In this day and age, we all know the importance of nutrition. Getting the vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats that we need daily are a crucial component of fighting chronic diseases, improving mental health, increasing energy levels, and feeling better. This being said, it can be hard to know how to get started, especially if you have a lifetime of bad eating habits to overcome. The following will break down the different things you need to keep in mind to make sure that you’re getting everything you need daily.
Learn How To Learn About Nutrition
First things first, the world is stuffed full of conflicting nutritional advice. It can be hard to parse through everything that is available and come to a strong conclusion. To make matters worse, studies have repeatedly shown that false information spreads far more quickly than true information. When it comes to reading articles online (yes, even like this one), you need to do your follow up research. Take a look at the links and studies cited to see if the information is valid or not.
When it comes to studies, your work isn’t necessarily straightforward, either. Not all scientific studies are created equal when it comes to food research. Make sure to take a look at the date the study was published (more recent can often mean more accurate) and whether or not the study was peer-reviewed.
You might also want to look into some of the studies they cite with their research and pay special attention to the description of how the study was conducted. Far too many academic studies are conducted on small groups of university students, meaning they might not accurately represent the truth for all people, especially given how much we are learning about epigenetics.
Beyond this, it’s important to note what food the studies did their tests on and research them. For example, many studies cite the importance of omega fatty acids for brain health, mood, and weight. Because fish are a good source of omega fatty acids, many articles will then say to you: eat more fish because it’s healthy. Take a moment to research the toxic levels of mercury in the average fish you buy at the supermarket, and suddenly it might seem like flaxseed is a better source of omegas than fish. You need to be learning about the whole food, not just one of the nutritional elements within it.
Learn How To Read Nutrition Labels
Step two in your research process is learning how to read the information on nutrition labels. Labels and packaging are designed to trick you into thinking that food is healthier than it is because companies have realized that “health” sells. Look into some of the logos that are designed to look like stamps of approval (for example, “dolphin-friendly” labels on seafood). You might find out that there are no actual rules or guidelines enforced by any agency regarding that label. It means nothing.
Find A Way To Keep Track Of Things
As you begin your nutrition journey, it’s going to be difficult to keep track of everything that you need. Experts at https://spartan-apps.com/ recommend using some sort of digital app or note-taking system on your phone, so you can keep track of longer periods. Food journals work, as well. Once you’ve gotten the hang of what you need to be eating daily, you’ll find you don’t need to rely on it quite so much.
Not All Foods Are Created Equal
The third form of research you’re going to need to do is to examine how the food you have access to is processed. Things like added antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides are often added to conventional meat, dairy, and produce in spaces. Beyond this, there’s a lot to learn about genetically modified foods. Yes, GMO products have drastically reduced poverty worldwide, and so they deserve a nod of this.
This being said, if you have the option of eating non-GMO, your body will thank you as the estrogen-mimicking compounds within GMO foods have serious effects on the body. It’s easy to think you’re healthy because you’re eating a piece of fruit, but without proper research, you won’t know for sure.
The above tips will help get you started on your nutritional journey. As a side note, somewhere early on in this process, perhaps the end of your first month or beginning of the second month, feelings of frustration might arise towards yourself, society, your parents, or the nutrition information you were taught in school because so much of what we consider “normal” is horrifically unhealthy. Try to let go of this frustration as soon as you can. Remind yourself that back then, you didn’t know any better, neither did your parents. It’s no one’s fault that you ate sugary cereal every day for breakfast as a kid. But it is your fault if you don’t apply this information moving forward.