- junk food
- Food Types Explained
- Glycemic Index (GI) of Food
ONE OF THE MAIN CAUSES OF POOR HEALTH IS
POOR DIET FROM POOR FOOD CHOICES
You are what you eat that’s why nutritional food is most important for good health and healthy ageing.
“You may ask why do we need to eat Nutritious food?”
This is not a silly question because I believe most of us have never even thought about this question in any detail let alone being educated in food differences and their effects on the human body.
Your food choices could determine whether you live healthy or die in illness, whether you feel energetic and confident or deal with constant chronic pain, allergies, and fatigue.
The above statement may seem a little to the point but it is meant to be. It is absolutely true. You need to take it seriously for the sake of you, and your families health.
Comparing a nutritious vegetable like Kale to say a Hamburger.
|Food Component||Kale Raw||Hamburger|
“The best part of a donut is the hole.”Dr. Paul C. Bragg, health crusader.
From the above data eating 100gms of Kale supplies you approx. 7 times more nutritional value than eating 100g of a Hamburger. So, the more often you eat foods that are low in nutritious nutrients like vitamins & minerals but high in calories, carbohydrates, sugar, sodium, etc. (Like, Fast food and processed foods) the more your body cells lack the highly valuable nutrients they require to sustain your complex body functions.
Without these necessary nutrients your immune system will be suppressed. Your organs cells will get sick and die taking other cells with them. Your body will age quicker, your skin will crack from dryness and wrinkle. It will become rough and blemished and you will lack energy, be ill, fatigued and live in pain more often.
If you are someone that catches colds and flu often then your immune system is suppressed already, and your body is lacking in beneficial nutrients. You need to change your eating and physical lifestyle as food can be your friend or enemy.
Sometimes we just do not know what we are eating.
Food ingredients have changed dramatically over the last 30 or 40 years. New chemicals have been used in processed food over many years in the form of preservatives, thickeners, emulsifiers, artificial colours, artificial flavours, and artificial sweeteners. Again, were these food additives tested for toxicity to humans or for any long-term effects.
In the USA they have determined that over 80,000 new chemicals have been introduced in the last 70 to 80 years and only 1% have been tested. Who knows if any were tested for long term affects to the human body and the environment.
Some of these new chemicals have been used in plastic containers and the plastic linings of metal food cans. Also used in Teflon cooking utensils, frying pans etc. Who knows what chemicals have seeped out of these plastics containers, linings and coatings into foods that we ultimately eat.
PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are one of the most used chemical toxins. They resist grease, oil, water, and heat. They are used in non-stick Teflon cooking utensils, frying pans, cleaning products, paints, fire-fighting foams. They are used to coat paper and cardboard wrappers for fast food and bakery goods, stain-resistant furniture and carpet treated with Scotchgard. Also, in Clothes labeled stain- or water-repellent. PFAS are even in personal care products and cosmetics.
“One-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive.(Hieroglyph found in an ancient Egyptian tomb.) from Doctoryourself.com
The other three-quarters keeps your doctor alive.”
E.g., An artificial sweetener, Aspartame, is being declared “a possible carcinogen” to humans by the World Health Organisation (2023). “This widely consumed sweetener has found its way into thousands of products, soft drinks like Diet Coke, chewing gum, sugar-free cough lollies, dessert mixes, yogurt, gelatins, puddings, tabletop sweeteners and even some toothpaste.
Big Pharma giant, G.D. Searle Company (now Pfizer), patented aspartame in 1965. Aspartame has been in our food since 1981 when the USA FDA approved it for use in food. Aspartame (frequently marketed as NutraSweet®, Equal®, and Amino Sweet®) is the most controversial food additive ever approved.
Also be suspicious of 3-digit numbers on ingredient labels as these numbers represent some chemicals and food ingredients that the manufacturer does not want you to know their names. It is legal but unethical and dishonest. Aspartames food additive code number is 951.
September 4th, 2023 Landmark Roundup cancer class action kicks off in court in Australia. Hundreds of Australians diagnosed with cancer are fighting in court to prove their disease stemmed from a component of a widely used weed killer.
