Food nutrition facts - back to basics

You need to know your food nutrition facts if you want to take control of your own health.

Your body is made up of roughly 63 percent water, 22 percent protein, 13 percent fat as well as 2 percent minerals and vitamins.

Every single molecule in your body is constructed from the food you eat and the water you drink.

list of healthy foods

During the last two decades we have started eating too much saturated fats, and sugar and not enough complex carbohydrates and polyunsaturated fats.

There is a lot of confusion about what we should eat.

What is the perfect diet ?

There are many excellent sites that will give detailed analysis nutritional information about the calories, carbs, fat, protein and fiber for thousands of foods.

We however prefer to focus on the big picture so we will not analyze:

  • How many calories in a apple or a banana ?
  • What is a bioflavanoid ?
  • How many grams of carbohydrate and other nutritional facts for hundreds of foods.
  • The recommended daily calorie for males and females

Why not ?

Between 1976 and 2000 the American nation reduced their fat consumption by 11 percent and lowered their calorie intake by 4 percent.

But what has happened to the weight of this nation during that period?

Obesity has increased by 31 percent.

The food nutrition facts you do need to know:

A list of healthy foods must include a balance of the following ingredients.

  • Health fats
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrates
  • Water
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

Let us have a closer look at each one of these.

Healthy fats - what is the facts?

You get two basic kinds of fat - saturated (hard) fat and unsaturated fat.

The wrong facts can kill you while the right fats will heal you

It is not essential for you to eat saturated fat and definitely not good for your health to get in too much. You get your saturated fat from meat and dairy sources.

That leaves us with the unsaturated fats we need for optimum health.

Unsaturated fats comes in two forms:

Monounsaturated fats

Polyunsaturated fats

Good sources are olive oil

Good source is nut and seed oils and fish

healthiest foodsOlive oil is a great source of monounsaturated fats

Certain polyunsaturated fats called Omega 6 and Omega 3 oils, are vital for your brain and nervous system, cardiovascular system as well as your skin.

Omega 3 sources

Omega 6 rich sources

Pumpkin seeds

Flax seeds

Sesame seeds

Sunflower seeds

These essential fats are destroyed by heating and exposure to oxygen.

It is therefor important to consume a fresh daily source of these fats.

Food nutrition factsSesame seeds

Suggested best sources of healthy fats

You should have at least one table spoon of cold pressed seed oil every day.

Fats to avoid

Avoid fried food, saturated and hydrogenated fat.

Processed food like this fried chicken often contain "hardened" fats also called "hydrogenated fats".

unhealthy food

These fats are even worse for your health than saturated fats.

So it is good for your health to limit these foods or to avoid it altogether.

Next up for a perfect diet you will need some:

Protein food

Twenty five amino acids are the building blocks of your body.

This is vital for the growth and the repairs of your cells.

You need proteins to make hormones, enzymes, antibodies and neurotransmitters.

The quality as well as the quantity of protein sources you eat impacts your health.

The best quality protein comes from eggs, quinoa, meat, fish, beans and lentils.

healthy foods high in protein

The problem with protein sources from animal products is that they contain a lot of undesirable saturated fats.

If you source your protein from plant sources you will include complex carbohydrates that are much more beneficial to your health.

They are also less acid forming than meat.

Suggested best sources of protein

Beans, lentils, quinoa and "seed" vegetables like peas and runner beans.

In addition to healthy proteins vegetable proteins also have complex carbohydrates that boost your health.

These are less acid forming than meats.

Acid forming foods

Alkaline forming foods

  • Eggs
  • Bacon
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Liver
  • Avocado
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Dried fruit
  • Almonds

Protein foods to avoid/limit

Excessive intake of animal source protein.

Next up you will need some:

Carbohydrate food nutrition facts

This is the main fuel for your body.

Carbohydrates comes in two forms:

Fast releasing carbohydrates

Slow releasing carbohydrates

Sources are sugar, honey, malt and most refined foods

Whole grains, vegetables and fresh fruit.

The problem with fast releasing carbohydrates ate that it gives you a sudden burst of energy which will typically be followed by a slump.

Your best strategy for peak energy is to get in more slow-releasing carbohydrates because they will present you with a more sustainable level of energy.

Suggested best sources of carbohydrates

Dark green leafy and root vegetables.

Carbohydrate rich foods to avoid

Any form of sugar.

Also limit or avoid white and refined foods.

Fiber food nutrition facts

Fiber absorbs water in your digestive track which makes the food you consume bulkier and easier to pass through your body.

High fiber foods also help lower your risk of cancer, heart attack, and high blood pressure.

You should ideally not get less than 35 grams of dietary fiber in per day.

Suggested best sources of fiber

Navy beans are at the top of the list when it comes to high fiber foods and one cup can provide a whopping 76% of your daily requirement.

Next on the list you get turnip greens, beet greens and mustard greens.

Also consume plenty whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds as well as lentils.

Our list of high fiber foods.

Fiber foods to avoid

Refined, white and overcooked foods.


Because two thirds of your body is made of water it is in fact your most important nutrient.

Also remember that fruits and vegetables consists of around 90 percent water.

Liquids to avoid or at least limit

Excessive alcohol, coffee and tea.

Vitamins food nutrition facts

Vitamins turn on enzymes.

Vitamins are necessary to balance hormones, produce energy, boost your immune system, make healthy skin and is very important to your brain and nervous system. 

Vitamin A, C and E are antioxidants that protect your body from cancers.

Vitamins B and C are necessary to turn the food you eat into mental and physical energy. These vitamins are in their most potent form in living foods like fresh fruit and vegetables.

Vitamin D controls your calcium balance.

Vitamin E is found in seeds, nuts and their oils.

Suggested best sources of vitamins

Dark green leafy and root vegetables.

best vitamin rich foods

Also target fresh fruit as well as nuts and seeds.

Minerals food nutrition facts

You need minerals for every bodily process.

Calcium, magnesium and phosphorus builds your bones and teeth.

Your nerve signals used by your brain and muscles to function depend on magnesium, sodium and potassium.

Zinc is vital for body repairs and renewal.

You need large amounts of calcium and magnesium from your food.

They can be found in abundance in vegetables such as kale, cabbage and root vegetables

Suggested best sources of minerals

For optimum mineral intake you will need to consume magnesium rich foods.

Your most nutrient dense magnesium foods are:

Pumpkin seeds

48% of your daily value (per cup)


39% of your daily value (per cup)

Then you will have to look at some calcium foods. Your best calcium rich foods are:

Collard greens

Supplies 27% of your daily value (per cup)


Supplies 24% of your daily value (per cup)

We continue our list of most  calcium rich foods here.

Finally to ensure getting sufficient minerals in your diet you will need potassium. Here some of your best choices include:

Beet greens

Supplies 37% of your daily value (per cup)

Swiss chard

Supplies 27% of your daily value (per cup)

Many more fruits and vegetables contain high levels of potassium with low levels of sodium in the perfect ratio.

Additional foods to ensure adequate mineral intake

Low fat dairy products like yoghurt.

Fresh fruit.

Nuts and seeds.

Wrapping up your food nutrition facts - the essential basics

If you include these foods in your diet you will consume all the healthy fats, protein, carbohydrates, water, vitamins and minerals you need to:

  • boost your immune system
  • increase your energy and fitness levels
  • turn back the aging clock
  • avoid heart disease
  • lower your blood pressure

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