Are We Over-Complicating Nutrition? Pt. 1

(We’re pleased to feature another guest blogger in a two-part feature this week and next! Helen Sanders is chief editor at HealthAmbition.com. Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Their goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. They pride themselves on making sure their actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.)

Are We Over-Complicating Nutrition?

Health, fitness and nutrition are big money-making topics these days. With a booming supplement market, paid diet plans and even special teas for weight loss, nutrition comes under a lot more in depth discussions than it did 30 years ago.

Every single day, hundreds of high authority articles are written and read which go in depth about many different aspects of nutrition and what we should be putting into our bodies.

Polyunsaturated fats vs. trans fats, animal protein vs. plant protein, what vitamins should you take, what amino acids do you need – these incredibly in depth and often scientific discussions are put out there for us to consider.

Of course, if you’re a competitive athlete or maybe a bodybuilder, you may need to consider your diet down to the smallest micronutrient and how each aspect of your diet affects your physiology, because you’re sculpting your body to perfection and more importantly, you probably have the time to do this as it is your main focus.

But what about Joe Average? Are we over complicating nutrition?

The Nutrition of The Past

Recently I was doing some research and watched a clip online of some old school 70s bodybuilders, including the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger. These guys were in prime athletic condition, absolute Greek Adonises. But they are sitting there talking and eating steaks. hamburgers minus the bun and omelets made from whole eggs. There was no egg whites only, spirulina super green smoothies or supplement stacks. They went on that old fashioned, tried and tested notion of eat wholesome, real food and workout.

Although science advances with every year that passes and it is important to remember that change is a good thing, we possibly shouldn’t get caught up in the hype of the newest supplement.

The Right Nutrition For an Everyday Diet

We know by now that yes, nutrition is incredibly important.

The food we put into our bodies is the fuel that allows numerous bodily processes to happen. We need essential nutrients to do everything from make our hair grow to firing up the neurotransmitters in our brains.

Unfortunately deficiencies in essential nutrients, most notably certain vitamins and minerals and healthy fats are common throughout the US.  They can cause detrimental side effects that lead to a whole host of health issues and chronic diseases.

However, that isn’t because John Smith takes 15 supplements a day at the perfectly right time and manages his food intake down to the finest macronutrient, it’s because the food that the majority of Americans are eating is filled with empty calories that offer no significant nutrition whatsoever.

If John Smith instead ate a balanced diet made up of whole foods, which offered him essential vitamins and minerals, a good dose of protein and some whole grains, then his diet would most likely be nutritionally sound.

Of course, you may need to take a closer look at the individual nutrients you are consuming on some occasions.

For example, if you were anemic, you would need to monitor your iron intake. Similarly, if you were trying to lose weight, you may want to monitor and increase your protein intake in order to promote satiety and encourage fat loss while maintaining lean muscle mass.

But generally speaking, a diet filled with real food is enough without over complicating nutrition.

Come back next week to read the wrap-up of “Are We Over-Complicating Nutrition?”

(*This article reflects the opinions of the writer and may or may not accurately represent the perspective of Quarks American Bento and its’owners).