Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat
The Food Trifecta…
Protein plays an important role in our body, it builds muscle, growth and repair of tissue and can assist in losing weight. Protein is one of the major building blocks your body relies on to perform at its optimum level and without it you may fall short of your desired goals.
Lean protein derived from animal sources such as beef, chicken and turkey. Seafood such as tuna and more so salmon are also good sources. For those who wish to steer away from animal sources of protein vegetarian sources include eggs, soy, nuts, Qunioa (Keen-Wah),beans (including Pinto, Black and Kidney Beans), lentils, legumes and Tempeh (cooked but slightly fermented soybeans, like a veggie burger). Aim to have 0.8 grams of protein/kg of body weight on average
Carbohydrates are essential for fueling the body and its organs including the brain, heart, kidneys and liver, without enough ‘carbs’ the body seeks available fuel sources such as fat and protein.Complex carbs are what we should be aiming for in our diet such as Fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains, beans, oats brown rice and wholewheat pasta. Carbs also perform another very important function, assisting in transporting protein to the muscles where it can then be used for growth and repair.
Fats- or more specifically good fats are also an essential macro nutrient for our body. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from olive oil, nuts, avocados and of course Omega 3 are found in Salmon, flax seed and walnuts. Fats are required for joint mobility, healthy skin, brain function, hormone regulation and insulation for vital organs, it also helps food move through the digestive system, binds to toxins and helps eliminate them from the body.
Fat tends to get a bad rap and consuming to much fat can be negative to your health. Definitely stay away from saturated fats (found in cakes, biscuits and pastries) and even worse trans fat ie.. Vegetable oil that is heated or hydrogen added to oil to make processed foods to increase their shelf life. Even good fats should be consumed in moderation as they are high in calories.
The key to all the above is moderation and balance. As we hear all the time you can have too much fat and carbohydrates but even to much protein in your diet and can lead to many problems including weight gain, constipation, intestinal irritation, heart disease and kidney problems.
The ratio to consume Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins for a healthy diet should be generally:
40-50% Carbs, 25-35% protein, 20-30% fat. The ratio can also be stated as 40/30/30. Also for good health keep your sodium (salt) intake under 2500 mg of sodium (1 teaspoon of salt) and over 25 grams of fiber.
A breakdown of the average bodies energy requirements are as follows:
The Average human body needs 1200 calories minimum per day to survive ie..(sitting on the lounge doing nothing…except maybe watching TV).