Looking Into Carbs, Proteins and Fats


The human body uses three specific types of energy sources; energy from carbohydrates, energy from proteins, and energy from fats. What is the difference in these energy sources and how can you ensure you are fueling your body correctly?

Carbohydrates are typically recommended to account for 40-45% of a healthy diet. Carbohydrates, because they break down so quickly, are your body’s main source for fuel and energy. Most carbohydrates digest in two hours or less so many nutritionists advise that ingested carbs be packed with fiber to slow the excretion of sugars into the blood stream. If you are consuming more carbs than you are burning, then carbohydrates will ultimately be stored in your body as fat. This is the reason there are condescending views on carbohydrates but if they are not eaten in excess, then they are actually a very healthy method of energy. On the contrary, if you are eating too little carbs, then your body will begin to steal energy from neighboring muscles causing detrimental muscle loss; and don’t forgot, your heart is also a muscle. Therefore, cutting out carbs completely can be really unhealthy for your heart, amongst other muscles within your body.
Proteins are the building blocks of your body’s muscle makeup. They should compensate for 25-30% of your daily intake, and most nutritionists will recommend lean meats as opposed to red, fatty meats. Portion sizes, especially in America, are often overgrown. An actual portion size of protein should be no larger than a deck or cards or an average sized fist. If you are an avid weightlifter, or if you do some type of physical activity where you are exerting large amounts of energy, you may want to consider adding a few more grams of protein to your diet each day. There are a plethora of healthy products out there, such as protein powder or protein shakes, to help you accomplish this mission. Children, especially very active children, should definitely be ingesting a higher amount of protein on a daily basis as well.

Fats, despite their bad reputation, are actually recommended to makeup approximately 30-35% of your daily intake. That is more than your protein intake! There are three types of fats. The worst type of fats will increase your LDL, lipoprotein cholesterol, which is unhealthy cholesterol. Foods that increase LDL will be listed as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. The second worst type of fats are saturated fats. They may take up to 10% of your daily fat intake and can be found in most fatty meats and dairy products. Lastly, there are the good fats; good fats are normally derived from naturally oily substances such as olive oil, nuts, avocados, and grape seeds. If you are going to be consuming fats, the best way to do it is with these healthy fats. They are, in moderation, good for heart health and circulation.

Diets in general are always about balance. If you use moderation when consuming your meals, you will be able to ensure that you will not ingest too much of one food energy source!

1 comment:

  1. Very informative article! I wasn't aware that fat intake was more, or needs to be more than my protein intake. I love avocados, glad to know I'm eating one kind of healthy fat.

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