More than a calorie
There's a whole lot of activity going on behind the scenes within our bodies.
Iron carries oxygen through our bloodstream, potassium maintains salt balance in our cells, phosphate turns molecules into energy, calcium moves our muscles while magnesium keeps our hearts beating. Meanwhile, the organs and tissues these compounds are supplying are built from protein, protected by fats and fueled by carbohydrates.
Our complex bodies are constantly depleting and replenishing these resources, but where do they come from?
Our food and drink, of course.
Food is more than just the calories it contains - it is more than low fat or high fat, low carbs or high carbs - and the colours, smells and tastes of food are derived from the nutrients that keep us alive. Eating and drinking a large variety of nutrients ensures that we thrive, and the large variety of these nutrients come from a large variety of foods.
Many diets focus on avoiding certain compounds (no carbs, low fat, low calorie) and while intentions may be well-meaning, it can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.
Such restrictive eating patterns can make dieting dangerous, limiting more than just calories. They may also limit essential nutrients, potentially leading to serious health problems and forcing our bodies to simply survive, rather than thrive.
Instead of eating to lose something, we can try eating to gain something.
Instead of a focus on cutting calories, we can focus on increasing nutrients. When choosing foods higher in nutritional value, we are giving our bodies plenty of vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein and healthy fats from different food groups. Naturally, with so many nutrients packed into these foods, there's not so much room for extra calories.
Focusing on what we're putting in rather than what we're cutting out is likely to ensure we all have a healthier balance of calories to nutrients.