We're going to cover some basics of nutrition.
The first concept is that everything we eat is broken down into macronutrients and micronutrients.
Remember that study I mentioned in Module 2 about how you can lower your blood pressure by just changing what you eat?
The diet with the most reduction in blood pressure included high amounts of specific nutrients:
-Potassium (4700 mg)
-Magnesium (500 mg)
-Calcium (1250 mg)
-Fiber (30 grams)
-Protein (20 % of daily calories)
This is why focusing on the quality of food and maximizing your intake of nutrients is so important and why our focus is not all about counting calories.
When you have high blood pressure or take blood pressure medications, you may have specific nutrient deficiencies.
Once these deficiencies are corrected, you will see your blood pressure come down naturally. It's important to know that these corrections should be made with food.
Your body best absorbs nutrients from real whole foods...it's more natural than supplements. I don't even want to talk about supplements into you are eating more whole foods regularly.
In addition to micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), fuel for your body comes in the form of macronutrients.
Whole food (think real food) is made up of macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) that contain the highest levels of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), which are critical for our health and wellbeing.
When we eat processed foods we are getting very few vitamins and minerals. Micronutrients and fiber are lacking in diets that include a lot of processed and fast foods.
Counting calories may be helpful, but it’s important to remember to always choose quality over just the number of calories a food contains.
For example, chips worth 200 calories is not going to give you even close to the amount of what your body needs in nutrition as the 200 calories in fruits, vegetables or other whole foods.
Today we're talking protein.
Protein is an important essential nutrient because your body uses it to build new cells, maintain tissues, and build new proteins that make it possible for you to perform basic bodily functions.
Protein recommendations are 20% - 45% of total daily caloric intake.
For blood pressure, benefits are seen with at least 20% of total daily intake coming from protein.
How do you do that? Think about your plate equalling 100% and about a quarter of that should be filled with a protein source. Or if you want to get specific, then about 20 grams of protein per meal and 10 grams for snacks is a good place to start.
Where do you get protein?
Protein is found in both animal and plant foods such as meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, dairy products, legumes, grains and some vegetables.
Protein helps us feel satiated (feeling full and satisfied), so be sure to incorporate it into every meal. It also helps stabilize blood sugar levels and minimize mindless munching.
Each person has different protein needs based on their weight, age, fitness level and other factors. By incorporating different types of protein into your diet, you can learn which proteins work best for your individual requirements.
Pay attention to your food and identify the proteins. Use the Macro Cheat Sheet to help. Email me (jordann@healthfulprescriptions) with any 'A HA' moments that you have or write them in your journal.