Healthy Eating and Wellbeing

Published:

Beauty and Complementary Therapies

Healthy Eating and Wellbeing

Contents

Introduction

Main Nutritional Elements

Effects of excess and deficiency in each element

Current Government Guidelines

Bibliography

Introduction

When maintaining a healthy balanced diet you should aim to include a wide range of different foods from the five main food groups:

  • Bread, potatoes, rice, pasta act
  • Fruits and vegetables,
  • Milk and dairy foods
  • Non-dairy sources of protein
  • Fats and/or sugar

The picture below shows “The Eatwell Plate” This shows the different food types we need to eat and how much of each we have to eat to have a healthy well balanced diet.

http://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/eatwell-plate-label.png1

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From this you can see that you should eat plenty of Fruit and Veg, potatoes act, some milk and dairy foods and some milk meat and other sources of protein that aren’t dairy. And we should only have a small amount of food/drink that is high in fat and/or sugar.

The nutrients provided by these foods have specific functions in the body. Of which it needs to work properly. These are:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Fibre
  • Fats
  • Protein
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins
  • Water

1 http://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/food-and-health-tips/healthy-eating-eatwell-plate/

Main Nutritional Elements

Bread, potatoes, rice, pasta act

The main nutritional elements in this food group are:

  • Carbohydrates
  • B Vitamins
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Dietary Fibre

Examples of these are:

Bread, pasta, rice, breakfast cereals, potatoes, yams, plantain, cous cous

Fruits and vegetables

The main nutritional elements in this food group are:

  • Vitamin C
  • Carotenes
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fibre

Examples of these are:

Oranges, apples, bananas, carrots, peas, tomatoes, kiwi, pineapple, cabbage, broccoli, grapes, lemons, aubergine, courgette

Milk and dairy foods

The main nutritional elements in this food group are:

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorous
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B12
  • Protein

Examples of these are:

Milk, cheese, yogurt and fromage frais

Non-dairy sources of protein

The main nutritional elements in this food group are:

  • Iron
  • Protein
  • B vitamins
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Essential Fats

Examples of these are:

Beef, lamb, pork, chicken, beans, lentils, eggs and fish

Fats and/or sugar

The main nutritional elements in this food group are:

  • Fats
  • Sugars
  • Salts

Examples of these are:

Crisps, fizzy drinks, sweets, butter, margarine, cakes and biscuits

Carbohydrates

The main function of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body’s functions and for exercise there are 3 types of Carbohydrates these are:

  • Monosaccharide’s (Simple)
  • Disaccharides (Complex)
  • Polysaccharides (More Complex)

Monosaccharide’s (Simple)

These are one sugar molecules that are water soluble which means they are easily absorbed in to the body and give a short burst of energy, these can be found in fruit and honey.

Disaccharides (Complex)

Are double sugar molecules found in the likes of table sugar that take longer to absorb and are digested through the small intestine these give a more steady burst of energy.

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Polysaccharides (More Complex)

These are needed to sustain energy and are used to keep blood sugar levels steady they are made up of multiple sugar molecules and take longer to absorb as they have to first be broken down into simple sugars by digestive enzymes for absorption.

Fibre

There are two different types of fibre soluble and insoluble. Each type of fibre helps your body in different ways. Eating foods that are high in fibre will help you feel fuller for longer.

Soluble

Soluble fibre is soluble in water and is used to take up bile acids, cholesterol and toxins and removes them from the body, it soothes the intestinal tract, and eases bowl movements by making the stool slippery and easy to remove

Insoluble

Insoluble fibre can't be digested. They pass through the gut without being broken down; it helps other foods to move through your digestive system more easily. Insoluble fibre keeps your bowels healthy and helps prevent digestive problems it also cleanses the bowel as it tends to be rough when passing through.

Fats

Some people have the miss conception that all fats are bad and this is not the case you need some fats in your diet to have a healthy balanced diet it is when there is too much fats in the body that the problems start. Fats can be used for energy when carbohydrates aren’t available.

Fats are broken down in to 3 groups which are:

  • Triglycerides
  • Phospholipids
  • Sterols

Triglycerides

Triglycerides make up at least 95 % of all the fats we eat and carry around these can then be kept aside for future use this is done in 3 ways, Storage, Protection and Insulation.

Triglycerides are stored as adipose tissue and used as an energy reserve that can be used in-between meals, while a sleep, during increased exertion, pregnancy or famine. Also once stored the Triglycerides act as a shock absorber that protects your delicate organs when carrying out activities in your day to day life and also they form a layer around the body to keep heat in and keep your body temperature constant.

