Health and Fitness

Health, Fitness and Nutrigenomics

Do you value your health?

It is heartening to have observed a new trend in our society today. People are becoming more health conscious as can be witnessed in the number of fitness centers springing up everywhere.

And it is quite commonplace for people to go to a gym on a regular basis where as a few decades ago it was the odd person who used to “work out”.

At the same time there are a lot more health stores than there used to be.

Once upon a time there was a main one in the city to which health conscious people from the suburbs would converge to get their supplies.

Then other stores opened in various suburbs and today we see chains of health stores and health supermarkets.

There is also a lot more awareness about food in general.  Everyone knows about fat free and sugar free nutrition. Food manufacturers have caught on to this trend and are producing so many alternatives.

This has happened to the point where there are few choices left for the individual with normal nutritional needs i.e. the individual who knows how to balance the food intake with the right proportions of protein, fats, sugars and carbohydrates.

Visit the refrigerated counter at your local supermarket and try to find a full milk yoghurt for example.  It will be hard to find because the majority of the yoghurts are fat free or fat reduced.

The danger here now is that the average consumer, being barraged with these new alternatives will fail to see the underlying dangers of switching to these alternatives completely.  And the same goes with butter substitutes and sugar substitutes.

There has been recent alarm around trans fatty acids for example. Trans fatty acids can be found in many margarines, cooking oils and other foods.

The big issue around trans fatty acids is that the body doesn’t really know what to do with them.  They are not properly metabolized and therefore are stored by the body in adipose tissue i.e. fat cells.

It is obvious that this contributes to the other alarming trend we see today, the obesity trend.

This century has brought us the science of Nutrigenomics.
Nutrigenomics is the study of how food affects gene expression.

Most people are mistaken when they think of genes and genetics.  They think genes are something we are born with and that’s it.

That is only part of the story. Genes are an ongoing activity. From the moment we are conceived until the time we die.

Gene activity is taking place every millisecond within our body and the food we eat affects what the genes express. Therefore it is essential that we eat foods that will break down and provide the right “building blocks” for all the hormones, enzymes, co-factors, amino acids, peptides and neurotransmitters.

Information on this fascinating science is continually evolving so stay posted!

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