Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats
When you are dieting, these three food groups can become your friend or foe. Some diets champion low-fat foods, while other diets demonize carbohydrates and glorify protein and fat. The truth is that proteins, fats and carbohydrates, eaten in moderation, are all part of a healthy diet. All three give us the nutrients necessary for an active life.
Proteins and your diet
Protein is an important part of a balanced diet. Your body needs protein to perform its daily functions. Protein helps your body fight infections, build muscle and strengthen bones. Protein is a major element of your cells. Now researchers are finding that protein may help your diet because it seems to satisfy hunger better than carbohydrates and fats. Researchers found that people who eat more protein
- Consume fewer calories
- Lose more weight
- Feel less hungry
- Reduce blood lipids (fat)
- Maintain muscle mass
We don't know exactly why eating protein makes you less hungry. It may be that protein makes the brain receive fewer appetite-stimulating hormones. Just remember that exercise is an important part of any diet. And don't neglect your fruits and vegetables.
How much protein do you need?
Protein should make up about 10 to 35 percent of your diet. If you are eating 1800 calories, this would be 45-218 grams. Some good sources of protein are:
- Lean beef
- Pork tenderloin
- Low-fat dairy
- Poultry (white meat)
- Fish and other seafood
Carbohydrates and your diet
Your body needs carbohydrates for energy. But like many things, some carbohydrates are better than others. The best carbohydrates are complex carbohydrates, which have fiber and protein. They are absorbed more slowly by the body and help you feel full for a longer amount of time. Some good sources of complex carbohydrates are:
- Whole grains
Simple carbohydrates are not as good for you because they are absorbed quickly by the body and cause spikes in your blood sugar and insulin levels. They may give you a quick rush of energy, but it will soon wear off, leaving you hungry and tired. Try to avoid these simple carbohydrates:
- White bread
- White rice
- Regular pasta
- Pretty much anything that uses white flour
Simple carbohydrates make you store more fat so stay away!
Fat and your diet
When it comes to dieting, fats receive a lot of attention. Fats tend to have a lot of calories, so you will probably have to avoid them if you are keeping count. Another reason to avoid fat is that it has fewer vitamins and minerals than other foods. We need fat to live, but only in moderation. Too much fat will clog your arteries, raise your cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. And like carbohydrates, some fats are better than others.
- Unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Fats from plants
Bad fats to eat sparingly:
- Saturated fat
- Trans fats/hydrogenated oils
Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are all an important part of your diet. It is important to find the right balance for your health and weight loss goals. Consuming too much or too little of any one will negatively affect your health and keep you from getting the nutrients you need.
Sources: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/good-protein-sources http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/high-protein-diet-for-weight-loss