Triglycerides can then be broken down onto 3 other types these are;

  1. Saturated Fats
  2. Mono-unsaturated Fats
  3. Polyunsaturated Fats

Saturated Fats

These fats are the ones that will damage your health because they clog up arteries and are one of the main causes of obesity, saturated fats are hard at room temperature.

Mono-unsaturated Fats

These are fats that should be used in cooking because they are stable at room temperature.

Polyunsaturated Fats

These oils should not be used for cooking but should be used when you are looking for salad dressings ect, these fats cane be seen as essential because humans cant synthesise them so they should be ingested as part of our daily intake. These remain liquid in room temperature.

Phospholipids - Lecithin

These can be soluble in both fat and water and act as emulsifiers, helping to keep fats suspended in blood and body fluids

Sterols – Cholesterol

Cholesterol is essential for physical health, our bodies make 80% of Cholesterol it needs so there is no need to have it added in to your diet it has 4 essential functions in the body these are:

  1. It is a constituent of cell membranes
  2. It is a precursor of bile acids
  3. It is a precursor of steroid hormones
  4. Vitamin D is synthesized from Cholesterol

Protein

Protein has 2 main functions these functions are structural for the growth and repair of body tissue and the other metabolic to produce enzymes, hormones, antibodies, neurotransmitters and energy. This is the most complex of all the nutrients.

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Minerals

Minerals are found in foods such as meat, cereals, fish, milk and dairy foods, vegetables, fruit (especially dried fruit) and nuts. Essential minerals include calcium, Potassium and iron.

Calcium

Is needed for normal growth and development its main function is to build and maintain healthy teeth and bones can also aid blood clotting

Iron

It is vital for many cellular activities, Iron transports oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from cells and is vital for energy production

Potassium

Is needed for healthy nerves and muscles and to maintain fluid balance in the body, relaxes muscles and helps secretion of insulin for blood sugar control.

Vitamins

There are two types of vitamins:

  • Fat-soluble – A,D,E & K
  • Water-soluble – B complex group & Vitamin C

Fat Soluble

Affect the health and function of eyes, skin, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, bones, teeth, nervous system and blood. Can take too much of these vitamins if you are using supplements as well as getting them directly from food sources.

Vitamin A

Is an antioxidant, there are 2 types of vitamin A Preformed (Retinol) found in food of animal origin and pro vitamin (Beta carotene) found in yellow fruit and veg.

Vitamin D

Comes from sunlight not needed through food. There are 2 types Vit D2 (ergocalciferol) this is the plant version and Vit D3 (cholecaclciferol) animal version. Vitamin D is stored in the liver.

Vitamin E

Can raise blood pressure initially, and reduces blood clotting those with cardiovascular problems are recommended to have a gradual increase of this.

Vitamin K

The main function of this vitamin is to help with blood clotting to help prevent internal bleeding, haemorrhages and also aids in reducing excessive menstrual flow.

Water soluble – B Complex

B1(Thaimin)

Helps to use carbs and these are essential for energy metabolism, brain function, digestion and coverts glucose to energy.

B2(Riboflavin)

Converts fat sugar and protein to energy, maintains body tissue and mucus membrane.

Other B vitamins are: Niacin, Pantothenic acid and Biolin

Vitamin C

Is an antioxidant, prevents cellular damage, makes collagen, and keeps skin, bones, joints and arteries healthy

Water

Essential for life, you should drink 35ml per kg of body weight if you’re an adult.

Effects of excess and deficiency in each element

Carbohydrates

Too Much

Can lie in your small intestine and make you feel bloated can also cause you to put on added weight caused by your body not being able to burn off the excess carbohydrates in your body

Too Little

fat and protein will start to get broken down to get the glucose it needs which means that there won’t be enough protein to carry out specific functions in the body2

Where found

Whole Grains, potatoes, bread, cereals, rice and pasta

Fibre

Too Much

May reduce absorption of some minerals from food3

Too Little

Can contribute to bowel cancer, can cause constipation due to lack or fibre in the bowel to push through blockages

Where found

Oats, barley, Bananas, bran, cereals, nuts and seeds

Fats

Too Much

Can cause obesity or just generally cause people to be overweight, Can increase the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol.

Too Little

Can cause the oil content of skin to be high, fat soluble vitamins can’t be broken down in the body.

Where found

Cream, cheese, Meat products, Nuts and Seeds

2 http://www.bupa.co.uk/individuals/health-information/directory/c/carbohydrates

3 http://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/nutrients/dietary-fibre?start=4

Protein

Too Much

Strains your kidneys can make them work too hard can cause headaches, nausea.

