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You have realized the importance of eating in an ecological and healthy way. You decided to take the step and now you choose your foods carefully and you have even learned a lot about nutrition. Still, sometimes it is not easy; The pace of life and the society in which we live does not help you... You may feel that there are things that you have not been told. What seems healthy today may not be so healthy tomorrow, and maintaining a healthy diet in a sustainable way is sometimes hard work...
Sounds familiar right? It's okay, it's normal when you decide to take care of yourself. I will also tell you that we have all gone through that phase. A phase in which it is difficult for us to find foods that both provide us with the necessary nutrients and respect the environment.
The why? Well, simply because you do not choose the foods that make your life easier, and because you make any of the 7 mistakes that I am going to tell you about below... The real problem is not finding yourself in this phase, but how long you plan to continue in it. she…
LET US HELP YOU GET OUT OF THERE...
UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF CHOOSING YOUR FOOD WELL
Sometimes we have to do the exercise of remembering the basis of everything , to choose correctly. And our body has very well-defined nutritional needs: energy, nutrients and minerals to carry out all its functions. All of this is provided by foods, which have macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fats), vitamins and minerals.
Macronutrients provide different amounts of energy:
- Protein : 4 Kcal/g
- Carbohydrates : 4Kcal/g
- Fats :9Kcal/g
But how much energy, vitamins, minerals and each macronutrient do we need? It is impossible to make a recommendation for the entire population. These needs vary according to age, sex, physical activity and objectives to be achieved (gain or lose weight, gain muscle mass, go to the bathroom better, etc.).
Here are the recommended daily intakes for the Spanish population, with moderate activity.
They do not appear in the table, but FATS in a normal diet should account for around 30% of the total calories, the rest of the energy should be provided by carbohydrates. Ideally, this 30% should be balanced between saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats , 10% of each type.
Among the polyunsaturated fatty acids , omega 3 and omega 6 are especially important since the body cannot synthesize them.
Foods tend to be richer in some macronutrients than others:
- Cereals, legumes and fruits are richer in carbohydrates.
- Meats, fish and eggs contain more protein.
- Nuts and avocado are high-fat foods.
This does not mean that cereals do not have protein or fat, or that nuts do not have any protein; only, it is not its main macronutrient.
It is about the foods that you incorporate into your diet, providing you with those calories, maintaining the balance between proteins, fats and carbohydrates , and also providing the requirements of vitamins and minerals that our body needs.
For example, if you consume 100g of rice you will have the following macronutrients, vitamins and minerals:
MOST PEOPLE CHOOSE THEIR FOOD BADLY. AND YOU?
Their choices do not cover the requirements of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. They abuse foods that cause more problems than benefits, and do not take into account that modern society creates new challenges for the body that need to be controlled.
And how can you choose foods well? Avoiding, in the first place, making these seven mistakes when trying to eat an organic and healthy diet.
7 SINS WHEN TRYING TO IMPROVE YOUR DIET
FIRST: Not choosing protein sources well
A woman over 18 years of age has minimum protein needs of 41-43g/day. This amount increases during pregnancy, breastfeeding and if you do sports.
Proteins are made up of amino acids, there are 22 in total. 9 are essential and cannot be manufactured by the body from other amino acids and carbohydrates. For this reason, it was always mistakenly believed that quality protein was only that of animal origin, which had the nine essential proteins in sufficient quantities.
Generally, plant foods do not have all the essential amino acids, or they have some of them in very small quantities. The truth is that you can get quality protein by combining plant sources. If a plant source does not have all the essential amino acids, or some in small quantities, it is complemented with another that has the missing ones.
But there is something that few people know.
THERE ARE PLANT FOODS WHOSE PROTEIN IS COMPLETE
This is the case of chia seeds, chickpeas, goji berries and spirulina . In addition, they provide other very interesting nutrients and minerals. Complete protein and many other nutrients...sounds good right?
Vegetable protein does not have a special property, as if its amino acids were different nutrients. What does happen is that by choosing vegetable protein, you are more likely to be consuming healthier foods (satiating, with fiber...). Let's say you have other guaranteed guarantees...
If you do a lot of sports, and have a high protein intake, it is also recommended that you consume only vegetable protein several days a week (even if you are not vegan or vegetarian). Yes, you heard right. It is something that the prestigious doctor Antonio Hernández always recommends, and we agree with him.
