Most of us continue experiencing times and situations that are unprecedented, to say the least. The financial crisis leads us to re-evaluate our daily habits, and to scrutinize expenses that we took for granted until very recently. Does this bring us closer to a way of living gradually forgotten by modern habits? We had surely diverged from our predecessors way of life, but life, it seems, has ways of re-establishing equilibrium that are at least unexpected...
For the last 2 decades a lot has been written and said about the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet for human health. Longevity, prevention of serious diseases such as heart conditions, diabetes control, cancer, even healthy weight maintenance have at times been attributed to the Mediterranean diet. This has been developed into a global trend, aided by celebrity chefs, and doctors worldwide. Can however nutrition on its own be responsible for all these nice things? Or is the Mediterranean "way of life", of which the diet is just a part? And finally, what is this "Mediterranean way of life"?
What is the role of fats in nutrition? Surely, a much discussed issue that can be confusing. Saturated, poly-unsaturated, Ω3, Ω6, trans, lots of kinds of fats, many scientific names , a lot of information, opinions, but one thing is certain. Fats are very fatening! They are however inevitable in our diet and sometimes even necessary. That's why we have to understand their properties, in order to make the right choices in our daily life.
Proteins are the main structural substance in muscles, and the second in abundance ingredient in our body, after water. We use, or even abuse our muscles every day, as we go about our daily tasks. It is therefore very important to give our body the chance to replenish and repair our muscles, or even to build new ones of necessary. This can only be done through our food.
Let's see how we can help.
In earlier articles of this unit, we go a small taste of the importance of a well balanced and wholesome diet, for the physical and general human health. We categorized some popular diets, and discussed how they can help us (or not) in our effort to maintain the right body weight. As we said, we must build rules upon which we will base our nutrition plan. Not for a small period of time, and not to lose a few kilos, but to feel and be healthy, always! To achieve this, we have to understand some basic nutrition principles, and the way our body uses u the food we eat for its daily function.
Every era, every age, has its diets. Diets that for some reason become very trendy very fast, promising quick results! Trendy diets are not a sign of our times only. For over 100 years, various theories claim that they have the solution to the eternal problem of weight loss, obliging people to do things that today would be classified as torture. From drinking neat vinegar to swallowing intestinal parasites... Things improve however. Any diet you follow today will not ask you to do anything that bad!
Today, whenever you hear the word "diet", you always think of restrictions. Restrictions in what, in when, even in how to eat. This is because the main reason you "diet" today is to lose a few (or more) pounds quickly. These exhaustive restrictions and rules are very difficult to apply for long periods of time. And you usually more than make up once the dieting period is over. Is that true? Was it always like this? What is the role of "diet" within the context of your nutritional needs?