The landmark class action, launched by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers on behalf of more than 800 non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients, alleges a component in the popular Roundup herbicide called glyphosate caused their disease. Many of the people who have joined the class action used Roundup as part of their work, Maurice Blackburn national head of class actions Andrew Watson said.
Monsanto in the USA has settled over 100,000 Roundup lawsuits, paying out about $11 billion as of May 2022. There are still 30,000 lawsuits pending.
junk & fast Food
Just look around the next time you’re in a food court at a supermarket and look at what type of food people are eating. Most of it is fast food and most of it appropriately called Junk Food. Very low in nutrition and with very little health benefits. In most cases Junk Food contains artificial preservatives colours and flavours all approved to be used in our food. I can tell you that some of these artificial additives can be toxic to the Human body if allowed to build up (Toxic meaning poisonous substances).
‘Junk food’ is food that contains high levels of unhealthy fats, salt, and sugar. They lack nutrients such as fibre, vitamins and minerals.
- Some examples of junk food include:
- cakes and biscuits
- fast foods (such as hot chips, burgers and pizzas)
- chocolate and sweets
- processed meat (such as bacon)
- snacks (such as chips)
- sugary drinks (such as sports, energy and soft drinks)
- alcoholic drinks
If your diet is high in unhealthy fats, salt and sugar and is not receiving essential nutrients, your risk of obesity and other chronic (long-term) diseases may well increase.
- These diseases include:
- cardiovascular disease
- type 2 diabetes
- non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- a number of cancers
So, you can see that if we humans do not eat nutritious food then our body cells i.e., our organs are not going to receive the proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals to stay healthy and the cells will start to die off. Sick cells affect other nearby cells and more get sick. We then start to get illnesses and diseases we could have prevented.
So, the very simple answer to the question, “Why do we need to eat Nutritious food?” is to keep our body cells healthy so they will keep us healthy as we age.
A Human Body Cell
- The approximate chemical composition of a HUMAN CELL by percent of total cell weight is:
- 70% Water.
- 18% Protein.
- 5% Fat (lipids & includes fat soluble vitamins).
- 3% Miscellaneous small Molecules (called Metabolites and includes Amino acids, Carbohydrates etc).
- 2% Polysaccharides (Complex Carbohydrates such as Starch, Glucose & Cellulose etc).
- 1% Inorganic Minerals (sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, chloride, etc).
- 1% RNA/DNA (nucleic acids).
Cells are the basic living units of the human body and contain the body’s hereditary material and can make copies. DNA is the hereditary material of genes. RNA Ribonucleic acid is a polymeric molecule that is essential for most biological functions,
You can think of cells as tiny packages that contain minute factories, warehouses, transport systems, and power plants. They function on their own, creating their own energy and self-replicating. The cell is the smallest unit of life that can replicate.
There are approx. 30 to 40 trillion cells in the human body. Our Body cells are the basic building blocks of our human body and form our Organs. The health of our organs like the brain, the heart, the lungs, the kidneys, and the liver etc. depends on the health of our trillions of cells. Organs cells are part of a huge network of cells that creates tissues, organs, and us human beings.
From the chemical composition of a HUMAN CELL, we can see that we need to supply our cells nutritious ingredients which should include healthy fats, protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Our Cells take in nutrients from food we eat, convert those nutrients into energy through Metabolism (Digestion).
Food Types Explained
Food can be classified as either a Carbohydrate, Protein or Fat. These 3 food types are called macronutrients. They are present in varying amounts in most of the foods and beverages we eat. These 3 macronutrients are our bodies main energy sources (calories) and are used by your body to survive. Putting it simply, If the body is a machine, then food is the fuel. Like, a car put in dirty fuel and the car will breakdown, feed yourself poor nutrition food and your body will breakdown.
There are good foods and bad foods amongst these food types. We need a balanced diet from these 3 food types but too much of the wrong foods will lead to poor health and illness because of poor nutrition. The wrong foods are usually those that we crave for and taste the best but are processed (lack nutrition).
A carbohydrate is an organic compound that occurs in living tissues or food. It can be broken down into energy by people or animals. Carbohydrates are your body’s most easily accessible source of energy and provide energy to our cells, particularly the brain.
