Dietary Components: Some requested Info;

Written by  »  1 September 2015  »  Input (Nutrition)  »  No comments

Dietary Components 

Food contains proteins, fats, carbohydrates, water, vitamins, and minerals. Nutrition is the way our bodies take in and use food to maintain proper functioning. It is also the foundation of good health. A healthy diet is critical for the proper growth and functioning of our bodies. There is strong evidence that good nutrition can prevent several chronic illnesses or diseases, as well. 

The first principle to a healthy diet is to eat a wide variety of foods, because different foods make different nutritional contributions to our diets. Keep a balance between calorie intake and calorie usage; in other words, don’t eat more food than your body can use or you will gain weight. The more active you are, the more you can eat and still maintain the balance. Also, foods high in complex carbohydrates and fibre, low in fat, and cholesterol-free (fruits, vegetables, wheat, grains etc) should make up a high percentage of the calories you eat.  The rest should come from lean meats and poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy products.  This will ensure that you get the proper amounts of vitamins and minerals and help keep your fat and cholesterol intake relatively low. 

There are several steps to be followed for a healthy diet. Carbohydrates should represent at least 50-60  percent, with protein about 20-25 percent, of total caloric intake. Keep your total fat intake at or around 20-25 percent of your total daily calories. Limit intake of saturated fat to less than 10 percent of your fat calories. If you need to lower your cholesterol level, keep cholesterol intake at 300 milligrams per day or less. Eat a diet high in complex carbohydrates. Maintain a moderate protein intake. Eat a variety of foods. Avoid too much sugar. Limit sodium (salt) intake to no more than 3,000 milligrams per day. Maintain an adequate calcium intake. Get vitamins and minerals from foods, not from supplements. Drink alcohol in moderation. 

These are general recommendations that can be applied to most diets. For a more specific and accurate breakdown of your dietary requirements, it would be advisable to seek an individual analysis.

 Carbohydrates are “fast” burning fuels. They are broken down into two types; Simple and Complex. Simple Carbs (Sugars) are easy for the body to convert to energy. Complex Carbs (Starches) are slow release. A diet high in carbohydrates may leave you feeling hungry. Balance is important. In general, carbohydrates are things that are grown (rice, wheat, oats, fruits, and vegetables). 

Proteins are “medium” burning fuels. Proteins are important elements for muscle and tissue building and repair. Milk is a good source of protein. Meats (beef, pork, and poultry) are also a good source of protein; however, many are also high in fat. Fish, dairy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds are also good sources of protein. 

Fats are “slow” burning fuels. Each ounce of fat you eat has twice the calories of an ounce of carbohydrates or proteins. This is why “fat” foods are harder to “burn-off”. Fat is important. It aids digestion, temp regulation, the immune system, helps keep skin and hair healthy, and is an important “fuel” source.

Frazar Norton


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