Focus on nutrition rather than calories: Expert

Last Updated: Feb 19, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

Washington: Focus on the nutritional components of food rather than counting calories, says an expert.

When it comes to revamping our diets, our tendency is to view food solely as it affects weight.

But food is much more than that. It`s nourishment for our bodies and brains, says Carl Hastings, chief scientific officer of Reliv International, a nutrition and direct selling company that operates in over 15 countries.

"Everything we put into our bodies literally affects the way we look, act and feel," said Hastings.

"It`s so easy to get caught up in counting calories and carbs, but the real emphasis should be on the nutritional components of the food," he said.

Hastings suggests the following tips to ensure that you`re reaching your daily nutritional needs:

- Eat a plant-based diet: There`s no better way to get a variety of nutrients than by eating enough fruits and vegetables throughout the day, so be sure to include them in every meal and snack.

- Drink green tea: You`ve likely heard the buzz about green tea and it`s true - it really is a "superfood" that delivers a healthy dose of antioxidants, which can help your body defend itself against disease. Aim to drink three cups a day.

- Take a multivitamin: Incorporate a nutritional safety net by taking a good quality multivitamin. Supplements, including multivitamins/multi-minerals, that are most easily absorbed are those consumed as liquids, such as Reliv Now and Reliv Classic, which provide the essential nutrition your body needs every day.

- Read nutrition labels: If you choose packaged foods, be sure to take advantage of reading the nutrition facts on the label. The healthiest foods have short ingredient lists.

"It doesn`t take long to see the benefits of eating a nutritious, well-rounded diet," added Hastings.