1) You should consult with a physician before changing your eating habits. The physician should be made aware of and should approve the specific nutritional changes planned. This is especially true if you have an ailment or a history of medical problems.
2) The diet of most people is not very healthy. Our diets contain too many calories, too much saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, added sugar and salt.
3) An understanding of nutrition is not only vital for good health but also helps you control your weight in the long term.
4) Keep a daily food log to record everything you eat. For some people this really works wonders.
5) All foods are a combination of water, carbohydrate, protein, fat and fiber. Knowing this can lead to a better understanding of why a food has a particular caloric value.
6) Water and fiber contain no calories – that is zero Calories per ounce.
7) Protein and carbohydrates are about 4 Calories per gram (110 Calories per ounce) and fat is 9 Calories per gram (260 Calories per ounce).
8) Proteins, carbohydrates and fats are nutrients. Vitamins and minerals are called micronutrients because they are present in foods in much smaller amounts than nutrients. Both are essential to human life.
9) Despite the fact that most adults can get all the vitamins and minerals they need by merely consuming a variety of nutritious foods, many physicians recommend a daily multi-vitamin/mineral supplement as a kind of insurance policy.
10) Many adults over 50 are unable to absorb vitamin B12 in food. People over 50 are able to absorb the synthetic vitamin B12 added to fortified foods and dietary supplements.
11) Phytonutrients, the compounds that give fruits and vegetables their color, are also found in whole grains, dried beans, nuts and seeds. They have many beneficial qualities such as reducing inflammation, acting against viruses, and helping reduce the risk some chronic ailments.
12) Nutritionists define a “junk food” as one that offers little if any essential nutrients – except calories – and when eaten it replaces more important foods.