Meals and Foods

This section contains advice on what is best to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as healthy drinking and snacking. A number of different types of foods will be looked at and their value to health and fitness explored.

Meals

Generally speaking the old adage to breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper hold good. This matches most peoples needs for calories throughout the day and is normally the most effective way of keeping appetite under control. Exceptions occur when we are going to exercise, use our brain alot, or encounter other forms of stress. In these cases changes in meal size or strategically placed snacks can ensure we keep our body in tip top condition for the demands we are about to place on it. Typically a bit more is eaten in advance and then more food afterwards to replenish stores if we have gone into an energy deficit. This is of especial relevance to those exercising intensively for extended periods of time.

Foods

Foods can be categorised in many ways. One of the most obvious is to talk about healthy foods and unhealthy foods. While peoples individual needs vary greatly it is fairly safe to say that junk food is unhealthy and fruits and vegetables are healthy. Equally eating sugary foods in excess of immediate calorific needs is unhealthy, while eating foods containing good quality proteins and fats is healthy. Examples of the latter include fish, liver, meat, olive oil and eggs.

A healthy meal is pictured to the left containing a good source of protein and fats, namely salmon. There are a variety of vegetables included in the dish which ensures that a good range of micronutrients will also be consumed. Bear in mind that a range of different colours in a dish is a good sign as many micronutrients are pigments that have different colours. For instance red, orange and yellow coloured vegetables often contain fat soluble carotenoids which are powerful antioxidants. By eating them with oily fish you are incresing your chances of absorbing them

An unhealthy meal is pictured to the right and this typically contains very little in the way of colour. Often being brown in appearance if you discount any packaging. The meal contains unhealthy fats in the form of damaged trans-fats as well as a number of additives that are often of dubious value to health. The sugary drink is a powerful stimulator of the hormone insulin which in excess deposits fat around our body. By eating alot of sugar in combination with some fats you are basically telling your body to store as much fat as possible. The sugars are likely to be converted to fats themselves unless you are exercising hard either soon before or soon afterwards.

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