Thursday, 13 September 2012

Basic Nutrition

Though I haven't posted in a while, the majority of my posts are about training. But training isn't the most important thing, when it comes to being healthy and fit. Yes, training does have a major part in it, but I'd go as far to say that if your nutrition isn't good enough, you will see little to no results from training.
Nutrition is the most important thing, if you want to be healthy and fit.

Let us start with the basics, the 3 macro nutrients; Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats.

Carbohydrates (carbs) provides valuable energy to the muscles and brain-functioning. This is your basic energy source.
Along with the healthy carbs, such as whole-grain, fruits, and vegetables, follows other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibres.
You should strive to get around 50-60% of your daily food intake from carbs, but distribute it throughout the day, so you get a stable effect on your blood sugar.
Healthy sources of carbs are:

  • Bread - most of the wheat bread
  • Oatmeal, and other whole-grain products
  • Rice and pasta - in whole-grain variants preferably
  • Potatoes - preferably boiled and with peel
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits and juice
Though remember that there also are carbs in soft-drinks, candy, chocolate. These carbs should be very limited, especially if you want to lose weight.
You can read more about carbs and why they make you fat here

Proteins are really important, because they are the key-ingredients in your muscles, and are the building blocks used to build muscle mass. Protein deficiency drives the body to break down muscle-mass, and in the long run you'll get weaker.
Therefore, you should aim to get 15-20% of your daily food intake from proteins, and even make it a bit higher in periods with high physical demands.
Good sources for protein are in the animal products:

  • Meat, Chicken, Turkey, Lean beef and pork.
  • Fish, both fatty fish, such as mackerel, salmon, and herring, as well as lean fish, such as tuna and cod.
  • Dairy products like yoghurt and fat-free cheese.
Protein can also be found in nuts, seeds, and legumes, which can be good alternatives, if you don't have access to animal protein.

Fat is an important part of the food, when you're training. It contributes with the necessary fatty acids, your body needs - both as fuel, but also are also included in the building blocks of the body's cells.
Fat should constitute 25-30% of the total diet. Fat should never be less than 20% for longer periods, as it can degrade performance.

Good sources of fat are:

  • Plant-oils, such as olive- or rapeseed oil.
  • Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and herring.
  • Avocado and olives.
  • Nuts.
You should strive to limit the fat you get from meat, milk, cheese, and "fast food".

Stay tuned for more about nutrition and training..