The truth is, there is no perfect diet.
The miraculous body
In the search for what works best for a healthy and fit life, we have to deal with the fact that every body functions differently. We are impressed by the diversity of the human body and all its processes. And how genetics and environment play a role. We would have liked to offer a ready-made package. But doing so would do us a disservice to human diversity and authenticity.
The changing nutritional science and the media
Nutritional science is relatively new and you read almost daily about new research results, in which the media plays a confusing role. They show you what you can eat again or what you can’t eat anymore. The results sometimes contradict themselves and that is quite confusing. Moreover, the studies are not easy to read. The current guidelines were created based on what is now known. New insights into the future may give rise to a revision of the guidelines.
The perfect diet does not exist
People around the world have been able to feed and keep themselves healthy for centuries with whatever is present in the environment.
The truth is, there is no perfect diet. People around the world have been able to feed and keep themselves healthy for centuries with whatever is present in the environment. Whether that’s low-fat or high-fat, low-carb or high-carb, a Mediterranean style, lots of protein, lots of tropical fruit or little fruit. A lot of dairy or just a little. There are several ways to keep yourself alive with good, nutritious food.
You don’t have to look at the differences between all those dietary patterns. They also have certain things in common. We know that it is indeed beneficial to include certain foods in your diet. We help you find a balance here. Your optimal health consists of the following aspects: general dietary guidelines + personal discernment + personal preferences + personal needs = your optimal health.
We also call this an authentic diet. It’s personal. Where your preferences in taste, foods and the way of eating touch the general dietary guidelines. It’s about you, what you like and how you want to organize your eating pattern. Fortunately, healthy eating can look in many ways, so that you too can follow your own diet.
The benefits of a nutritious diet
Food is the way to provide your body with energy and nutrients. Healthy food contributes to your energetic and healthy body. It allows your body to do what it needs to do. Even if you don’t know about all the complex processes inside you, with the right nutrients your body can perform them all.
With a balanced diet you have a better chance of:
• a healthy heart, including healthy heart and blood vessels;
• a stable blood sugar level;
• a healthy cholesterol level;
• healthy blood pressure;
• a healthy weight;
• strong teeth and bones;
• a better mood and more energy;
• a better memory;
• healthy intestinal flora;
• a good night’s rest;
• an active life.
Food is the way to pamper your body with rest, pleasure, energy and nutrients. Every meal moment you have a new chance. We now explain the different benefits of nutrients so that you can see how these nutrients help your body in their own unique way. With the complete list of how nutrients work in the body, you could write a whole book. You don’t need to know all that, but it’s nice to see that each nutrient plays its own role in your health. This is a short view to give you an idea so you can start eating intuitively.
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for your body, especially during exercise and sports, and for your brain. This is the easiest energy source, which is the most usable. That is why top athletes eat a lot of carbohydrates before their competitions. Carbohydrates are mainly found in grain products, potatoes, fruits and vegetables. They are also found in legumes, nuts, kernels, seeds and milk products.
Fats are also an important source of energy for your body. Fat can be stored so your body can use it while you sleep, at rest, or during prolonged, light activities, such as walking and gardening. Fat is used for many body processes and helps with satiety after a meal. Fat contains a number of vitamins that can only be found in high-fat products, the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K). Fat can be found in oil and butter.
Proteins are the building blocks of your body. They play a major role in building new cells, maintaining the structure and strength of your bones, repairing damaged structures and helping to regulate your metabolism. Proteins can be found in animal products such as meat, fish, chicken, dairy and egg. In addition, in small amounts in legumes, nuts, kernels and seeds.
Vitamins do not provide energy. They are necessary to release the energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins. They are small substances that help your body with countless, complex processes. They help build and keep your bones, blood, muscles and immune system healthy.
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Minerals, like vitamins, help in many processes to keep your body healthy. They help with fluid regulation, energy expenditure, healthy bones and blood, and they help to excrete harmful substances.
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Fiber is actually carbohydrates, but it leaves your body unaffected. Fiber aids healthy digestion and a healthy gut.
Water is essential for your body. Adequate fluids support healthy fluid regulation and the regulation of body temperature, muscle and nerve contractions, transport of nutrients and excretion of toxins.
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Take care of your unique body
Each nutrient has its own function. The substances work together with your body, in harmony, to keep you healthy and fit. The body itself regulates that the food is digested, that the nutrients are extracted and that the surplus is removed. All you have to do is take care of your unique body.
The food you take in brings energy and nutrients to your body. Your metabolism is basically all the chemical and physical processes in your body where molecules are broken down or built up. The purpose of your metabolism is to keep you healthy. For example, this is the process where the nutrients reach the place where they are needed within your body, in the cells. Every process in your body costs energy or releases energy. It takes energy to grow cells, multiply, restore the functions the cells have to perform. When the metabolism functions well on a cellular level, your body does too.
Exercise: Think consciously about your diet
How can you start with intuitive eating? If you want to move more towards healthier choices, you can use the guidelines to see which adjustments you can make that suit your personal taste and preferences. You can also take your ethical wishes into account, such as organic food, plant-based food, vegetarian food and taking the environment into account. Any allergies and intolerances are also part of your final decisions about your diet. All these factors together form your personal, authentic eating pattern.