SECOND: NOT CONSUME ENOUGH QUALITY FAT
Yes. This this is like that. You have to eat fat. You should NEVER lower your fat consumption below 30 g per day. The normal thing is to consume between 15-30% of the total calories in the form of fat.
If you haven't done them, banish the idea that fats are bad...including saturated fats.
It is a myth that comes from a study by Ancel Keys, where he showed that the greater the consumption of saturated fat, the greater the death from cardiovascular disease.
The weakness of this study? It only showed 7 countries out of the 22 for which it had data. Otherwise, the graph would have been very different and saturated fats would not have been demonized. It's that simple. In the right image you can see the conclusions of Ancel Keys' study and in the left image the reality.
As you can see, in populations like the Masai and the Inuit, where the consumption of saturated fats was very high, cardiovascular disease hardly exists.
Think about it. Your cholesterol will not increase by consuming natural foods (in fact 70% of our cholesterol is produced by the liver). What will cause your cholesterol to rise is consuming processed foods. This is what you should avoid.
ENJOY COCONUT AND CHOCOLATE WITH PEACE OF MIND
Within unsaturated fats there are two very important ones. These are Omega 3 and Omega 6. The body cannot synthesize them on its own, so we must ingest them through the diet. Well, did you know that one of the most serious problems in today's diet is the imbalance between Omega 3 and Omega 6?
Our body expects a balance of 1:1 or 1:2 and current diets have a balance of 1:15 or even 1:30.
This causes inflammation in the body and is responsible for many degenerative, autoimmune diseases and cancer. Good advice is to limit as much as possible the consumption of sunflower, soy and corn vegetable oils, rich in Omega 6.
WHERE CAN YOU GET OMEGA 3?
You can get it from oily fish and plant sources such as walnuts, chia seeds and hemp seeds.
A teaspoon of chia seeds provides you by far with your daily needs for Omega 3. Hemp seeds have 17 Gr of Omega 3 per 100 Gr and also all the essential amino acids in large quantities. A perfect combination: lots of Omega 3 and complete vegetable protein.
Organically grown hemp seeds - Baïa Food Co.
Before we talked about the need to limit the consumption of animal protein. It is a reason to prioritize Omega 3 from plant sources , but also, fatty fish like salmon are not as healthy as they seem.
Most of the salmon we consume is not wild but from fish farms. At the expense of Omega 3's fame, we take in undesirable amounts of pesticides such as toxaphene, dieldrin, as well as dioxins and PCBs.
To top it all off, the orange color of farmed salmon comes from a dye, Carophyll, that is applied to salmon food. This image is the Salmofan Scale; It serves farm producers to verify the effectiveness of this dye that is applied to salmon and trout.
Salmofan scale for salmon and trout producers
Otherwise the Salmon would be gray. Would you eat it? Me neither...Very sad yes, but calm down. We have other options left: sardines, anchovies, bluefin tuna. Or not?
If we are concerned about the environment, we must take into account the scientific criterion of not fishing more sardines in 2018 to save the species . Something similar happens with anchovies.
As for bluefin tuna, it is one of the fish with the highest amount of mercury, as you can see in these FDA recommendations.
I don't know about you but I increasingly like the option of chia and hemp seeds.
THIRD: DO NOT PRIORITIZE QUALITY CARBOHYDRATES
Avoid refined carbohydrates (white bread, white wheat flour, sweets and cereals on TV).
They are foods that are digested quickly and trigger our sugar levels. Our pancreas secretes a lot of insulin, to avoid having high blood sugar, and hypoglycemia occurs, making us hungry... And we snack again, repeating the process...
You should consume whole grain versions instead and, above all, prioritize the consumption of vegetables and fruits . If you find it difficult, a great recommendation is to opt for healthy fruit and vegetable smoothies.
You can also add chia seeds, hemp... You will be taking vegetable protein and Omega 3 fats at the same time.
Example of a healthy smoothie with a large amount of nutrients.
It seems that taking care of yourself is not that difficult, and it is appealing.
FOURTH: NOT TAKING ENOUGH NUTRIENTS
Scientists confirm it: the fruits and vegetables we eat have lost almost all of their nutrients due to the hybridization of species, soil depletion, pollution and many other environmental factors.
