Good or Bad?

I get a lot of questions usually centering around concerns such as, is this a good food?, or is this a bad food? I love the questions, but unfortunately it is a bit more complex than just good or bad, it is about balance.  My favorite response is; if you eat too many carrots you can turn orange, and carrots are usually considered a good (healthy) food.  What is balance in regards to nutrition? What does your body actually need?

  • Your body needs the right balance of nutrition in order to function properly, and the majority come from the right source
    • You need Carbohydrates
      • Carbohydrates break down and turn into blood sugar. It is the gas that runs your body, and your brains preferred form of energy.
      • An example of a good source of carbohydrates would be fruit, whole grain foods, starchy vegetables like peas, and corn. Less than ideal sources would be things like doughnuts ,candy bars, and white breads
    • You need Protein
      • Your body uses protein for a variety of reasons, but mostly it is using it to build, repair muscle skin and every cell in the body.
      • Good sources would be eggs, low fat cheese (mozzarella made with skim) and baked chicken breast, Lean Venison sticks. Less than ideal sources would be fatty meat like sausage sticks (such as slim jims), hot dogs, bratwurst, bologna.
    • You need a little fat
      • You need a little fat to help keep your skin healthy and help transport some vitamins, but fat also has more calories per bite than any other nutrient so just a little. Humans also crave fat so be careful when eating those nuts, it is really easy to consume more then you need! For instance 6 almonds are considered one serving of fat.
      • Good source of fat would be a handful of nuts, 1 Tbsp of peanut butter. Less than ideal sources for example would be butter, cream cheese or sour cream.
    • You need vitamins and minerals
      • Vitamins and minerals are essential to all of our body’s metabolic processes and structure that means we couldn’t function without them. For instance your bones are made out of calcium and phosphorus, and where would you be without your bones?
      • Vitamins and minerals come from a variety of sources, but the source that the majority of American’s lacks in their diets are from fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are packed full of vitamins, as well as phytochemicals which have been found to be cancer preventative. Fruits and vegetables also contain a ton of antioxidants and will help keep you from getting sick. Less than ideal sources would be fruit juices, and canned vegetables. However I do want to add that fruit juice, and canned vegetables still can be a better choice than getting no fruit or vegetables in your diet at all.