The traditional calorie mindset is surely outdated nowadays.
What we eat is primarily to be converted to building blocks and signaling information for the body and mind.
With the building blocks of the food we eat we shall build, renew and repair everything in our body. With the basic buildingblocks of what we eat we shall also build memories, throughts and emotions.
Building and operating this amazing human machine is what we call metabolism and has nothing to do with calories – which btw is a measure of the energy it takes to heat one gram of water from 14.5 to 15.5 degrees celsius over an open fire. As far as i know we don’t have any open fire in the body and we dont fuel with calories – we fuel with ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) generated in Crebs cycle in the mitochondrias of our cells.
If the food is converted to building blocks and not calories, then what are those building blocks?
We have 3 main blocks – the macronutrients fat, protein and carbohydrates
All fat we eat should be split into glycerol and fatty acids (saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) before it is absorbed into the body. Its purpose is to be used for the construction of all the walls of our cells, immune system, hormones and a lot of other things.
The protein we eat becomes amino acids once they are digested into their smallest constituents. Only then they shall be absorbed into the body and used to build the body’s own proteins. Hundres of thousands of different proteins that are used for the maintenance and construction of many things in our body, such as muscles, joints, organs, hormones and neurotransmitters.
Carbohydrates should be divided into sugar molecules, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and a lot of other small parts to be distributed for uptake into the body via the small intestine. Glucose will basically be used for storage in the glycogene storages of liver and muscles and the into the blood system for easy matches firing up the engines of the previously mentioned crebs cycle. Excess glucose are being converted to triglycerides (fat) for longer storage. Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are among other things used in the building process of proteins. The fibres as food for our bacterial buddies in the colon.
What we eat should be broken down into its smallest components before it is absorbed into the body and used for the body’s renovation, new construction, storage and ATP (our energy).
To make this more visual, imagine that your meal on the plate is a colorful bunch of lego, with loads of red, yellow and green lego. Imagine that yellow is fat, green is carbohydrates and red protein.
When chewing the legoblocks, they are divided into smaller pieces that you swallow down into the stomach. There, it breaks down further before being released into the duodenum. Once reaching the small intestine, the entire construction should be divided into one-piece lego pieces. These then have a suitable size and format to be taken up by the intestinal wall and transported in various ways to the liver. There they are used for the construction of new bigger lego pieces of different sizes and colours that should be sent through the bloodstream into the body for further use.
The lego pieces in the small intestine that have not been broken down and therefore larger than the one piece lego to be absorbed, are moved through the small intestines down to the large intestine along with all fibers (both hard and soft)
This is an easy way to visualize how what we eat should be taken up by the body for use in all functions of the body.
If the stomach and intestine have reduced function, for example due to stress, the job of breaking down the lego blocks will not be done effectively and we fail to get access to all the parts that could actually be available. If we’re lucky, it just leaves us as expensive poop, but if we’re unlucky, it becomes unwanted food for our gut bacteria.
If we have ongoing inflammations and a leaky gut, the intestine may even let through larger pieces of lego than the body wants and need. Well on the other side of the intestinal wall, on our inside, these bigger lego blocks are recognized as foreign particles and attacked by our immune system.
If these lego pieces a confused with something we also build ourselves on the inside, we risk that the immune system as a next step attacks our own similar building blocks – and then we have created an auto-immune disease….
And with this in mind, it is madness to think/say that the diet does not matter when we are diagnosed with various auto-immune diseases such as MS, Osteoarthritis, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis or Hashimotos.
So back to basics – eat clean food. Firstly, choose food without an ingredients list and make sure your carbohydrate sources have the maximum nutrition and minimal carbohydrates – the last to reduce the amount of glucose absorbed into your body.