It's easy to get confused about whether you're on the right track for healthy eating, but I've noticed recently that there seems to be too much focus on calories and not enough on nutrients. So I just want to take a minute to help you make sure you're getting enough nutrients from your food.
Micro nutrients - what are they?
The simplest explanation is that micro nutrients are the vitamins and minerals in food and drink.
All food and drink is made up of macro and micro nutrients.
Just so you know...macro nutrients include carbs, protein, fats and fibre. They are obviously really important - most of us know that we need a careful balance of all macro nutrients for our bodies to function correctly. But it can be easy to forget micro nutrients while you're busy counting your calories (or macros, if you do that).
What I mean is that you might be really aware of how many calories you're eating each day, but they could be 'empty calories' - foods that don't provide your body with many micro nutrients.
For example - you could eat a meal that's about 500 calories - so it could be chicken breast, veggies and sweet potato, and your body would get the micro nutrients from that food, so plenty of vitamins and minerals because it's all clean nutritious food.
Or you could, for the same 500 calories, eat two chocolate bars. Your body would be getting the same amount of calories but it wouldn't be getting anywhere near as many micro nutrients.
I know that comparison is extreme but I hope it's explained what I mean. Calories aren't the be all and end all. Yes, they're a good basic guideline but the nutrition you get from those calories is really important.
Don't worry - you don't need to start meticulously tracking every vitamin and mineral in the food and drink you consume, I don't recommend that because you could drive yourself crazy looking through every label. Just keep an eye on what you're putting into your body and make sure you're not regularly consuming empty calories.
Find your own healthy balance with food - as you all know, I'm a strong believer of everything in moderation.
Check out my recent blog post about making healthier choices.
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