The main forms of carbohydrates are simple forms such as sugars (fructose and glucose) and in complex forms such as starches and fibre.
When you eat carbohydrates, the body breaks down (or converts) most sugars and starches (carbohydrates) into glucose, a simple sugar that the body can use to feed its cells. This glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream. As the glucose level (Blood Sugar) rises in the bloodstream, the pancreas releases a hormone called insulin. Insulin is needed to move glucose (sugar) from the blood into the cells, i.e. feed our cells. This glucose is then used as a source of energy.
Being more specific, carbohydrates, fat and protein in foods provide energy for body functions as respiration, circulation and physical activities. They, however, do not produce the same amount of energy. Fat produces more than two times the energy per gram than either carbohydrates or protein. See Calories below.
Metabolism in the body converts carbohydrates, protein and fat into energy. Any excess of these nutrients will be stored as fat in the body. In other words, regardless of whether it is carbohydrates, protein or fat, it will be converted into fat storage in the body if it is not used. As our body fat accumulates, our body weight increases.
Without this energy, the cells in our bodies would die, the heart and lungs would stop, and the organs would not be able to carry out the basic processes needed for living. For example, this energy is needed by our bodies muscles to enable us to move around, walk upstairs, run etc. Our organs like the Brain and Liver require this energy to carry out their life-saving functions.
If you eat too much of the wrong carbohydrates your blood sugar rises. The Insulin hormone will continue to convert as much of the excess blood sugar into energy it can. If we do not burn off that excess energy through exercise, then the insulin hormone will store this excess glucose (sugar) in your fat cells. If we consistently take in more energy (Glucose) than we need, we will gain weight.
Examples above of some JUNK foods.
Carbohydrates are present in varying amounts in most of the foods we eat in the form of starch, sugar and fibre. Sugary carbohydrates are foods containing added sugar such as candy, soda or soft drinks/Sodas, cakes, sweets, and tomato sauce/ketchup.
Examples above of Starchy Carbohydrate foods.
Starchy carbohydrate foods are pasta, rice, oats, potatoes, noodles, yam, green bananas, sweet potato, millet, couscous, bread, breakfasts cereals, barley and rye.
low & high quality carbohydrates
If the Insulin Hormone is overwhelmed by too much blood sugar, then we become insulin dependent and diabetes can occur. On the other hand, if we take in too little energy, we will lose weight, fat and eventually muscle mass. So, you can see that by choosing the right foods to eat you can prevent all this happening.
High-quality Carbohydrates occur naturally in many plants and they provide a variety of nutrients that contribute to your overall health. Such foods are vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, beans, milk, and milk products.
Low-quality carbs, on the other hand, are often found in processed foods. These often include added sugar, fat, sodium and preservatives to improve taste or shelf life. Though they may be artificially fortified with vitamins and minerals, these foods often lack the nutrients available in whole foods like Fruit and Vegetables.
Low-quality Carbohydrate foods are white bread, sweetened beverages and cereals, baked goods, and processed potato products.
According to Harvard Medical School, it is the quality of the carbohydrates you ingest that contributes to a healthy diet, not just the reduction of carbs. For instance, low-quality carbs are quickly digested, often leading to blood sugar spikes and only a temporary feeling of fullness.
The fibre and nutrients found in whole foods can offset the glucose conversion of starches and sugars, preventing drastic spikes and satiating the appetite. You can swap carb-rich foods for vegetables and fruits that are high in vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Fibre is a type of carbohydrate, that cannot be completely digested by the human body. But fibre does provide roughage, that helps with bowel function.
Calorie Definition: In dietary terms, calories are the amount of energy that food provides for the energy people use in physical activity. A calorie is a unit of energy.
Calories per day to maintain weight. According to the World Health Organization, to maintain weight a woman needs to consume about 2000 calories per day. For a man to maintain weight he needs to consume 2500 calories per day. It may be slightly higher for women or slightly lower for men. It depends on the individual and your lifestyle, active or nonactive.
When most of us think of calories, we think of weight loss and weight gain and how fattening food is. Many weight loss programs centre around reducing the intake of calories. If we consistently take in more energy (calories) than we need, we will gain weight. If we take in too little energy, we will lose weight, fat and eventually muscle mass.
