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In order to effectively manage your weight and diet, it is important that you track the foods that you consume. Tracking calories consumed is an effective way to achieve this. Calories are a measure of energy and are normally used to measure the energy content of foods and beverages. In technical terms, a calorie is defined as the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius. Your body uses the calories that you consume for essential functions like breathing, circulation, and thinking and also for daily activities like walking, talking, and eating. The excess calories you consume are stored by the body as fat and continually eating more than you burn will cause you to gain weight over time. Your calorie consumption strategy will vary according to your goals. If your goal is weight loss, you need to consume lesser calories than you burn. If weight gain is what you are looking for, you need to consume more calories than you burn. Of course, you also need to pay attention to the quality of calories consumed as this will greatly affect your overall health.
Below, we have a look at the calories in different foods:
The glycemic index is a scale that ranks food from 0 to 100 based on the number of carbohydrates in them and indicates how quickly a food causes your blood sugar to rise.
Foods that are high on the Glycemic Index (GI) can cause harmful blood sugar spikes in people suffering from diabetes. High GI foods also make it tougher for you to maintain a healthy weight. This is why some people suffering from diabetes use GI to plan their meals.
A nutritious and well-balanced diet should include a wide range of foods, so that you are not limited to consuming just low GI foods. Although, knowing where a certain food lies on the GI scale can help you make healthy choices.
Below, we look at the GI of various foods:
ACIDIC AND ALKALINE FOODS
Acidic foods/acid forming foods: A diet high in acidic foods (E.g.:- red meat, soft drinks, sugar etc.) are foods that produce high amounts of acid in the body. When this acid waste enters the blood stream, the blood system tries to dispose it off by storing it in the vital organs like the heart, liver, colon, pancreas etc.
On ingestion of excess acid forming foods, excess acid corrodes tissues and organs. This leads to various diseases/disorders and thus, forms a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and other microorganisms that can damage the glands and organs. The extra acid also leads to weight gain, since the extra acid is stored in the fat cells of the body.
To combat this, it is healthy to keep a balance between consumption of acidic and alkaline foods.
Alkaline foods/alkaline forming foods: An alkaline diet emphasizes alkaline foods such as whole fruits and vegetables and certain whole grains, which are low in caloric density. Healthy alkaline diet foods involve the ideal balance between acidifying and alkalizing foods. These foods help to balance the acidity levels of the fluids in your body, including the blood and urine.
An optimal acid – base balance of the bodily fluids will ensure a reduced prevalence of disorders and diseases. By choosing more alkaline foods, you should be able to “alkalize” your diet and improve health.