Sugar in the Diet. (2019, 2 janvier). The Nutrition Source. Consulté le 27 janvier 2022, à l’adresse https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/added-sugar-in-the-diet/
Fiber. (2019, 28 octobre). The Nutrition Source. Consulté le 24 janvier 2022, à l’adresse https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/
Harvard Health. (2020, août 31). Listing of vitamins. Consulté le 28 janvier 2022, à l’adresse https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/listing_of_vitamins
Salt and Sodium. (2021, 19 novembre). The Nutrition Source. Consulté le 28 janvier 2022, à l’adresse https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/