As mentioned earlier carbohydrates are a component of food that supplies energy through calories to the body. They are listed in the nutritional information on all food packaging measured in Cal or Calories.
One of the problems with traditional calorie counting is that it doesn’t take into account what you’re eating, just how many calories. Not everybody needs the same number of calories each day. People have different metabolisms (Digestion) that burn energy at different rates and some people have more active lifestyles than others.
It also does not take into account how nutritious the food is that you intend to eat on a calorie diet. Your body requires nutrients (vitamins, Minerals, Antioxidants, Fibre etc.) to survive. If you are eating what is called Empty Calorie foods then you are eating purely for pleasure and cravings and not for feeding your body the nutrients it requires to stay healthy.
Empty Calories. Dictionaries defines “empty” as “holding or containing nothing.” In Empty Calorie foods, it means these types of foods contain virtually no nutrients. And for all the calories these foods add to your diet, they bring along almost nothing else for your body. Very little vitamins or minerals, very little fibre, antioxidants, or phytochemicals.
Examples above of Empty Calorie foods
Some of these Empty Calorie Foods are: Anything with lots of sugar or other sweeteners such as cakes, cookies, soda/soft drinks and energy sports drinks. Also processed fruit drinks containing added sugar, candy and so-called health bars containing added sugar, potato chips, frozen milk desserts, ice cream and frozen yoghurt. More examples of empty Calorie foods are fast (junk) food, including burgers, French fries and pizza, bacon, sausages and hot dogs.
Anything with lots of bad fats and oils: Examples are Deep-fried French fries, high-fat crackers made with white flour, most Vegetable oils, which are usually rancid by the time you purchase them, Canola Oil and popcorn chicken that has more fried crumb topping than chicken inside.
more on empty calories
To determine if a food is an empty calorie food or a nutritious food you need to check the food products Nutritional Information label usually on the back or side of the products packaging. Also check the products ingredients list usually above or below the products Nutritional Information label.
The products Nutritional Information label will tell you how much of the following components, Calories (energy), protein, fat, carbohydrate (sugar), fibre, sodium (salt) and nutrients like vitamins and minerals the product contains per serve or 100g.
If the product has high energy(calories), high carbohydrates (sugar) and high sodium(salt) content with low protein, low dietary fibre, and nil or low mineral and vitamin content then the product is possibly an empty calorie (unhealthy) food.
If the food has low calorie (energy), low sugar (carbohydrates) and low salt (sodium) and with high protein, good fats like omega-3 and a good amount of dietary fibre and contains a good mix of minerals and vitamins then that food is a highly nutritious food.
When it comes to empty-calorie foods, it’s all about moderation. A little is fine; a lot can get you into calorie overload. Unhealthy Fats are a no-no. Good fats are highly nutritious and beneficial even though they are high calorie.
food package ingredient list
When looking through the ingredient list on a product look for unhealthy ingredients like artificial colourings, artificial flavours, preservatives, emulsifiers, thickeners, refined vegetable oils like safflower oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, Canola (rapeseed) oil, poppyseed oil, grapeseed oil, corn oil, walnut oil, sesame oil, and rice bran oil. These oils can be highly processed before being added to a product and naturally contain high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. If these oils are hydrogenated then they may contain Trans Fats which is the worst kind of fat.
These unwanted polyunsaturated fat omega-6’s like those found in refined vegetable oils squeeze out the vital omega-3’s which are good for you.
Look for products that have on their product packaging labels “no sugar added” or “a low-calorie food.” This specific type of labelling must be approved by food health authorities in most countries.
Be aware that “no sugar” or “no sugar added” means no cane sugar was added. But these foods may contain artificial sweeteners, and/or corn syrup (fructose). These Food additives can make the product very tasty but can be harmful to health and are pro-inflammatory.
Also be suspicious of 3-digit numbers on ingredient labels as these numbers can represent chemicals and food ingredients that the manufacturer does not want you to know their names. It is legal but unethical and dishonest.
