What Is Defensive Nutrition?
Have you ever heard of “Defensive Nutrition”?
How is your diet these days? Do your meals center around the purpose of sustainment or the feeling of satisfaction? Are your meal plans focused on weight loss or consumed with calorie counts? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, you may be missing out on key nutrition or defensive nutrition.
But…What Is Defensive Nutrition
Defensive nutrition is an eating lifestyle that not only focuses on portion control and mindfulness, but has an emphasis on consumption of adequate fluids, fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Defensive eating focuses on consuming foods that do not increase inflammation, add to the woes of insulin resistance or enhance the risk of cancer.
Defensive nutrition focuses on making better food choices with the goal of protecting your body from harm.
Defensive nutrition is not a diet; rather, it is a way of life. This means you do not pay to lose weight only to regain it again. You do not pay for food, lose weight and then stop buying their food and go right back to where you were (or worse). You choose the foods which contain the greatest nutritional value, and you also focus on portion control.
Defensive Nutrition and Critical Ingredients
The ideal goal with defensive nutrition is to eat five to ten servings of vegetables and fruits each day. Fruits and veggies are vital because they contain phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are chemicals available in plants that help to keep them fresh and healthy, and if you want a shortcut to know which foods contain the phytos, look for color. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables will give you those nutrients. If it’s beige as most processed food tends to be, you will not get your desired phytonutrient intake.
The reason these compounds are essential is that they possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They can help to boost your immune system and protect you from infections and illness.
Make it a goal to limit your intake of salt, sugar and fat. These three ingredients together may generate feelings of pleasure in the brain and gut, but they are addictive and can wreak havoc on the overall health of your body.
Try to avoid foods which are processed or contain an inexorable amount of trans fats. Transfats are human created fats that preserve the shelf life of foods. They can raise your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol thereby increasing your risk for conditions like heart disease and/or stroke.
Read Your Labels
Read your nutrition labels on any packaged food you consider buying. This will help you to become more aware of how much nutrition is present or missing from your food. Too many chemicals in your product can impact the degree of nutrition and can adversely affect your health.
Be Careful About Your Fluids of Choice
Unless you are only drinking plain water, you also need to evaluate the beverages you are consuming. Pay attention to labels here as well. Even healthy sounding drinks contain different kinds of sweeteners and preservatives. It’s in your best interest to avoid soda and fruit juices! Soda is poison for a variety of reasons, and fruit juices are simply sugar.
Plan Ahead for Eating Out: Your Goal is to Eat Better
Eating out should not be your get out of jail free card. Defensive nutrition is applicable in this situation as well. You want to pay attention to the creams and sauces used on your food. Be wary of your bread consumption as this can lead to excessive calorie and sugar intake.
Practice Mindful Eating
Another component of defensive nutrition is mindful eating. Take steps to be aware of the foods you are consuming, the rate at which you are eating and the taste of each bite. To effectively achieve mindfulness, it may be in your best interest to eliminate distractions around you including the television, your phone, and any other portable devices that might take away your awareness or the moment.
Defensive nutrition enables you to prioritize your food choices and practice purposeful eating that focuses your health and well being. You have the power to make decisions about the kind of food and drink that you consume. Take small steps for big changes every day, and you can employ your food to help you ward off illness, disease, inflammation and premature aging!
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness!
Cheryl A Major
I am a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. My TV show, “Thin Strong Healthy”, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of my blog http://ThinStrongHealthy.com I offer ongoing information, live and online courses and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier. Follow me on Twitter @CherylAMajor.
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