Nutrition is quite and important factor, even as you put together the most delicious meal. So we have put together some valuable information that throws light on the Health & Nutritional aspects of spices or food in general, so you could make the right choices while planning a balanced diet for your family.
A high-protein, low-carbohydrate weight-loss diet that allows for liberal amounts of meat, cheese, and eggs while restricting carbohydrates, including sugar, bread, pasta, milk, fruits, and vegetables. In the four-phase plan, carbohydrates become less restricted with each phase.
Building blocks that make up proteins like hormones, enzymes, and proteins in tissues and muscle. There are nine essential amino acids that we need to get from food; the body can make the other 11. Found in meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and beans.
Promotes growth and repair of body tissue, healthy eyes, good night vision, and a strong immune system. Found in liver and fish oil, whole and fortified milk, and eggs. Carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and other leafy green veggies, yellow squash, peaches, and apricots provide beta and other carotenes.
Metabolizes fats, proteins, and carbohydrates; helps in the transfer of carbon dioxide; and assists in various metabolic chemical conversions. Found in cheese, beef liver, cauliflower, eggs, mushrooms, chicken breast, salmon, and spinach.
Helps wounds heal; strengthens blood vessels; builds connective tissue, healthy gums, and skin; and promotes strong teeth and bones. Found in citrus fruits, strawberries, green and red bell peppers, collard and mustard greens, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, kiwis, guavas, and parsley.
Supports bones, teeth, and muscle tissue; regulates the heartbeat, muscle action, nerve function, and blood clotting. Found in dairy products, calcium-fortified orange juice or soymilk, salmon with bones, and green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and collards.
A unit of energy-producing potential equal to the amount of heat that is contained in food and released upon oxidation by the body.
40 calories or less per reference amount (and per 50g if reference amount is small). For meals and main dishes, 120 calories or less per 100g.
The body’s main energy source, it helps power the body and digest food. The main form of carbohydrate used to generate energy is glucose. If more calories than the body needs are consumed, glucose is converted to body fat.
Makes cell membranes and hormones. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is often called “bad” cholesterol because too much in your blood can cause heart disease. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is often called “good” cholesterol because it helps remove LDL. Found in meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, and eggs.
Less than 2mg of cholesterol and 2g or less of saturated fat per serving.
20mg or less and 2g of saturated fat per serving (and per 50g if the serving amount is small).
Aids in formation of red blood cells, pigment, bone health. Found in nuts, black pepper, blackstrap molasses, and cocoa.
Aids in calcium and phosphorus metabolism, aids bone growth and integrity, and promotes strong teeth. Found in fortified milk, egg yolks, and fatty fish such as herring, kipper, and mackerel.
Antioxidant powers protect cell membranes, essential for red blood cells, aids cellular respiration, and protects lung tissue from pollution. Found in vegetable oils, wheat germ, green leafy vegetables, seeds, nuts, seafood, apples, carrots, and celery.
Essential Fatty Acids
(a.k.a. Omega-3 and Omega-6)
Make cell membranes, hormones, and prostaglandins. Found in vegetable oils such as canola, flaxseed, walnut, corn, and soybean, and safflower oil, fish, and fish oil supplements.
Any of various soft, solid, or semisolid organic compounds constituting the esters of glycerol and fatty acids occurring widely in organic tissue of animals and in the seeds, nuts, and fruits of plants.
Less than 0.5 g per reference amount and per labeled serving. For meals and main dishes, less than 0.5g per labeled serving.
For meals and main dishes, 3 g or less per 100g, and per 50g if reference amount is small.
Shown to raise cholesterol level; associated with a risk of heart disease. Found in butter, lard, meat, poultry, whole-milk dairy foods, palm oil, and coconut oil.
Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels, helps move waste through the intestines. Diets rich in plant fiber are related to a reduction of heart disease, colon cancer, and diabetes. Found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Helps cells grow and divide, reduces risk of certain birth defects, important for red blood cells, and crucial in creating amino acids. Found in green leafy vegetables, dried beans, liver, poultry, fortified cereals, oranges, and nuts.
Promotes dental health. Found in tea, fish eaten with their bones, processed foods, and treated drinking water.
Molecules formed when an atom’s weak bonds split. Their instability can cause a chain reaction that damages living cells.
Raw food that has not been frozen, heat processed, or otherwise preserved.
Foods that are quickly frozen while still fresh.
A simple sugar that is a major source of energy in the body. All carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars and transported as glucose in the bloodstream. Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, and grain and dairy products.