You probably have empty calories in your pantry right now. Change your diet lifestyle and eat healthier. You cannot go wrong when you eat coloured foods like green leafy vegetables, peas, beans, carrots, sprouts, broccoli, beetroot (beets), fresh fruits, legumes, eggs, fish, poultry, and whole grains.
calculating kcal & kjoules
How to convert grams of the 3 macronutrients (Carbohydrate, Protein and Fat) listed on a food products Nutritional Information label into kilocalories then into energy kilojoules (kjoules). Multiply grams of total carbohydrate in the food by 4 calories per gram. Multiply grams of protein in the food by 4 calories per gram. Multiply grams of total fat in the food by 9 calories per gram. Then add the 3 results together to give you the Total kilocalories. Then multiply by 4.184 kjoules to give you the Total Energy in kilojoules for the food you are measuring.
- Calorie/Energy Content of Food Types.
- 1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 Calories. The energy produced by 1 gm of carbohydrates is 4 Calories per gm.
- 1 gram of protein = 4 Calories. The energy produced by 1 gm of protein is 4 Calories per gram.
- 1 gram of fat = 9 Calories. The energy produced by 1 gm of fat is 9 Calories per gram.
- Alcohol can also provide energy. 1 gram alcohol = 7 Calories
Example calculation: I have a food container in front of me now and it states on the label under Nutritional Information the following per 100g of the food product.
|Component on Label||Gms/100gms||x kcal||Total kilocalories/100g|
|Total Carbohydrates||2 gms||4 kcal||= 8 kcal|
|Protein||31.3 gms||4 kcal||= 125.2 kcal|
|Total Fats||54.2 gms||9 kcal||= 487.8 kcal|
|Total Kilocalories||8 + 125.2 + 487.8||= 621 kcal|
|Total Energy||621 kcal x 4.184 kilojoules||= 2598.2 kilojoules|
|NB: 1000 calories (Small c)||= 1 Cal (Capital C)||= 1 Kcal = 1 kilocalorie|
When we think about calories most of us relate it to weight loss, our health, heart disease & other health problems related to being overweight. Any extra body fat we gain is a result of not using all the energy supplied by food as calories converted to energy. The energy not used is stored in our fat cells as body fat.
converting food grams to kilocalories
So, the only way to reduce body fat is by exercising (to use up the excess energy) or reducing your intake of high calorie foods mainly carbohydrates and sugars, like junk fast foods, soft drinks/soda, cakes, sweets etc. So, knowing the Calories or energy a food contains is still very important. You can use this Calculator to Convert grams to kilocalories.
Please be aware that you cannot cut out eating calories as your body needs at least 2000 calories every day to maintain your weight. According to the World Health Organization, to maintain weight a woman needs to consume about 2000 calories per day, and the figure for a man to maintain weight is 2500 calories per day. When I talk about calories being a problem is when we eat excessive calories.
Checking calories is important but the best way to reduce body fat is to find out the best and most nutritious foods to eat along with some exercise and your body will do the rest and love you for it.
This whole website’s theme is about eating nutritious food along with exercise. You will find lots of information on the good foods and the unhealthy foods. I will confess it will not be easy to change your eating and physical lifestyle because you will go through tests that will challenge your willpower and they will be almost impossible to break.
Like food cravings and closing your mind to the fact that you are actually eating a delicious cake or thinking one cake will not hurt me. Distractions like easy Uber eats, prepackaged and tasty processed foods that only need to be heated etc. But if you are going through pain and regular illness the healthy result will be amazing.
Glycemic Index (GI) of Food
The glycemic index is a ranking of foods on a scale from 0 to 100. Pure glucose is given a ranking of 100, all other foods are in relation to this. For Example, the GI for 1 slice of White Bread (2.5g) is approx. 70.
Examples above of some high GI & GL foods.
It has long been recognised that this index number was based on how slowly or how quickly foods digest and cause increases in blood glucose (sugar) levels. From new studies on research, some scientists now believe the GI is not a measure of how fast or slow a carbohydrate source gets into the blood. Rather, it’s a measure of the total rise in blood sugar over time.
The higher the GI number the bigger the rise in blood sugar. You must take into account the amount of carbohydrate in each food. A food with a high GI number but containing a small amount of carbohydrate should not have much effect on blood sugar levels.
