Nutrition: The Basics

Author: Jenissa Flood


First in a series of blog posts building up a core knowledge base about nutrition essential for daily life and for supporting training programs at Gravity Laboratory.


Future blog 2: Macronutirents

blog 3: Vitamins and Minerals

blog 4: Fiber

blog 5: The Glycemic Index

blog 6: Supplements

blog 7: Pre vs Post Workout Nutrition


Blog 1: The Basics


As a functional health and fitness centre, at Gravity we want to educate our clients on all aspects of health and wellness, including nutrition. This is the first of a series of blog posts aimed at providing science-based information regarding nutrition. Food is what your body runs on. It fuels you for physical activity, whether that be exercise or daily movement. Choosing healthy, whole foods not only helps you achieve your fitness goals, but also can decrease the risk of chronic diseases (Canada’s dietary guidelines, 2019).

The Canadian government has set out guidelines for nutrition via the Canada food guide, a

fantastic resource for general healthy eating (Canada’s food guide, 2020). They take a straightforward approach, where you keep a balance of different food groups: fruits and vegetables, whole grains and protein. As a baseline, they recommend filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with whole grains and a quarter with protein (Canada’s food guide, 2020).

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables of all different colours! Not only does this make getting your fruits and veggies an exciting experience, different fruits and vegetables contain different vitamins and nutrients (Canada’s dietary guidelines, 2019). Eating a variety will allow you to get as many different nutrients as possible.

Whole grains take longer to be processed than simple carbohydrates, which means that the sugars are gradually released. This helps to keep our blood sugar at regular levels, rather than spiking up when we eat a meal. The addition of fibre in whole grains also helps regulate blood sugar, as well as keeps our digestive system moving and decreases risk of chronic diseases (Canada’s dietary guidelines, 2019).

While there are benefits of animal-based foods, the Canada food guide recommends choosing plant-based options more often, as this can help decrease risk of various chronic diseases (Canada’s dietary guidelines, 2019). Animal-based food often has higher levels of saturated fat, which is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Choosing plant-based protein more often decreases that risk and promotes long-term health.

Cooking more and eating less process foods allows you to control what exactly you’re putting in your body, and allows you to limit sugar, sodium and saturated fat intake as is recommended (Canada’s food guide, 2020). For more information on the Canada food guide, visit https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/ and stay tuned for next week where we will learn about macronutrients and their roles in giving us energy!

References:

Canada’s food guide. (January, 2020). Retrieved from https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/

Canada’s dietary guidelines. (May, 2019). Retrieved from https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/guidelines/section-1-foundation-for-healthy-eating/


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