Too Little

Can cause muscle to waste away, can’t allow your body to rebuild cells/tissue, can cause damage to hair and nails can make them brittle ect.

Where found

Meat, Poultry, fish, eggs and cheese

Minerals

Calcium (Ca), Potassium (K) and Iron (Fe)

Too Much

(Ca) (K) can cause heart palputations.

Too Little

(Ca) Can cause Rickets (in children), osteomalacia (in adults), brittle bones and nails, tooth decay.

(K) Can cause muscle weakness and loss of muscle tone, poor reflexes

(Fe) Can cause anaemia, poor vision, loss of appetite, cramping

Where found

(Ca) Ricotta cheese, milk, Parmesan cheese, mackerel, salmon, tofu

(K) Kelp, raisins, brewer’s yeast, grapes, bananas

(Fe) Meats, Fish, pumpkin seeds, parsley

Vitamins

A, D, E, K, B1&2, C

Too Much

(A) Making bones more likely to fracture when you are older (D)Excess vitamin d in pregnancy can cause birth defects (E)N/A (K) N/A (B1&2)N/A (C)N/A

Too Little

(A)Poor vision, Dry flaky skin, acne, frequent colds/infections (D) Joint pains, stiffness, lack of energy, rheumatism or arthritis, hair loss, osteoporosis (E) Easy bruising, exhaustion after light exercise, slow wound healing, loss of muscle tone (K) Excess bleeding(noes bleeds, abnormal blood clotting fall in Prothrombin content of blood(B1&2) tender muscles, fatigue, stomach pains(C) frequent colds and infections, bleeding gums, easy bruising, slow healing wounds.

Where found

(A) & (D) Fish liver oil, (A) Eggs, Dairy (D) sardines, herring, salmon, tuna, fortified milk, meat and eggs(E) Soya beans, unfortified corn oils, broccoli, sprouts (K) Cabbage, lettuce, beans, peas, watercress, potatoes(B1&2) Pork, yeast extract, brown rice, milk and products cabbage (C) all fruit and veg, sprouted seeds and beans

Water

Too Little

Can be the cause of dehydration which may lead to headaches

Government Guidelines

Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) are a guide to how many calories and nutrients people can consume each day for a healthy, balanced diet. Below is a table of the GDA’s for an average adult.

Guideline Daily Amount Values

Typical values

Women

Men

Children (5-10 years)

Calories

2,000 kcal

2,500 kcal

1,800 kcal

Protein

45 g

55 g

24 g

Carbohydrate

230 g

300g

220 g

Sugars

90 g

120 g

85 g

Fat

70 g

95 g

70 g

Saturates

20 g

30 g

20 g

Fibre

24 g

24 g

15 g

Salt

6 g

6 g

4 g

4

Most food packages now a days will have a label on them that will look like the one below these shows you what % of your GDA you will receive when you eat these product i.e wholegrain crackers (see below)

Typical back of pack nutrition and GDA information

Nutrition information

Guideline Daily Amount

Typical values

Per 100g

Per slice (approx. 5.7g)

% based on GDA for an Adult

Woman

Man

Children (5-10 years)

Calories

360 kcal

20 kcal

1%

2,000 kcal

2,500 kcal

1,800 kcal

Protein

12.4 g

0.7 g

2%

45 g

55 g

24 g

Carbohydrate

68.7 g

3.9 g

2%

230 g

300 g

220 g

Sugars

5.0 g

0.3 g

<1%

90 g

120 g

85 g

Fat

3.9 g

0.2 g

<1%

70 g

95 g

70 g

Saturates

0.5 g

Trace

<1%

20 g

30 g

20 g

Fibre

9.8 g

0.6 g

3%

24 g

24 g

15 g

Salt

0.8 g

0.05 g

1%

6 g

6 g

4 g

4 http://www.gdalabel.org.uk/gda/gda_values.aspx

Bibliography

Beckmann, H., Quesne, Le, S., (2005) The Essential guide to holistic and complementary Therapy, UK, Thomson Learning

Bupa (2013), Carbohydrates,[online] at http://www.bupa.co.uk/individuals/health-information/directory/c/carbohydrates [accessed on 22 April 2013]

Gda Label (2012), guideline daily amount, [online] at (http://www.gdalabel.org.uk/gda/gda_values.aspx [accessed on 22 April 2013]

Healthy start (2013), Healthy Eating, [online] at http://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/food-and-health-tips/healthy-eating-eatwell-plate/[accessed on 22 April 2013]

Nutrition (2013), Dietary fibre, [online] at http://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/nutrients/dietary-fibre?start= [accessed on 22 April 2013]

Quesne, Le, S., (2005) Nutrition a practical approach, UK, Thomson Learning