In March 2006, the UN recognized a new type of malnutrition related to the quality of food , and not its availability. It began to be detected that some vegetables did not contain the micronutrients of yesteryear, or that they contained very few and much less. In other words: we could be producing food that does not feed us. Healthy, they satisfy hunger, but with very little nutritional value.
In this table you can see the alarming loss of some nutrients in some vegetables and fruits.
It seems obvious that you have to eat more vegetables and fruits to obtain the same nutrients as before. But who is capable of multiplying by two or three what our grandparents ate?
THE SOLUTION IS TO ADD FOODS THAT ARE EXTREMELY NUTRITIONALLY DENSE.
You can see that apples do not have as much vitamin C as before, but there are new foods, with a large amount of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and even antioxidants.
This is the case of the pulp of the African Baobab fruit, which has up to 6 times more vitamin C than an orange. It also provides vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and iron, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
Pure cocoa is one of the foods that has the most magnesium and comes from areas where the soil is still fertile. Consuming it helps fight against the deficiency of this mineral in vegetables such as broccoli. If you are a woman, take 15g of pure cocoa, you will already have 25% of the recommended daily intake.
Spirulina algae is high in magnesium (taking only 5 g you get almost 10 mg) and many other nutrients. There is a reason why the UN considers it a key food to fight against malnutrition.
Matcha tea has 136 times more antioxidants than a regular cup of tea and more beta-carotene than carrots.
If you want a quality matcha tea that maintains all its properties, you must make sure that it is originally from Japan and that it is an intense green color.
|Click here and learn how to make nutrient-rich smoothies|
FIFTH: NOT UNDERSTANDING THE TERM ECOLOGICAL
The ECO seal does not offer all the benefits for which most people choose it
a) Most people, when choosing organic foods, are making a commitment to health , but they are unaware that organic is not synonymous with healthy.
The reality is that a pizza base with spelled flour (not whole wheat), sugar, and sunflower oil can have the “ECO” seal. Refined flour, along with added sugar, causes your blood sugar to skyrocket ( remember point THIRD) and refined sunflower oil increases your amount of Omega 6 with respect to Omega 3, and we already mentioned that it is not something desirable at all (point SECOND).
The seal does not guarantee that the food has more nutrients - another reason to look for nutritionally dense foods (point FOUR) - nor that it has a better flavor, something the latter that in the case of vegetables is related to picking them at the moment appropriate.
You can avoid these inconveniences if the vegetable or fruit is packaged at the time of collection. This way it is not necessary to pick it green so that it arrives in good condition at the point of sale and thus it does not lose nutrients during transport.
b) Nor does it ensure a lower environmental impact . A fruit or vegetable that has traveled thousands of kilometers (with the pollution associated with its transportation, can still have the "ECO" seal).
c) It does not guarantee a higher concentration of nutrients. (another argument in favor of the FOURTH point to eat nutritionally dense foods) nor a better flavor, fruits or vegetables are allowed to be picked green and ripened in chambers.
HOW CAN YOU AVOID THESE INCONVENIENCES?
First of all, I have to tell you that it is advisable to choose the ECO seal , it offers many other benefits such as not using elements that are not of natural origin in production or cultivation (no pesticides, fertilizers or chemicals of any kind are used, nor transgenic species).
But also follow these two tips :
- Choose the ECO seal on a food or raw material : Choose the fruit, vegetable or food without anything added, what nature offers, as is. It's betting on the safe side.
- Choose local products : Here there are some exceptions , there are products such as cocoa or açaí , which are not produced in Spain. If we want to enjoy its great benefits, we have to bring them from outside.
Many times it is preferable to choose a frozen vegetable or fruit than its fresh counterpart that has taken 2 weeks (being optimistic) to reach its destination.
There are other newer techniques such as freeze-drying that allows the product to be dehydrated cold, preserving all its nutritional properties, as well as taste and flavor. It is an excellent option for foreign products.
Local cultivation of açaí in the Brazilian Amazon. These berries are collected from these palm trees known as açaizeiros and are subsequently freeze-dried to preserve up to 98% of their nutrients.
