Updated: Jun 28
Nutrition should have these four qualities to be considered as good:
• Be in control of the balance of our energy
• Be a source of concentrated nutrients
• Allow us to achieve our health, performance goals and ideal bodily composition
• Be accurate and based on an outcome we would like to achieve
This represents the relationship between energy input from the calories taken in through the foods and drinks we consume and energy output from calories being used in the body for our daily energy needs. This is the law that determines whether weight is lost (negative energy balance), maintained or gained (positive energy balance).
We are said to be in negative energy balance when more energy flows out of our body than the amount that flows into the body.
We are said to be in positive energy balance when more energy flows into our body than the amount that flows out of the body.
We are said to be in neutral energy balance when energy flow out of our body equals energy flow into the body.
Nutrient concentration is the ratio of nutrients proportional to the total calorie content in a portion of food. Foods with a high nutrient concentration contain a large number of important nutrients per 100 calories of food. We know these foods to be bright or deeply coloured fruits and vegetables, lean meats and unprocessed grains. Foods with a lower nutrient density would be ice cream, soda and white bread.
Contrasting nutrient concentration is calorie concentration. Calorie concentration is the ratio of calories to the actual weight of the food. Therefore, foods with a high-calorie concentration would have a lot of calories per 100g of food and foods with a low-calorie concentration would have few calories per 100g of food. We know foods with a high concentration to be bacon, cookies, crackers and butter. Food with a lower calorie concentration tends to have a high nutrient concentration.
Weight management is more dependent on energy balance so we consider them less of goals with regards to nutrition and pursue a long-term set of dietary habits based on the intersection of health, performance and body composition. Rather than having a tunnel vision on body composition, it’s important to focus on improving your health and performance as well. Put strategies in place to reduce the risk of diabetes, increase our sensitivity to insulin, increase lean body mass, increase good cholesterol, reduce body fat percentage and reduce blood lipids.
Accurate and Outcome-Based
How many times have you heard yourself or someone you know say the following?
“My blood pressure and cholesterol are high but I’m making good nutritional choices.”
“I feel tired often and as if I’m running low on energy but my diet is perfect.”
“I’m still 15 pounds overweight but I eat well.”
Someone can eat well but still be overweight, have lifestyle diseases or even be low in energy but it’s not likely. Lots of people believe they’re doing a great job but don’t have the health profile or physique to show for it and this would mean that they simply aren’t. It becomes one of two things. They either have a good plan but are not executing it or they are executing on a poor plan.
Good nutrition requires results, it’s as simple as that. If you think you’re doing a good job but have no results to show for it, then you’re not doing a very effective job. Good nutrition equals results.