|In order to begin creating a healthy diet, we must first understand the basics of good nutrition. There are six classes of nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. All of these nutrients are necessary as sources of energy and to create chemical reactions within the body to make it function. |
PROTEINS: The substance that builds tissues for growth and repair. Without protein your body with break down its own muscle tissue. Proteins are also used by the body to stabilize blood sugar levels by stimulating glucagon.
-- PROTEINS CAN BE FOUND IN MEAT, POULTRY, FOUL, FISH, EGGS, MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS, BEANS, NUTS, YEAST, GRAINS, SOY AND WHEAT GERM. PROTEIN SHOULD ACCOUNT FOR ABOUT 20 TO 30 PERCENT OF A HEALTHY DIET.
CARBOHYDRATES [and fiber]: Carbohydrates are our main source of energy and are found in starch, sugar and fiber. It is important to eat the right kinds of carbohydrates. Starch is considered a good source of carbohydrates. Fiber provides little energy, but is important for regular bowel movements. Natural sugars such as those found in fruits and vegetables are good. Refined sugars are very unhealthy.
-- CARBOHYDRATES AND FIBER CAN BE FOUND IN WHOLE-MEAL BREAD AND PASTA, VEGETABLES AND FRUIT. FOODS CONTAINING STARCH AND FIBER SHOULD MAKE UP ABOUT 40 TO 50 PERCENT OF YOUR DIET.
FATS: Fats will keep the body functions working properly and should account for about 30 percent of our diet. Many of us cut fats from our diets, in attempting to lose weight. We need to remember that a certain amount of fat is necessary in our diets. Saturated fats should be used sparingly as they increase blood cholesterol to dangerous levels. Polyunsaturated fats are mainly derived from plants and have greater health benefits.
-- SATURATED FATS ARE OF ANIMAL ORIGIN AND FOUND IN MEAT, MILK, BUTTER, CHEESE, SOY OIL, OLIVE OIL AND NUTS. POLYUNSATURATED AND MONOUNSATURATED FATS ARE FOUND IN FISH AND SEAWEED, FLAXSEED OIL, GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES, LIVER, OLIVE OIL AND SOY OIL. FATS SHOULD MAKE UP 30 PERCENT OF THE DIET.
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