THE COMPOSITION OF ALIMENTS
The Genomic Diet: 2st chapter The Composition of aliments
There are carbohydrates and sugars in all aliments, especially vegetables. Carbohydrates, once ingested, are metabolized by the body into glucose, which is the energy reserve all organisms that can be easily assimilated.
Glucose is found in foods such as honey, fruits, or they are bound to other molecules such as lactose in milk.
We even have “simple sugars,” a single molecule which is absorbed directly and they are: glucose (fruits, honey, etc.), fructose (fruits, etc.), galactose (Milk), and mannose (Palm, birch).
The “dual carbs” have two molecules and they are sucrose. Sucrose is routinely used as a sweetener. White sugar is made up of glucose and fructose. There’s galactose in milk and glucose in beer.
Starch, glycogen and cellulose are “complex carbohydrates. They’re found in cereals, tubers and legumes. Cellulose, which can’t be digested due to the lack of specific enzymes of our body, are eliminated in the body with our feces.
Glycogen is an energy reserve found in in the liver and muscles and it is considered the food of the brain. Proteins are organic substances of animal or vegetable origin. They are used in building the cellular structures of an organism. They are also needed to make enzymes and hormones.
A proportion of these can also be used to produce energy and fabricate glucose due to a process called gluconeogenesis.
It occurs when energy demands are not met due to a lack of carbohydrates and lipids. Proteins are complex molecules made up of twenty-two basic units called amino acids.
14 amino acids are synthesized by the body. 8 of them are essential they are not produced by the body. They must be introduced into the diet.
The egg is the only food that contains all of the amino acids. Aliments like veal, beef, fish, game, cheese, eggs and so on provide us with proteins of animal origin, while legumes, seaweed, grains, walnuts, chestnuts and so on provide proteins of plant origin. Omega 3 is found in aliments which ostrich meat, cheese made from organic milk, and fish.
Nuts and olives contain omegas 6-9.
The first type of fat is the “saturated fats.” The second is of vegetable origin and is called “monounsaturated fats.”
“Polyunsaturated fats” can both be of vegetable and animal origin, such as seed oil and olive oil and those of fish and pork.
Lipids are complex molecules. If they’re solid, they’re fats. If they’re liquid, they’re oils.
Fats, like carbohydrates, provide energy. But taking them excessively lets them accumulate in the body which results in weight gain.
Essential fatty acids are not synthesized by the body.
Lipids are also the co-factors responsible for the absorption of fat soluble vitamins and are essential for cell structure.
Proteins provide an average of four kilocalories per gram. Fats provide an average of nine kilocalories per gram. Sugars, in turn, provide an average of four kilocalories per gram.
Carbohydrates, once introduced into the body, are responsible for the increase in blood glucose, i.e. the value of glucose that is present in the blood.
The ‘glycemic index’ (GI) is the ability of food to raise blood glucose levels. Some carbohydrates are absorbed quickly and therefore have a high glycemic index. Others are absorbed more slowly and therefore have a low glycemic index.
The glycemic index of food varies due to several factors such as the way it’s cooked, the fat content, and the fiber content. For fruit and vegetables we should also take into account the degree of ripeness and variety.
The Glycemic Load (GL) of food is based on the IG. It is an estimate of how much a certain food can raise the blood glucose level of a person after eating. It’s important to consider, when choosing a diet, to take into account both the I. G and the CG of food.
The “fat-soluble vitamins” are A, D, E, and K. They are stored in the liver.
The “water-soluble vitamins” are to be taken daily in the diet. They are B complex, vitamin C and PP. Vitamins are essential for the proper functioning of metabolism and are present in almost all foods of both plant and animal origin. They can’t be synthesized by the body.
Like vitamins, “minerals” and “trace elements” are not synthesized, but they are largely responsible for the proper functioning of the body. A deficiency of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D can cause osteoporosis, and an excess of calcium can lead to kidney stones.
A decrease in trace elements or trace minerals, such as in the case of iodine, can result in hyper or hypothyroidism. Copper or nickel dysfunction during the absorption of iron and nickel can cause food allergies and gastrointestinal disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux esophageal or colitis.
The lack of these important co-factors can produce major diseases that are often irreparable. The metabolic nutrition, therefore, is based not only on macro elements such as proteins, carbohydrates or lipids but most of all, they are based on the activators and regulators of metabolic functions. These components are always overlooked in everyday diet.
Let it be known that these components are present in all foods, and even water. We must remember that when we die, our bodies will turn to mineral salts.
Water is present throughout the body in varying proportions depending on the age of the individual and is essential for human life.
The human body cannot survive for long without water because it is as essential as oxygen.
Water is essential for the physiological processes and biochemical reactions within our body. It is the main element for the purification and, thanks to water, we eliminate metabolic waste.
It provides friction in the joints, keeps the skin elastic, regulates the body temperature, and plays a vital role in maintaining the pressure within our bodies.
Children are composed of 80% water. Adults are 70% water. The elderly are only 50% water.
We lose water every day. We need to compensate for the loss by drinking water every day.
The water balance of a healthy person is given by a simple calculation of multiplying your body weight by 0.03.
A person weighing 60 kg will have to drink 1.8 liters of water daily.
Let us remember, however, that our urine should be pale yellow in color.
If your urine is darker in color, you have to drink more water. If it’s clear like water, you need to readjust your intake. This kind of volume is only useful in cases of kidney stones.
Headaches may indicate a lack of hydration of the brain. Let us remember, however, that we also obtain water fro fruits, vegetables, and meat.
By taking it from fruits and vegetables, we also introduce “fiber” in our intestines. It’s a protective agent from toxic substances such as chemicals, dyes, and preservatives.
The fibers are divided into “soluble” and “insoluble.”
Soluble fibers reduce cholesterol, prevent diabetes, and do not provide calories. They do give a sense of satiety, however.
Soluble fibers are fermentable. They are the basis for the good development of intestinal flora thanks to the action of prebiotic fructooligosaccharides (FOS), such as inulin. They are mainly present in chicory, onion, artichokes, etc. They have a chelating action. Therefore, they interfere with the absorption of cholesterol and reduce sugar levels. However, they can cause constipation.
The insoluble fibers (not-fermentable) regularize the intestinal transit.
But we should not exaggerate the introduction of fiber to avoid creating nutritional deficiencies at the expense of Trace Elements and Minerals due to the presence of the phytic acid which hinders the absorption of Calcium, Iron, Zinc, and Selenium.
The fibers must also be of biological origin because if we introduce whole aliments, fiber is found in the outer part of the grain and may, therefore, contain harmful pollutants due to the chemicals used in agriculture.
Fiber intake should not exceed 30 g daily.
The enzymes are very important in the composition of aliments or can be produced by the body. They are critical because they catalyze and regulate all biochemical reactions in the body.
They are produced from DNA and their characteristic is to hasten or enhance chemical reactions.