As we talked about nutrition in the first blog, we will now cover the sources of most nutritious foods for non-vegetarians. But let’s recap what we know about healthy foods to eat and nutrition quickly.
Nutrition is the process of taking in food and using it for growth, metabolism, and repair. In the form of food, we take nutrients: macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and water. And micronutrients are many, including minerals such as calcium, iron and iodine, vitamins, and antioxidants.
You can read all about nutrition in our blog Sources of Nutrition
Healthy Foods to Eat for Non-Vegetarians
Now, coming back to non-vegetarians. If you are one, you have a variety of options available to create a healthy balanced diet. And the food is generally richer in proteins in comparison to the vegetarian one. Have a look at vegetarian sources of nutrition here.
So unlike vegetarian sources, non-vegetarian ones contain a variety of nutrients. For example, consider eggs. Eggs are nutritious and include proteins, vitamins A, B12, D, K, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and many others. Animal-based foods provide more energy as well, and hence, are a preference of athletes and other sportspersons.
But this excess of nutrients can lead to over nutrition. Also, animal-based food increases more chances of consuming toxins and other harmful things like pesticides. And these can damage our body due to biological magnification. Thus, we need caution and create a well-planned food routine for the best of health results.
Creating a Healthy Balanced Diet
For that, we need to know the sources of healthy nutrition. Which nutrient is provided by which food?
Macronutrients – Most Nutritious Foods
So, let’s look into them, starting with macronutrients.
Carbohydrates are the base of the human diet, be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian. 50% of the energy you need must come from carbohydrate sources in a regular diet. Most of the carbohydrate sources are plant-based. Some of the best healthy foods to eat for carbohydrate nutrition are
- Wholemeal Bread
- Wholegrain Cereals
- Potatoes and Peas
- Sweet Potatoes
- Other starchy vegetables
- Baked beans
Proteins, the highlight of a non-vegetarian diet, are made up of amino acids. Some amino acids are made in our bodies, so we don’t need to do much about them. But some of them are not. These are called essential amino acids that are produced in the bodies of other animals and plants. As usual, animal food is rich in essential proteins and eating non-vegetarian leads to their rich and quality intake. One more benefit of animal protein is that they have fewer carbs per gram of protein in them. Here’s what you can include in your high protein diet for weight loss:
- Lean meat
- Cheese and Milk
- Nuts and Legumes
However, reliance on only animal protein is also not good. The best way is to either mix plant proteins with animal ones in your diet or alternate consumption of both.
Fats are of three types: unsaturated fats, saturated fats, and trans-saturated fats. Here your motive should be to avoid trans-saturated and saturated fats as much as you can. The healthy sources of fats include:
- Butter and Cheese
- Biscuits and Nuts
After these, comes water which I guess we don’t need to talk about, do we?
Micronutrients – Most Nutritious Foods
Now, let’s move to micronutrients.
Vitamins are vital amines. For different amines, different names are given for the sake of easy understanding. For example, retinol is called vitamin A, and Ascorbic acid is for vitamin C, and so on. Vitamin B is a complex vitamin, a group. Out of these, B6 and B12 are always in the discussions around nutrition. There are hardly any vegetarian sources of B12.
Lack of vitamins leads to various issues which we will discuss any other day, but the sources of these vital nutrients are
VITAMIN A: carrots, spinach, pumpkin, cheese, eggs, meat, broccoli, tomatoes
VITAMIN B6: wholegrain cereals, meat, fish, peanuts, bananas
VITAMIN B12: meat, fish, eggs, cheese, milk
Vitamin C: oranges, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, strawberries
Vitamin D: fatty fish, butter, cream, cheese, eggs, and most important, SUNLIGHT
VITAMIN E: polyunsaturated oils, nuts, olive oil, fatty fish, and small amounts in whole grain cereals and green vegetables
VITAMIN K: green vegetables, cheese, butter, pork, eggs
Next are minerals
Our body requires various minerals for different uses. Mostly, we have to take care of their fulfillment. However, there are some for which we have to set the limits. Sodium is one of them which is usually consumed more than necessary in the form of salt and junk food.
Out of others that we need regularly, the important ones are:
Calcium: cheese, milk, yogurt, canned fish, nuts, dried fruit
Iron: meat, poultry, wholegrain cereals, wholemeal bread, eggs
Phosphorus: fish, poultry, eggs, milk, cheese, nuts, cereals, bread, and meat
Iodine : sea food, iodized salt
Zinc: meat, fish, eggs, wholegrain cereals, peanuts, poultry
And that’s it. As you have noticed that though the list of nutrients is a long one. Still, most of the nutrients are fulfilled by a healthy diet balanced with meat, eggs, dairy, green vegetables, and fresh fruits. So have the base of your daily eating routine around most nutritious foods. And you can add others you think are missing in any of the main meals or snacks.
This is a way to nourish your life with proper nutrition via non-vegetarian sources of healthy foods to eat. For other nourishing stories, stay in touch with us here. For quick health hacks, follow us on our socials @gethealthybits
Also Read: Sources of Nutrition for Vegetarians