Overfed and Undernourished
Posted Wednesday 30th November 2016 at 3:14pm
Hungry all the time? Many of us are malnourished and we don’t even know it.
Interestingly, people struggling with their weight are the most likely to be deficient in essential vitamins and minerals. How can this be when we have easy access to food and eat regularly, maybe even too much and too often?
A mistake is to assume that “a calorie is a calorie”, and that if you consume enough calories throughout the day that your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs. The standard Australian diet is energy dense but nutrient poor (not enough vitamins and minerals), so we end up eating more food (more calories) to receive the nutrients we need. We often fall short, and instead of receiving those extra nutrients, we end up with extra fat.
Let’s face it, we live busy lives and we often reach for what’s convenient when we’re hungry. That might be a piece of toast and a coffee, some cereal, a muffin on the run, a take-away lunch with a soft drink, or a quick pasta meal for dinner. These processed foods are filled with refined grains and flours, unhealthy fats and plenty of sugar. While they might “keep you going”, they’ll also keep you hungry and keep the weight piling on while your body is slowly starved of nutrients.
Those convenient yet refined foods you reach for have had their nutrients stripped in the refining process. A good example of this is wheat. The process of refining whole wheat into white flour reduces the fibre by 80 per cent and also reduces levels of essential vitamins and minerals. You’ve probably seen commercial breads on the super market shelves that say “enriched with fibre” or “plus vitamins and minerals”. These breads need to be “enriched” and have synthetic nutrients added because they were destroyed in the first place during the refinement process.
Unfortunately wheat products make up a huge portion of what most Aussies eat on a daily basis, causing us to end up in a vicious cycle of feeling hungry and eating more refined carbs.
Tips for Eating More Nutrient-Rich Calories
Eat more plant-based foods
It’s important that we fit in our daily fruit and veg, but also our nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains as many of the nutrients we are deficient in come from plants. It is also important that we source high quality produce. Our soil has become depleted through industrial farming, and as a result, many vegetables harvested today have fewer nutrients than those grown just two generations ago. Eating nutrient-rich plant-based food is more important than ever.
Eat healthy plant-based fats
Great sources of healthy, satiating fats are avocados, extra-virgin olive oil, flax, nuts and seeds. Carry some nuts and seeds with you as a snack, sprinkle LSA (ground linseed, sunflower and almond) on salads and breakfast, and dress salads with olive oil.
Eat high-quality organic meat, poultry and fish
Meat from animals that have been raised in better living conditions, such as grass-fed organic beef, has been shown to contain less fat and higher omega-3 levels than animals fed more grain. Getting enough meat is also important for protein levels. A breakfast high in protein can curb cravings throughout the day.
When our cells are depleted of water they can’t create the energy they need to function, so they send a signal to the brain to eat more to get more energy. This leads to excessive calorie consumption - usually “empty” calories. Having a bottle or glass of water with you throughout the day can also help reduce your sugary-drink consumption which is full of empty calories.
We look forward to seeing you in store for your fresh organic produce and meat!
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What is Organic?
Organic farming uses the earth's natural resources for sustainability. It emphasises appropriate land management and aims to ecologically achieve the balance between animal life, the natural environment and food crops. Organic farmers do not use pesticides, herbicides, genetically modified foods, growth promoters or hormones.
Recent reports and studies have shown an increase in food-related allergies, with many people now experiencing allergic reactions to peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, milk, eggs, soy, fish and shellfish. Food allergies involve our body's immune system, and because 70% of our immune system is found in the digestive tract, the foods that we eat and the chemicals they contain can have a significant impact on our health. When the digestive tract and immune system aren't functioning well we become vulnerable to a host of disorders, including allergies.