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The Big Three – Protein, Carbs and Fats
There are two major types of nutrients – micronutrients and macronutrients. Vitamins and minerals needed in minute amounts are called micronutrients. Protein foods, carbohydrates and fats are needed in much larger amounts are called macronutrients.
High protein, carbohydrates and fats along with vitamins, minerals and water help provide the body with heat and energy, support growth and repair of body tissue and assist in the regulation of thousands of different body processes. That’s why a diet of a wide variety of foods is so essential for good health.
After water, protein content is the most common element of the human body. High protein foods – meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, grains, beans, nuts and seeds, from the best protein sources – are the basic building blocks of nutrition, building and repairing bones, muscles, skin, hair, nails, blood and internal organs, such as the brain and heart.
Most people get more than enough protein, (although not necessarily from the best protein sources) in their daily diet - about one gram for every two pounds of body weight. For example, a person weighing 140 pounds would need to consume about 70 grams of complete high protein every day. The problem, however, is most people eat too much of the wrong kind of high protein foods. Diets rich in red meat, provide far too much fat, particularly unhealthy saturated fat.
Carbohydrates are absolutely necessary as the primary source of energy needed for body function and exertion and for protein and fat metabolism. Basically there are two type of carbohydrates, simple and complex, but most people are eating far too much of the wrong kinds of simple carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates found in table sugar, candy, cake and other sweets and almost all canned and processed foods should be avoided as much as possible. Providing little to no nutritional value, these foods are sources of “empty calories” and contribute greatly to obesity and tooth decay. Simple carbohydrates are also found in dairy and fruit, but these are better sources of nutrition since they also contain fiber, vitamins and important minerals, like calcium.
Complex carbohydrate foods – whole grain breads and pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, such vegetables as broccoli, kidney beans and chick peas - are much healthier to eat because they take longer to digest, as well as provide essential vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
Dietary fats are not only a highly concentrated source of energy and a source of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. They also add flavor and texture to many foods. However, eating too many fatty foods – particularly red meats and whole fat dairy products high in saturated fat – can increase your risk of obesity, heart disease and cancer of the breast, colon and prostate.
What’s the ideal combination of the three macronutrients? Respected nutritional authorities recommend a diet of about 15% protein content, 20% fat and 65% carbohydrate. Protein foods should include less red meat and whole fat dairy and more lean meat, fish, chicken and low fat dairy. Carbohydrate foods should be less sweets and processed foods and more whole grains, beans and fresh fruits and vegetables. And saturated fats should be kept below 7% of total calories.
Also, to help reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and certain cancers, health experts also recommend people get their high protein foods from seafood, rich in omega 3 fish oil (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines and herring) at least three top five times a week.
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© Copyright by Moss Greene. All Rights Reserved.
Note: The information contained on this website is not intended to be prescriptive. Any attempt to diagnose or treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician who is familiar with nutritional therapy.
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