Planning your Diet

My apologies if you just returned from a seven-course gastronomic meal with palette cleansers throw in between your meals. What you ate was designed to please your taste buds. Your body, on the other hand, could not care less just how pleased you were at the end of the meal. The body functions in purely biological terms and looks for adequate nutrition to meet its energy needs. If your body could speak to you, it would laugh if you talked to it about Michellen starred chefs and nitrogen infused dishes. Instead, it would ask you to make sure you got enough thiamin, selenium or zinc.

So how do you ensure that you are paying heed to the needs of your body and not your palette? The principles are simple. First, you ensure that you meet your daily recommended intake of all the minor nutrients also known as minerals and vitamins. Second, you ensure that your total calorie requirement which comes from proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are met and not exceeded. Often we go wrong with this and end up overeating. Moderation is a good habit, especially when eating calorie rich foods like olive oil or butter. Third, your body needs vitamins and minerals found in diverse sources of foods. Therefore changing your fruits and vegetables help you vary the type of vitamins and the antioxidants that you are getting. A simple way to do this is to eat what ever is available in the season. Finally, remember Goldilocks? She liked everything just right. So does your body. Not too much, not too little, not from a single source, not from too many at one time. Balance and adequacy or getting it just right is crucial.

Did you get a chance to speak to the chef making your meal? Perhaps it is worth revisiting and asking her if she followed these principles.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.