Good food habits will do you good
Eating a balanced diet will give you a great chance to minimize the risk of bad sleep, obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes... All diseases closely related to sleep apnea. Chase bad fats, salt and bad sugar. Prefer vegetables and drink water.
Our body is a balance. All is a question of balance between the “entries” (nutrition) and the “exits” (physical activity). It burns calories to let our heart breathe, our muscles move, our brain think, our whole system live. It needs food to get calories. An appropriate diet means that we can control positively this balance, whether we need to loose or gain weight, such as fat or muscle mass.
We won’t replace a nutritional expert in this post (we invite you to meet one if your doctor thinks you should). However, here are some fundamentals(1) that might be useful to you if you intend to decrease the sleep apnea symptoms through a whole health program including a diet.
Nutritional fundamentals easy to remember
- Food keeps us in life. Nutrition (balanced diet with good proportions of fats/carbohydrates/proteins/vitamins/minerals) leads to health.
- Make sure that you have an energy (calories) balance adapted to your way of life. When you exercise, you need more energy than when you sleep. To maintain weight, consume only as many calories as you use up through physical activity. If you want to lose weight, consume fewer calories or burn more calories.
- Our body needs three different sources of calories for its energy, reconstruction and performances: protein, fats and carbohydrates. They have different energy intakes and functions.
- Good fats (with omega-3 essentials) and bad fats are to be distinguished. The American heart association even uses the “ugly” word for some very bad fats on its website.(2)
- Good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates are to be distinguished. Added and refined sugars are told to be bad sugars whereas fruits are good ones. Besides, carbohydrates with low glycemic index is much better than with a high one, in particular if you suffer from diabetes. The glycemic index is the way the food raise blood sugar. For example, not all rices or breads are created equal.
- Reducing salt (sodium) minimizes the risk of high blood pressure.
- Drinking water is vital.
Ask a nutritional expert for more explanations about nutrition and for your own personalised diet focused on your activity, health problems and objectives.