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Nutrition E-Book

expend less energy while

expend less energy while digesting it), causes it to lose micronutritional value, or adds a significant number of calories, it can potentially interfere with body composition goals. Because of how many types of food processing there are, and the wide range of effects in can have on the food, it is better to look at the parameters that are relevant to changing body composition and improving health. That is to say that food being processed does not automatically make it “bad,” so you have to pay attention to the aspects of the foods that are relevant instead. Thus, I don’t recommend you pay very much attention to whether or not food has been processed, as virtually all foods have gone through some kind of processing. In fact, as the term tends to be used colloquially, there is not a clearly established guideline for what is considered to be processed and what isn’t. The important thing is to look at the characteristics of the food that have already been mentioned, which doesn’t require you know whether or not the food has been processed. Is _______ food good or bad for me? This is a really complicated question to tackle, but I often hear people suggest that a particular food is good or bad for someone. Almost no food is inherently good or bad for you, aside from foods that cause issues with particular health issues, allergies, or medications. Most of the time, a food is considered bad if it is very calorie dense or has low nutrient density. Although this is not a terrible lens with which to view appropriate foods for consumption, it is a tad myopic. As long as you meet your daily needs for energy, macronutrients, and micronutrients, any food can fit in the context of your daily eating. With that said, the greater your energy expenditure for the day, the more leeway you have in this regard. If you are small, sedentary, and thus your maintenance calorie intake is very low, then you have to meet your daily need for micronutrients in a smaller number of consumed foods. As a result, you have to pay more attention to eating nutrient dense foods that are not very calorie dense. If, however, you have a higher daily calorie demand, Property of Perform for Life 5

sometimes you simply need “empty” calories. Thus, when you’re evaluating whether a food is good or bad, consider your own personal needs in this regard. Why are vitamins and minerals important? Again, this is a question would take a long time to answer completely. Because there are a lot of vitamins and minerals, and each can impact multiple bodily processes, the list of things affected by these micronutrients is very long. Suffice to say, micronutrients have an extremely wide range of important functions in the body. A few examples are proper bone formation, regulating normal function of energy production, and conduction of electrical impulses. A deficiency of micronutrients can lead to a wide range of symptoms ranging from relatively minor, such as feeling a bit more lethargic, to extreme, such as death. As an additional note, most of the time there is very little value in exceeding the minimum requirement of micronutrient consumption to avoid a disease state. That is, mega-dosing on vitamins and minerals is not going to assist with fat loss or muscle gains. There is some evidence to support this practice for specific micronutrients, but the body of evidence is questionable at best. Thus, the best recommendation is to meet the minimum needs to avoid a disease state, which has to be referenced on an individual micronutrient basis. How much water should I drink? The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently suggested the following: 3.7l of fluid for men and 2.7l of fluid for women. When factoring in other beverages and water ingested from food, it ends up being about 3l of water for men and 2l of water for women. There are numerous variables that can increase or decrease these requirements. The following can influence fluid needs of a person: Property of Perform for Life 6

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