I speak with people everyday who are considering or working on eating healthier. They are often confused by all the information out there on nutrition, healthy eating, diets, etc… It is my goal to simplify Nutrition and healthy eating for you.
Why do we eat? At Nutrition’s basic function, we eat to stay alive. We eat to fuel our bodies. What are we fueling our bodies with? Macronutrients and micronutrients. Today I will be starting with the macronutrients. Macronutrients supply us with nutrients for energy and growth. You may also know the macronutrients as carbohydrates, proteins and fats. These macronutrients make up most of our diet.
Lets start with carbohydrates, my favorite macronutrient. I often find myself sticking up for wonderful carbohydrates, as the low carb diets have given them a bad name. If you are counting carbs, stop immediately. Start focusing on the right kind of carbs. There are two types of carbs:
1. Simple carbs – The best simple carbs have not been processed and are in their natural state. Fruits and some forms of dairy would fall in this category. Cookies and cakes are also simple carbs, but they have been processed, so limit these types of foods.
2. Complex carbs – The best complex carbs are in their natural form and have not been enriched with flour. Vegetables, legumes, whole grains and fibrous fruits are best. Enriched white breads, pasta’s and rice should be limited.
Proteins are also very important. They are the building blocks of muscles and bones. Low carb diets have caused people to consume protein in excess. Your body only needs a certain amount of protein. Excess protein can be stored as fat and lead to kidney problems. In most cases, 20% to 30% of protein in a diet is enough. The best sources of protein are lean meats, chicken, sea food and legumes.
I have so much to share with you about Fat, that I am going to save it for tomorrows post.