Fats, sugars and carbohydrates are often considered to be damaging to your health and are blamed for causing weight gain.
The body’s main source of energy comes from carbohydrates. The body converts carbohydrates into glucose which then moves through the bloodstream to provide energy for cells. Carbohydrates fuel your physical activity and this macronutrient also provides energy for your organs.
Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. These are all complex carbohydrates meaning they contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
Refined grains and processed foods, also known as simple carbohydrates, seldom contain the same level of nutrients that are found in complex carbohydrates, and do not contribute much to your overall health. Higher nutrient carbohydrates can help you to feel fuller for longer, meaning you eat less. If you choose to reduce your dietary intake of carbohydrates to lose weight, make sure you keep fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
According to the experts at House Call Doctor, much like carbohydrates, you need dietary fats for your health. The body uses fats for growth and to prevent diseases like high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and coronary artery disease. Obviously, some fats are better than others, and should all be consumed according to recommended limits. Researchers recommend fats make up no more than 25-35% of your daily calorie intake. It is better to stick to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Saturated fats should be kept to a minimum with saturated fats making up less than 7% of your daily calorie intake. Trans saturated fats can make up 1% of your daily calorie intake but if possible, they should be avoided.
Fats help to make you feel full so eating a small amount of fatty foods could make you satisfied quicker and make you consume less food overall. Fish, nuts and avocado contain healthy fats and can be great options to add to your diet.
Did you know that sugar is a type of carbohydrate? Sugar that is naturally occurring in fruits, vegetables and dairy are the best types of sugar. It’s the added sugars found in processed foods that aren’t good for the body, especially when consumed in large quantities. The recommended daily number of calories is 100 calories for women and 150 for men. Consuming higher amounts can result in an increased risk of weight gain and high triglycerides. It is more difficult to maintain good health with a diet that is high in sugar.
Added sugar is found in many highly processed foods such as salsa, fruit yoghurts, fruit drinks and smoothies, cereals, ketchup, and canned soups. Sugar provides calories which give you energy but do not provide helpful nutrition. Sugar consumption is linked to type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
Reducing calories and increasing exercise is the best way to lose weight. It is best to choose healthier carbohydrates – fruits, vegetables, wholegrain breads – rather than highly processed foods.
Try to choose foods low in added sugars and include healthier fats.