Research conducted by two different laboratories has shown the rate of glucose entry into the bloodstream, called glucose kinetics, for two high-GI carbohydrates can be remarkably different. In fact, a low-GI carbohydrate may possibly enter the bloodstream more rapidly than a high-GI carbohydrate-rich food.
What does that small difference mean for dieters? It means that low glycemic foods may not provide the slow, steady, diet-friendly blood sugar levels that they rely on. And high glycemic foods may not induce the blood sugar spike that can tempt overeating.
Low glycemic foods
This new Glycemic Index information makes using the GI for blood sugar control and weight loss somewhat unreliable. But since it’s the carbohydrates in food that raise blood sugar, the glycemic index can help when trying to pick out which foods are the best for you if used in conjunction with the Glycemic Load. See below. The only accurate way to tell how food affects you is to check your own blood glucose.
Low Glycemic Foods vs. Healthy Foods for Weight Loss. So, what’s the best way to choose the best foods if you can’t rely on the accuracy of the glycemic index? Susan Kleiner PhD, RD, FACN, CNS, FISSN suggests making choices based on nutrient value and common sense.
Dr Kleiner says the healthiest food for your diet is the food that provides healthy nutrients with less processed fat and less empty calories.
In addition, Dr Kleiner says “that low glycemic foods aren’t always healthy or good for your diet. The GI number can sometimes be used by dieters to justify eating less healthy foods like ice cream instead of fruit. She points out that ice cream is a low-glycemic food, but isn’t necessarily a good choice if you’re trying to lose weight.
Low glycemic foods may also include high calorie or high bad fat foods like cake, corn chips or a Snickers bar. All these foods are called Empty Calorie foods which lack nutrition. “
Health Risks from High Blood Glucose
Foods with a glycemic index of 45 or less are considered low GI foods. Foods with a glycemic index of 46 to 59 are considered Moderate GI foods. Foods with a glycemic index of 60 or higher are considered high GI foods.
Examples above of Zero Glycemic Index (GI) & Zero Glycemic Load (GL) Foods.
Health Risks from High Blood Glucose. Also known as “blood sugar,” blood glucose levels above normal are toxic and can cause blindness, kidney failure, increase cardiovascular risk and diabetes.
A research team at Tufts University found that people who eat foods with a high glycaemic index were 40% more likely to experience vision loss. Foods like cereals and cakes that spike your blood sugar.
For cholesterol: An analysis of 28 randomised controlled trials provided high-level evidence that high-fibre, low GI diets can significantly reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels, independent of weight loss. 
For weight maintenance: The Diogenes study from Europe found that a moderately high protein, low GI diet is the best for longer-term weight management.
It is important to keep in mind, that the glycemic index does not take into account serving size or how much of the carbohydrate you’re actually consuming per serving. The actual amount any food raises blood sugar has to do both with how glycemic it is and how much of it you eat. If you consume a high GI food that only has a few grams of carbohydrates in it, you don’t have to worry about the impact on blood sugar levels. The glycemic load attempts to combine these concepts and some diets are using the glycemic load for this reason.
Glycemic Load (GL) of Foods
Glycemic Load is a better measure than the Glycemic Index as it can tell you how high your blood sugar could go from how much glucose food will deliver to the bloodstream when you actually eat the food. This is partly determined by how much carbohydrate is in an individual serving. It gives a more accurate picture of a food’s real-life impact on blood sugar. The lower the GL number (10 or lower best) the lower amount of glucose delivered to the bloodstream.
The glycemic load is determined by multiplying the grams of carbohydrate in a serving by the glycemic index number, then dividing by 100, i.e. GI x grams of Carbohydrates divided by 100.
Watermelon, for example, has a high glycemic index of 72. But a serving of watermelon has so little carbohydrate (6 grams/serving of 120g) that its glycemic load is only approx. 4. Calculation is 72 x 6 divided by 100 = 4.32. You can eat watermelon without having to worry about spikes in your blood sugar level.
The glycemic load of food can be classified as low, medium, or high: Low GL is 10 or less. Foods with a low GL are good food choices. Medium GL is between 11 – 19. Foods with a medium GL have a moderate effect on your blood sugar. High GL is 20 or more. High GL foods will cause blood sugar and insulin spikes.