Sticking to a healthy diet is hard for many reasons. The most common cause is lack of knowledge.
Should I try Keto? Do I need to be counting every calorie I consumer? I keep hearing about intermittent fasting. Should I dabble in paleo?
Nutrition is about more than following the latest food trends. It's about understanding what your specific body needs to thrive. There are so many different resources out there claiming to be the best diet for your needs, but the only person that can decide what is right is yourself.
Whether you're just starting to become interested in nutrition or you need a refresher, let's start from the beginning. Grab a snack, a notebook, and a pen—let's get into the basics of nutrition.
Good nutrition is about balance.
Every day, your body needs a healthy balance of three things: carbohydrates, fats, and protein. These make up your daily calorie intake.
The total number of calories you consume will always vary from person to person, but the ratio remains the same.
According to the Institute of Science, every meal should have a balance of:
This combination will give your body the perfect amount of fuel to help you feel better, stay alert, and stay full for longer.
What's in food?
Let's start at the core. Here are the main components of food that you should know.
Chances are, you've heard of carbs before.
While they're given a bad name, they are one of the main types of nutrients and play a significant role in the energy your body has throughout the day.
Carbohydrates are found in three main foods: sugars, starches, and fiber. To function properly, your body needs a combination of all three. Here’s how they work to support the body:
Sugars and starches: The body breaks down these carb-loaded foods into glucose (blood sugar). Glucose is used to give the body energy.
Fiber: The body doesn’t break down fiber. It uses it as a source to keep you feeling full, which will help prevent overeating.
Foods the contain carbs.
There are many different kinds of foods that are carb-heavy. Here are a few that you might be eating on a daily basis:
What’s that saying? Everything is good in moderation. The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that carbohydrates take up about 45%-65% of your daily calorie intake.
Protein plays a major role in the composition and function of our body. From adolescence to adulthood, protein is needed for proper growth and development. It is needed to build and maintain bone, muscles, and skin. And, protein aids in functions of the body such as immune response, vision, production of hormones, and fluid balance.
Some of the most common foods that are rich in protein are:
No two proteins are made the same. When you think about building a meal, you can swap in just about any carbohydrate food and remain balanced. Proteins are a little different.
Meat can include higher levels of fat. Seafood has higher levels of oils. Eggs contain saturated fats. So, there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for protein.
For a balanced diet, it’s important to switch up your protein intake. Rather than eating steak every night for dinner, try swapping out a few nights for seafood. Or, opt for plant-based proteins like soy. Keeping variety in your protein consumption will ensure you’re getting a little bit of everything.
Everyone has and needs a little fat in their diet—but not too much. Fat gives your body energy and helps your body absorb vitamins. As you may have gathered from our look into the Western Diet, managing our fat intake is one of our biggest downfalls.
Of course, there are more to these essential components of food than just what we've described above. Each of these essential nutrients is as complex as the plot line of Stranger Things. Hopefully, these brief descriptions have made things a little bit easier to digest.
What’s engineered nutrition?
Calculating every single meal can be exhausting. Finding the right balance for every meal can take a toll on your schedule, and in today’s fast-paced world, you probably don’t have the ability to create every single meal with this in mind.
Engineered nutrition is the science behind food or meal replacement options. Every ingredient is carefully and purposefully chosen to create a balanced drink or smoothie that can act as a replacement for real food.
The balance of carbs, protein, and fats are still upheld, but by using sustainable ingredients. This creates a more convenient way to give your body the nutrients it needs.
In Soylent drinks and powder, we’ve engineered nutrition down to a specific and delicious science.
The combination of slow-burning carbs, soy protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals is specifically designed to help prevent being caught in a food void. Skipping meals, eating awful foods, or simply just not knowing what to eat is no longer an option.