Importance of Diet in Healthy Life

Diet is extremely useful in certain aspect of our life such as sports, modeling, and so on. But in the case of chess match, diet has no important role to play. There are no specific healthy diet foods that anyone can follow, dietary plans preparation depends on the suitability of an individual goal. For example, diet to prevent heart diseases, for weight loss, weight gain, for glowing skin, to maintain calorific value and so on. From this, we can understand that the healthy foods list diet of an individual depends upon the goal he wants to achieve.

Diet can be defined as the amount of food consumed by a person, which contains required amount of all nutritional values to maintain energy level. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the key elements in a healthy diet. These three significant ingredients provide vitamins, minerals and energy which help to prevent severe diseases such as heart attack, stroke and diabetes, prevent obesity and overweight. Usually, many of us give importance to the quality of taste in food instead of giving importance to nutritional values contained in the food. This is one of the healthy eating tips to maintain a good physical and mental fitness. It is a fact that we cannot fully avoid taste aspect of a food, but we should realize that all tasty foods are not healthy food. One easy way to prepare a rich nutritional diet is to make a list of common foods that you consume and find out the nutritional contents in that food. Then avoid those foods which are unhealthy and prepare a healthy diet according to that list.

Here is a small list of nutritional contents of fruits and vegetables and healthy foods to eat:

Spinach

Calories – 23 g
Fat – 0.4 g
Cholesterol – 0 mg
Sodium – 79 mg
Potassium – 558 mg
Carbohydrate – 3.6 g
Protein – 2.9 g

Carrot

Calories – 41 g
Fat – 0.2 g
Cholesterol – 0 mg
Sodium – 69 mg
Potassium – 320 mg
Carbohydrate – 10 g
Protein – 0.9 g

Cabbage

Calories – 25 g
Fat – 0.1 g
Cholesterol – 0 mg
Sodium – 18 mg
Potassium – 170 mg
Carbohydrate – 6 g
Protein – 1.3 g

Tomato

Calories – 18 g
Fat – 0.2 g
Cholesterol – 0 mg
Sodium – 5 mg
Potassium – 237 mg
Carbohydrate – 3.9 g
Protein – 0.9 g

Apple

Calories – 52 g
Fat – 0.2 g
Cholesterol – 0 mg
Sodium – 1 mg
Potassium – 107 mg
Carbohydrate – 14 g
Protein – 0.3 g

Orange

Calories – 47 g
Fat – 0.1 g
Cholesterol – 0 mg
Sodium – 0 mg
Potassium – 181 mg
Carbohydrate – 12 g
Protein – 0.9 g

Grapes

Calories – 67 g
Fat – 0.4 g
Cholesterol – 0 mg
Sodium – 2 mg
Potassium – 191 mg
Carbohydrate – 17 g
Protein – 0.6 g

Banana

Calories – 8 9
Fat – 0.3 g
Cholesterol – 0 mg
Sodium – 1 mg
Potassium – 358 mg
Carbohydrate – 23 g
Protein – 1.1 g

Nutrients can be categorized in two, macro nutrients and micro nutrients. Macronutrients can influence the growth, size, shape, metabolism and other body functions. There are three types of macronutrients

  • Protein
  • Carbohydrate
  • Fat

Protein

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. 20 different types of amino acids are combined together to make a protein. Proteins are large and compound biological molecules that have important affect on the functionality of our body. Protein constructs, sustain and recover the tissues in our body. Our muscles, organs and immune system are built up largely of protein. Chicken breast, tuna fish, cheese, pork loin, lean beef and veal, tofu, beans, eggs, yogurt, milk, soymilk, nuts and seeds are the foods rich in protein.

Carbohydrate

Carbohydrate is a complex biological molecule that provides the body with glucose, which is converted to energy required for bodily process and physical activities. Carbohydrate consists of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. The essential functions of carbohydrates are energy production, energy storage, building macromolecules, sparing proteins and lipid metabolism. Fructose and granulated sugar, drink powders, hard candies, and gummies, sugary cereals, dried fruits (Apples, Prunes, Dates), low fat crackers, rice cakes, and potato chips, flour, cakes, and cookies, jams and preserves, potatoes (Hash Browns and French Fries), sweet pickles, sauces, and salad dressings, and pizzas are the foods rich in carbohydrates.

Fat

Fat is also a key nutrient needed for our body growth and activity. Fat plays a major role in the correct development of brain and nervous system. The important functions of fats in the body are provide energy, forming structural materials of cells and tissues, carry fat soluble Vitamins A, D, E and K, and provide essential fatty acids.

