Your body needs nutrients to maintain and rebuild itself as well as for usable energy. The six classes of nutrients are:


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  • water
  • proteins (eggs, meat, poultry, fish, nuts, seeds, and soy)
  • lipids (avocado, nuts, oils, dairy)
  • carbohydrates (starches, fruit, vegetables, pasta, and bread)
  • vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, K)
  • minerals (sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, etc.)[/nz_il]

Water, proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates are considered macro-nutrients because your body needs to consume them in larger quantities. Despite needing smaller quantities from our diet, vitamins and minerals are of equal importance to your bodies growth and maintenance. Deficiencies in any class of nutrient can produce serious health risks.

Your Dynamic Metabolism

The field of nutrition science can become very complex when a person explores the intricacies of metabolic processes.  For example, it has been clinically shown that your perception of the food you consume has a profound impact on how your body actually metabolizes it. Just read through this article where two groups of participants in a study consumed a shake. The shake for each group came from the same source.   However, one group was told their shake was healthy and 140 calories.  It was labeled Sensishake. The other group was told it was an incredibly rich shake labeled Indulgence that contained about 620 calories.


Before and after the shake was consumed, each group’s participants had their ghrelin levels read.  Ghrelin is a hormone that tells you it’s time to eat.  When it is secreted, your metabolism slows and you receive the craving of hunger.  It’s antithesis is a hormone called leptin.  This hormone accelerates your metabolism and gives you the sensation of being satiated or full.

It was found that the ghrelin levels dropped about three times lower in the group that believed they were drinking the Indulgence shake instead of the Sensishake.  This also means that their leptin hormones raised about three times as much.  These are highly significant findings that suggest your perception of the food you eat impacts what your body actually does with it.


This is also supported by the observation from clinical psychologists that people with dis-associative identity disorder, formerly split personality disorder, can often exhibit food allergies in one personality and not in another [1].  The mere changing of their psychological disposition changed the way their body reacted to food.  So, it is not simply a matter of what you eat that determines the quality of your diet.  How you view your food, how you prepare it, how well you chew it, your stress levels, and the emotional state you are in all play key roles.

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The Ideal Diet

Despite the highly variable nature and individual requirements of your bodies metabolism, simple insights can be understood that honor our basic human dietary needs to remain healthy.  They are:


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  • drink plenty of water
  • eat a diet rich in nutrient dense foods like fruits, vegetables, and animal products
  • eat a diet rich in a variety of colors of foods as the color of foods directly correspond to the types of nutrients they provide. As a simple rule of thumb, if your foods are a variety of colors then your diet is fairly balanced
  • eat a diverse assortment of food type, texture, and taste
  • eat moderately sized meals to maintain a healthy level of calorie consumption
  • limit consumption of processed foods and refined sugars.  But by all means, enjoy a desert now and again.



Being omnivores, the name of the game is balanced diversity [2,3].  To honor your natural dietary needs, if you simply wed the words balance and diversity (of colors, textures, and food sources) to the concept of diet in your mind, you will always be steered in the right direction.  With that as a reliable starting point, simply become more of aware of and honor the subtle cues that your body already provides.  At the end of the day, it will be the best determiner of what it needs for optimal nutrition.

So Where Do We Go Wrong?

It’s helpful to get a grand picture of how our cultural eating patterns have changed over the years to truly understand where our error lies.  As you can see in the graphics below, and without further exploring the psychological influence of metabolic disease briefly alluded to above, the biggest dietary problem lies in the quantities of foods that are consumed, not necessarily the quality of the foods themselves.  Balanced diversity and moderation is what our bodily system requires to ensure all necessary macro and micro nutrients are consumed.  So, feel free to eat sugar, animal products, grains, milk, or any other food common to our modern diets.  They are not the problem.  It is the quantity and intensity with which they are consumed that matters most.

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Key Insights

  • the most essential component to a healthy diet is to eat in moderation & a balanced diversity (colors, textures, tastes, food sources).
  • become aware of and honor your bodies cues.
  • For a more in-depth understanding of nutrition, please download the Nutrition Made Simple document here and the Elevate Your Eating document here.
  • For the USDA recommended food consumption amounts across all macro nutrients, click here.