SIXTH: DO NOT BET ON SMALL PRODUCERS AND QUALITY
The reality is that a few companies control an increasing percentage of the food trade . 250 companies control 1/3 of global retail trade and 58% of them, and 8 of the top 10, sell food.
Very strict conditions are required from producers. Monocultures are encouraged, agriculture becomes more polluting and dependent on more energy, and small producers cannot sell their products.
The reason? Restriction on the seeds they must use, biotechnology and multinationals that demand buying at outrageous prices.
Traditional peasant knowledge is lost, and the peasantry has to migrate to the cities, creating belts of poverty.
Harvesting the cocoa fruit in Peru.
But well, you'll think...in the end it's cheaper, right? I don't blame you, the price is an undoubtedly important variable, and it directly affects your wallet, but do you really think you are buying the product with the same quality?
NO. WHEN ONLY PRICE MATTERS, THE ONLY OR EASIEST SOLUTION IS TO OFFER LESS QUALITY.
Less properties and lower purity are some of the consequences. Nobody gives the same for less. We decided to buy the product for its benefits and pay for not getting them or having a reduced version. Really, it's not worth it.
Investing less in our diet, which is the most determining factor in our health, does not seem like a good decision. When you see a product or brand in large stores you should know that they have pushed the purchase price to the producers to the maximum, and that quality is not their priority.
Buy brands that support small producers and whose number 1 objective is to offer quality.
Maca root from the Andes (source )
SEVENTH: NOT TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE MODERN LIFESTYLE
Our body is not subject to the same “challenges” as that of our grandparents, or even that of our parents. There are two factors that can greatly affect our health:
Stress : Our body evolved to secrete a hormone in times of stress: cortisol . It increases heart rate, helps release energy, produces vasoconstriction. Extremely useful for the physical stressors to which primitive man was subjected. If a predator wanted to eat you or you had to fight someone to survive, this body response was of great help.
The problem is that our body reacts in the same way today, but the stressors are very different. It seems unlikely that today a lion would want to eat you but we have changed these stress peaks for chronic stress (worries at work, personal concerns, rush, etc.). We do not give our body a break, we are never completely relaxed.
Our body is not prepared to always be half alert and this chronic stress is what is behind multiple pathologies: depression, obesity, anxiety attacks and even Alzheimer's.
Pollution : In the middle of the 20th century it began to be a truly worrying problem. But today, danger does not only lurk in the smoke from cars or factories.
It is directly in what we eat and drink: lead (in pipes made of this metal), cadmium (in crustaceans, mollusks, dietary food...), arsenic (in rice and bread...) and mercury (in fish... .).
They are some of the heavy metals that our body ends up accumulating and that cause serious disorders and diseases.
Once again, Nature has a solution in this regard. There are foods that help us adapt to those moments of stress, helping us regulate our hormonal system.
This is the case of Andean maca , which also has many other benefits, including increasing libido and improving fertility in men and women. It helps us combat stress and is an aphrodisiac. The combination doesn't sound bad.
For its part, açaí is the food that has the most antioxidant power according to the ORAC scale, making it exceptional for fighting the adverse effects of free radicals.
For heavy metals there is also a natural solution, the food of the millennium declared by the UN: spirulina . Its high chlorophyll content makes it an effective remedy for eliminating heavy metals, but it also has an amazing nutritional density as we talked about in point FOUR.
By adding 3-5 g of quality spirulina to any smoothie or shake you can enjoy all its benefits.
You have already seen that there are a series of foods that are especially good for maintaining health with a large amount of nutrients, antioxidants, complete protein, fiber and even the ability to control stress and eliminate heavy metals.
Chia, açaí, matcha tea, goji berries, pure cocoa, baobab, spirulina, maca and coconut are some of the best known.
More and more people consume them, and nutritionists and up-to-date doctors recommend them to their patients. As you can see in a study by the consulting firm Nielsen (a leader in preparing consumer studies), Spaniards have increased their consumption of some superfoods by 1000%!
And it will continue to increase, because the majority, 52%, do not know them...yet.
You already know what they are: foods with high nutritional density and unique properties to preserve health.
That dismissal! We almost forgot!
Of course, you are invited to take a stroll through our website and "snoop" the different organic foods that we have and that help solve many of the problems that we have talked about in this post.
Enjoy the ride!