There is not a certain healthy diet to everyone, a diet is prepared in accordance to suit the goals of an individual. Goals may be to prevent diseases, to reduce weight, to gain mass muscles, lean muscles and so on. The importance of diet cannot be avoided from our life, we should have to prepare a healthy diet and follow that diet to maintain healthy growth and metabolism.

Role Of Diet In Bodybuilding – The Most Important Factor

Gironda, a legendary bodybuilder once said that, :Bodybuilding is 80% nutrition!”

When a champion bodybuilder says something like that it should not be taken lightly. But, unfortunately diet & nutrition are the most overlooked aspects in gyms across India. Gym trainers are mostly looking to make profits by selling supplements to their clients. Believe it or not, neither your most expensive supplements nor the weights on your barbell are going to you any gains if your diet is not optimized according to your goals.

“Ahhh screw the diet I’ll work harder and make all kinds of gains.” Most of the people use this as an excuse when not wanting to give up their current diet. Well, I hate to tell you that all your intense effort and diligence to your workout won’t add even a pound to your muscles if you don’t focus on your diet.

How am I so sure, you ask?

I’ve made this mistake in the past and I want to spare you from making the same. So here, let me tell you my story.

I started weightlifting as a skinny guy. My aim was to build an aesthetic physique similar to that of a fitness model. I was very hardworking and loyal towards my training schedule, I never skipped a single day, but even after 1.5 years of training I wasn’t even close to my goal.

I became frustrated, wondering what went wrong. And then I realized that I hadn’t done anything the right way. I didn’t know what I was eating and more importantly HOW MUCH I was eating. My foundation about nutrition had not been laid at all. I started to clean up my diet and started to keep a track of my macro-nutrients. And only in a few months the results I saw were astonishing.

Further, by enhancing my knowledge of nutritional science I was finally able to own the physique I always dreamt of.

If you’re still reading, I’m sure you’ve realized that nutrition plays a very important role in achieving your fitness goals than you ever thought. So what makes diet and nutrition so pivotal? Why working out alone doesn’t help us grow muscles?

Because by only working out you’re damaging your muscles without helping them get repaired. Yes, the growth actually takes place when you feed your muscles with proper nutrition and allow it to repair. And that is how you grow bigger and stronger faster.

Wondering what your diet should include? Food is our source of fuel. But many forget that this fuel has 3 types i.e. protein, fats and carbohydrates (macro-nutrients). For athletic performance, muscle building and daily well-being you need all three. We’ll focus on muscle building here:

1. Protein

The most important macro-nutrient for muscle building is protein. You just learnt that in the gym you damage your muscles while working out.

This is where protein comes to the rescue. Proteins are broken down into amino acids which are used by our body to repair & build muscle fibers. The ideal recommendation for protein intake is 1 gram per pound of body weight. So if you weigh 80 kg, which is 176 pounds, you need 176 grams of protein everyday combined with efficient strength training to build muscles.

Good protein sources: milk, cheese, peas, legumes, pulses, chicken breast, fish, soya, whey protein.

2. Carbohydrates

Only eating protein would get you nowhere to your muscle building goals. You need to lift and you need to lift heavy. To be able to do so you need carbohydrates. They are the preferred source of fuel for our body. If you felt weak and lethargic at the gym, that’s most likely due to lack of carbohydrates in your pre-workout meal. Roughly 40-50% of your calories should come from carbohydrates, if your goal is muscle building. So if you’re consuming 2,500 calories a day, 1,000 calories (40%) should come from carbohydrates.

Good carb sources: legumes, pulses, fruits, brown rice, oats, and sweet potatoes.

3. Fats

I can’t emphasize enough how important fats are. Unfortunately, because of their name they suffer a lot injustice. People imprudently reduce fats in their diet thinking it makes them fat. But fats are crucial for healthy hormonal function especially testosterone. And you don’t want your testosterone levels to go down because it’ll be a nightmare if you’re pursuing muscle building. Regardless of what a person’s goal, is 30-40% calories should come from healthy fats. For an 80 kg person consuming 2,500 calories a day it would be 740 calories(30%) i.e 83 g of proteins.

Good fats sources: Egg yolks, fish, chicken, olive oil, coconut oil, mustard oil.

These were some general guidelines to follow while planning your diet for healthy muscle building. Remember, you’ll need to customize these nutrients according to your own body’s need.