As the storage form of glucose, it’s used by the body for energy when needed. It’s stored in the liver and in muscles. Found in carbohydrates. Natural sugars (fruit, vegetables, milk) and complex carbohydrates (grains, cereals, pasta) are the best choices.
Promotes creation of thyroid hormones that control metabolism. Found in lobster, shrimp, bread, milk, and iodized salt.
Forms hemoglobin in blood and myoglobin in muscles, which supply oxygen to cells. Found in meat, fish, poultry, eggs, whole and enriched grains, and green leafy vegetables.
Helps blood clot. Found in green beans, green leafy vegetables, dairy products, eggs, meats, cereals, fruits, and vegetables.
Light or Lite
If 50% or more of calories are from fat, fat must be reduced by at least 50% per reference amount. If less than 50% of calories are from fat, fat must be reduced at least 50% or calories reduced at least 1/3 per reference amount.
A carotenoid—a class of phytochemicals that gives fruit and vegetables their bright colors. This powerful antioxidant helps convert beta-carotene into vitamin A. Found in tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, apricots, papayas, and watermelons.
Promotes enzyme activation, nerve and muscle function, and bone growth. Found in nuts, meats, leafy vegetables, whole grains, beans, and legumes.
A nutrient that provides dietary energy without raising cholesterol levels. Found in olive oil, canola oil, and peanut oil.
Releases energy, important for a healthy digestive system, blood circulation, nerve function, and appetite. Found in poultry, fish, whole and enriched grains, dried beans, and peas.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Help protect the heart, help prevent stroke, lower cholesterol levels, and alleviate arthritis. Found in cold-water fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel, vegetable oils, wheat germ, flax seeds, soybeans, tofu, leafy greens, and walnuts.
Helps form bones and teeth, builds muscle, and is involved in almost all metabolic actions in the body. Found in milk, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, whole grains, seeds, and nuts.
A nutrient that provides dietary energy without raising cholesterol levels. Found in corn oil, safflower seed oil, sunflower seed oil, sesame oil, soybean oil, fish oil, and walnuts.
Helps keep blood pressure down and aids muscle contractions; aids healthy electrical activity in the heart and rapid transmission of nerve impulses throughout the body. Found in dried fruits, bananas, potatoes, most raw vegetables, citrus fruits, molasses, and sunflower seeds.
Keeps the body running; made from different combinations of amino acids. Found in meat, eggs, dairy products, beans, whole grains, and vegetables.
At least 25% less of the specified ingredient/nutrient per 100g of the appropriate reference food. “Reduced” claims may not be made if the food meets the definition for “low.”
Riboflavin (a.k.a. vitamin B2)
Releases energy, keeps red blood cells healthy, makes hormones. Found in dairy products, meats, poultry, whole and enriched grains, and green vegetables such as broccoli, turnip greens, asparagus, and spinach.
Regulates and balances the amount of fluids outside the cells in the body. Aids in muscle contractions and nerve function. Found in processed foods and table salt.
Less than 5 mg per reference amount and per labeled serving. For meals and main dishes, less than 5mg per labeled serving.
For meals and main dishes, 140 mg or less per 100g and per 50g if reference amount is small.
South Beach Diet®
Balancing the “right” fats and carbohydrates. Lean cuts of meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, and low-fat or fat-free cheese. A later phase includes most fruits, some breads and pastas, and brown rice. Avoid refined grains, sweets, potatoes, and fruit juices.
Less than 0.5 g sugars per reference amount and per labeled serving.
Thiamine (a.k.a. Vitamin B1)
Helps convert food into energy, nerve functions, growth, and muscle tone. Found in wheat germ, pork, whole and enriched grains, dried beans, seeds, and nuts.
Point values assigned to all foods, and eating is done within set limits. Teaches balanced eating habits. Everything, in moderation. Nothing out of bounds, so long as point values stay within prescribed limits.
Essential for normal growth, development, and immunity. Helps maintain skin, hair, and bones. Keeps reproductive organs functioning and helps in the perception of taste and the ability to see at night. Found in beef, poultry, liver, oysters, eggs, and dairy products.
The Zone Diet™
Consume a 40/30/30 percent balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats at every meal. Favored by athletes for building lean muscle mass. Seafood, poultry, lean meats, fruits, most vegetables, and nuts. Avoid butter, shortening, and fatty meats.
Sources: American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide; FDA/CFSAN Food Labeling Guide; “Diet Comparison,” Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune January 23, 2004; dictionary.com, foodfit.com.