Nutritional Excellence

Can nutritional excellence help you live the longest, healthiest life possible? What daily decision determines your health the most? What you decide to eat on a daily basis is the single biggest determinant of your long-term health.

What are the two main reasons you need to eat?

  1. To meet your energy needs
  2. To meet your nutrient needs

  1. Food provides the energy, the fuel (usually called calories), mostly from fats and sugars, for your body to do all the things it needs to do to keep you alive and functioning-making new cells, recycling old cells, contracting muscles, thinking thoughts, et cetera. You need the energy stored in food.
  2. Food also provides the raw materials, the nutrients, for building and maintaining your body. Each of the roughly 37 trillion cells in your body is made out of amino acids, lipids, and sugars. Those cells require vitamins, like vitamin A, C, E, D, K, and all the B vitamins, and minerals like calcium, copper, iron, sodium, potassium, to do everything they do. You need the nutrients stored in food.

What is the best way to meet your energy and nutrient needs? A nutrient-dense, whole-food, plant-based diet. A vegan diet built on real food as opposed to a junk-food vegan diet. Nutritional excellence.

Meeting Your Energy Needs

You need food in order to meet your energy needs. Everything your amazing body does, from dancing to thinking, requires energy. Every food has calories (energy) to power your body. These calories come from what are called the Macronutrients: Fat, Carbohydrates, and Protein. Our bodies use mostly fat and carbohydrates for energy. Protein, while used a little bit for energy, is mostly used to build the structure of our bodies.

For most people, getting enough calories isn’t a problem. You can easily (and cheaply), get plenty of calories eating the Standard American Diet. That is part of why over 70% of Americans are overweight! The only way to become overweight is to consistently eat more calories than you need. You store those extra calories as fat.

We humans crave foods high in fat, sugar, salt. The food industry does a fantastic job of providing us with plenty of delicious “foods” which allow us to meet and exceed our energy needs (remember, you gain weight by consistently taking in more energy than you need), but, these manufactured foods are short on nutrients; and nutrients are what you need to be healthy.

Meeting Your Nutrient Needs

In order to maximize your healthspan (the number of years you are healthy compared to your lifespan), you need to eat nutrient-dense foods (foods with a high nutrient to calorie ratio). Plants are the the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Plants are the primary producers of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins. While plants don’t make minerals, they absorb them from the soil and concentrate them in themselves, making plants the primary source for all our mineral needs too. Most whole plant foods are low in calories (exceptions include avocados, nuts, and seeds.)

That means you can meet your nutrient needs without exceeding your calorie needs.  Based on research like the Adventist Health Studies and the Blue Zones, a whole-foods plant-based diet is the optimal way to deliver to your trillions of cells all the energy, and nutrients they need so you can live a long, healthy life.

What is Nutritional Excellence?

It is eating, on a daily basis,  in a way that supports your long-term health. The best way to increase your healthspan is to meet your nutrient needs without exceeding your caloric needs. Eating a nutrient-dense, whole-food, plant-based diet is the best way to do this. A nutritionally excellent diet includes:

  • Beans
  • Fruits with an emphasis on Berries
  • Vegetables with an emphasis on Cruciferous vegetables and Green leafy vegetables
  • Whole-grains
  • Nuts & Seeds

Nutritional Excellence is based upon the 3 Laws of Nutrition.

The 3 Laws of Nutrition

The Law of Wholism- Food is a package deal. Food is a complex mixture of chemical compounds which have a complex affect on the complex chemistry of our bodies. The effect a food has on our body, promoting health or disease, isn’t based on a single component in the food but on all the food contains. You can’t get the protein from meat, which people mistakenly think they need, without also getting the problematic saturated fat and cholesterol. You can’t get the fiber from an apple, which most people don’t worry about but should, without getting the health promoting vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

The Law of Conservation of Quality- You can’t be any healthier than the food you eat. Your cells are built out of what you eat. If you are eating a nutrient-deficient diet your cells will lack the necessary amounts of vitamins, minerals for optimum health and longevity. Your house can’t be any better than the lumber used to build it.

The Law of Accumulation-Things add up over time. It isn’t how we eat in a single meal that determines our healthspan but how we eat over our lifetime. Disease is, in large part, the result of a lifetime of poor eating. Good health, the result of a lifetime of nutritional excellence.

Practice Nutritional Excellence! Eat a nutrient-dense, whole-food, plant-based diet daily.

Can you help us make the world a kinder, healthier, place? Please share this with your family and friends. Remember, every time you eat a nutrient-dense, whole-food, vegan meal you are choosing compassion over killing, and health over sickness.  Good choice! Be well, do good!

Be Vegan, Be Vibrant!