Mrs. Joann Deal and Mr. James White
Senior Life Strategies FOCUS
March 31st, 2014
Healthy: The Connotations and Misconceptions
The general idea of being healthy has changed in a variety of ways over the many centuries that humans have been studying anatomy. Being healthy is much more than just looking good, and the U.S. Military is a great example of this. Most military personnel do not have large muscles but they are still extremely strong and even outperform professional bodybuilders. This is because the size and strength of muscles are much more independent of one another than most would initially believe (Mettler) (Phillips).
Any medical doctor, anatomical expert, or even a so-called “Health-Guru” will tell you that the singular most important factor in changing the body mass index of a person is their diet. Many people refer to the laws of physics and biological imperatives when speaking of diet. Basically the idea is that when a person consumes more calories than he or she uses, then the person is gaining weight. Gaining weight is not always a bad thing, as most people trying to gain muscle need to gain weight in order to do so. However, the type of food you eat contains different “Macro Nutrients” which can effect different growth factors in different ways.
Generally the most feared and hated macro nutrient is the carbohydrate. It is technically not the most fattening nutrient, (Carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram whereas actual fat provides 9.) yet carbohydrates are much more numerous in the foods that contain them. For instance, white bread or ice cream contain multitudes of carbohydrates since they are simple sugars, but don't contain nearly the same amounts of fat. Carbohydrates at the basic level are made from carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. It is these three elements that make up the simple sugar.
The easiest way to tell if a food is high in carbohydrates is if it is white in color. There are generally few exceptions to this rule, but some are eggs, mushrooms, and sour cream. Almonds and tofu are around mid-carb in their respective serving sizes. Whole grain bread is also high in calories but it takes quite a bit more energy for the body to digest them so it is a lot better than white wheat or a like variation. An easy way to avoid carbohydrates is to drink diet soda instead of regular. This is a substitution that many find easier than cutting out all sugar from a diet. Home-brewed tea is also a great substitute.
The next macro nutrient is protein. Protein actually has the same amount of calories per gram as carbohydrates, but the calories digested are in the form of amino-acids, which help to repair and build muscle (Phillips). However, digesting protein without actually using your muscles in exercise will turn the excess calories into fat and build up unwanted weight the same as carbohydrates (Mettler) (Phillips).
A general way to get good amounts of protein is by either eating lean meat, (like turkey for...