Nutrition and Food Science

These simple guidelines will help you make healthy decisions about what to cook, eat and share.

What should I eat?

A good way to approach proper nutrition is to keep it simple. Start with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and natural and low-processed foods.

Include a little bit of carbs like rice, whole grains, pasta and potatoes and quality protein like lean meats, beans and tofu. You can mix in a little bit of dairy like low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt and a small portion of fats and sugars like candy, ice cream, cake and French fries.

You should also eat some quality fats like those found in nuts, olive oil, coconuts and avocados for healthy skin, nails and hair.

What should I drink?

Water is the most important beverage at mealtime and anytime you are thirsty.

Water is the best thing for re-hydrating your body and cleaning your palate so you can taste your food. When you drink soda and juice while eating, you cover your taste buds with sugar. This will alter the way that you taste flavors.

Water is the key to quenching your thirst and keeping your body running strong.

Food Science: The Basics

I'm about to breakdown the basics of food science so you can plan healthy dishes that deliver maximum nutrition and flavor.

Calorie: The quantifiable unit of energy in food.

Carbohydrates: Carbs provide energy for your body. Simple carbs come from foods that have naturally occurring sugars like fruit, milk and sugar. Your body will break these down quickly. Complex carbs include starchy foods like grains, rice, pasta, potatoes, and some fruits and vegetables. These take longer for your body to break down into slow-burning energy.

Lipids: These are fats found in animals and plants. Some are good, and some are bad. A small amount of "good fat," found in olive oil, fish oil, and avocados, is a good source of energy and can contain fat-soluble vitamins. Too much "bad fat," from processed oils and fatty red meats, are high in cholesterol and can damage your arteries and heart over time.

Proteins: Your body uses protein to build and repair tissue, make enzymes and hormones, and build muscle, skin and blood. Proteins are made up of amino acids which are vital for life and can be found in foods made from animals (beef, pork, chicken and fish) and some plants (beans, spouted beans, peas and greens).

Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins regulate your metabolism, your growth, and your body functions. Minerals from food help in the proper function and structure of all living cells, promoting the body's performance, energy, growth, and healing. Foods that are grown directly in soil, like carrots, beets, spinach, kale and potatoes, are rich in vitamins and minerals.

Water: Your body is 60% water, and you lose a quart of water per day. You need lots of water, pure H20, for your body to function properly. It allows your body to maintain temperature by sweating, and it eliminates the toxins from your body when you go to the bathroom. There is nothing better than an ice-cold glass of water; it is super refreshing and will keep you running all day long!