The world is becoming ever more demanding and so it should! Living life in the fast lane, or should I say, the successful lane requires a toned body and fresh looking face at the very least. But is that all? It is not just about having Botox and going to the gym. It requires a much more holistic balance. Inner peace, regular exercise, good genes and a good diet.
NUTRITION is being researched down to molecules and atoms, finding that almost every day we are exposed to carcinogenic foods. Deep down we probably know exactly what is good for us and what is not. Breaking it down into simple measures, it’s about eating a balanced diet, and it’s not about starving ourselves.
For me it is simple.
- Exercise to burn calories and to build muscle
- Eat sufficient calories to provide the energy spent
- In that calculation we want: proteins, healthy fats and slow burning calories – and fibres, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals too.
- Eat organic where possible
- Eat as many raw vegetables and fruits, with high levels of antioxidants and vitamins as you can afford in your carbohydrate accountancy, keeping an eye on the GI, AGE, TAC and minerals and the anti-carcinogenic properties or cancer risk reduction properties.
Most people have heard of GI (Glycaemic Index), but maybe not so much TAC or AGE.
TAC: Total Antioxidant Capacity.
In 2004 a team of researchers measured the TAC in more than 100 foods. Those with a high TAC value are super foods, small red beans ( TAC : 13’727) and wild blueberries (TAC: 13,427) to name a few. This varies according to preparation method!! Frying or microwaving reducing the TAC to around 0 !
AGE: Advanced Glycation End products.
Advanced Glycation End products are harmful End products or fat oxidation, which occurs when food is heated to high temperatures or when sugar molecules attach to protein, fat or DNA. It impairs our immune system, accelerates ageing and contribute to Altzheimer’s disease, cardio vascular disease, eye disease, kidney disease, nerve disease and stroke.
Foods that have the highest concentration of AGEs are cooked, grilled and fried meats.
A frankfurter (90grams) contains roughly 10,000 AGEs, boiled potatoes (100g) 117 AGEs. Interestingly cooking or frying vegetables similarly does not produce the same amount of AGEs as the condensation of creatinine with amino acids only is found in muscle. If we spend all our calories on white carbs and fried meats with heaps of trans fats, there won’t be enough of the essential building stones to support our body to defend all the toxic end products.
With no exercise our body is like a car not taken out for a drive and the insulin level goes crazy and stores too much fat, whilst we still feel hungry. If we drink vast amounts of alcohol and smoke to add insult to injury, it is no surprise that the body gives up. With the alcohol intake, the body cannot absorb essential vitamins, such as Vitamin B, which again affects our Dopamine and Serotone levels, (happy hormones).
It also causes high levels of insulin (a risk of diabetes) and a chronic state of inflammation, which in turn can aggravate asthma, cancer etc. Eating non-organic meats, can mean storing unwanted hormones, mostly female, and can have a long term effect on our reproductive organs.
The answer is to learn as much as you can about the foods that you eat. Eat mindfully and aim for the most nutritious range of foods whilst also allowing yourself to enjoy what you eat.