To Your Health
March, 2011 (Vol. 05, Issue 03)
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Nutrient-Dense Food and Health: The Beauty of Balance

"Superfoods" aside, no food is perfect from a nutrition standpoint. To get the vitamins, minerals and nutrients we need every day, we have to eat foods that contain those things every day.

But we have to watch our total calories - eating more than we need will lead to weight gain. Imbalanced nutrition (in either direction) causes your body to work harder. Eating a diet that's devoid of vitamins and minerals makes your body prioritize its activity - for example, without enough calcium, your body will take it from your bones to make sure your muscles have enough. Conversely, eating more than your body needs means extra energy goes toward processing nutrients, storing them and dealing with the long-term effects of extra weight (joint pain and inflammatory chemical changes, for example). The key is to get the right amounts of macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in the right balance so your body can function effectively and efficiently.

Better Balance = Better Nutrition

As the pie charts on the previous page and the table below illustrate, choosing to eat a slice of whole-wheat bread with cheddar cheese and tomato for breakfast instead of a cinnamon-raisin bagel with butter is an infinitely more balanced option.

better balance table - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark