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Wellness

Why We Need More Time On A Diet

As we age our bodies start to stop working so well and the things that help maintain our health — which are often so important — can fade away. It’s okay–we shouldn’t starve our bodies or suffer from a lack of food.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: as our lifespans lengthen we can’t maintain the nutritional values of young adulthood, so we need to be smart about how we spend the remaining years of our lives. Eating fewer calories and increasing the quality and quantity of our food in the form of healthier options is a good start. But the long-term health effects of a diet are complicated and, especially when you consider the way we consume the modern food environment, more important than a single meal. A diet of junk (and, for that matter, most low quality, sugary foods) is not healthy. It might not even be healthy in it’s current form.  Food is a means to an end, so I don’t think there is a reason I can’t get by on the cheap, or on a diet. There’s one, of course, that I’m not sure there is: you’ll get sicker and die younger while on it. In that vein I’ll remind you that the food I eat is not exactly healthy as it comes: I eat like a caveman or a gorilla. I eat with my mouth, not my hand; with my head tilted to avoid getting a taste of what I’m shoveling into my mouth. My personal food preference is pretty straightforward, so I don’t have to go over it again, but here’s an example.   I eat breakfast on Saturday mornings.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and this one’s worth a couple thousand. I generally eat at the end of an afternoon for convenience (I usually walk in around four in the morning and want to get the job done while my kids are at school). Breakfast tends to be a bit of pasta, eggs, bacon, and a little bit of toast, a salad for lunch with bacon dressing, and a light lunch of chicken, veggies, and salad for dinner. On weekdays with my kids I’ll sometimes pop into the local Starbucks to grab lunch or pop in for dessert on Saturday afternoon, but those days are pretty rare.   I’m an adult, and adults have the luxury to eat whatever the hell they want, but I still eat what I need and what’s convenient.   As anyone who has been on a diet knows, you’re doing the exact same thing that a caveman would do. I may eat at the end of the day, but I do it to be efficient and get enough nutrients for today, not the very end-of-the-day dinner. To quote my favorite movie character, “I love to eat.”

What Makes My Diet Different than Others A healthy human diet is made up of three key elements: protein, fat, and carbohydrates.   For those of you who are not familiar with the terms,  I’ll let the experts explain: proteins (the building blocks of life), fats, and carbohydrates, are all necessary components of the diet, and they are divided into two classes: Essential and Conditionally Essential.   Essential nutrients or nutrients needed for normal cell function, such as vitamin A and B12   are essential to human life;   condi-tional essential nutrients or nutrients that are neither essential nor require daily or frequent intake   are considered condi-tional or functional.   Examples of essential nutrients or nutrients required for normal cell function would be water, sugar, magnesium, and zinc.   Condi-tional or functional nutrients or nutrients that are neither necessary nor require daily or frequent intake are considered non-essential or non-functionAL, and include alcohol, caffeine, and sugar.   The human body is able to process only so much each day, and, in particular, each meal should not exceed what the body needs in order to continue functioning.   If you are a vegetarian, you should be aware that you need to consume more dietary fat to compensate for the lack of plant protein, and as a result, you may eat more total protein.   For a more detailed discussion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, consult your local library. If you don’t eat meat, poultry, fish or shellfish, these foods would count as carbohydrates with you following a vegetarian or vegan diet .   Many of you reading this probably already are, but many still struggle to stay on track, and I’ll suggest 10 meals for the average person below. But as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t think you should have a strict diet.