Every one wants to loose the extra weight and look in shape. The best and natural way to do so in by dieting. Eating healthy is the prerequisite of staying in shape and knowing what to eat is equally important. Usually, when people go on a diet, they select their menu by ‘calorie counting’. The amount of carbs, proteins and nutrients are also important. All these are easy for a veteran but for whose who are new to dieting, the whole procedure can be a troublesome one.
Those who are new to this needs to know that the first and the foremost thing to do is to understand his food. There are three major nutrient groups: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The next thing to consider is the requirement of each nutrient depending on the person and how to calculate that. Then comes the task of matching these calculations with his favorite food.
The three major nutrient group is carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Carbohydrates or carbs are our major source of energy. When ever the body needs energy, it uses carbs at first and then it moves to stored fats. Some do say that getting rid of carbs in the diet is a good way to reduce fat as if you do this, the body will always utilize fat. But as complex carbs are needed for other functions like insulin release, completely eliminating fat is never a good idea. Instead, adding an exercise program will yield better results.
The primary function of protein is to build muscle tissue and maintain it. Protein is also the source of several amino acids that are responsible for various other functions of the body. Even at resting stage, the muscles in our body are constantly breaking down. Protein can build new muscles. So protein must occupy some part in the diet on a daily basis. Meat is not the only source of protein. Vegetables and dairy products also contain them.
Fats are the last and almost invariably looked upon component. But there are various kinds of Fat. Although most of them are bad for your health, some are beneficial. Trans – fats can be considered as the worst enemy that you can have. The have no nutritional value yet poses as threats to the body. Cooking oils, butter spreads and every thing fried are rich in trans – fats. Saturated fats are OK in moderation. Animal and most vegetable products have this kind of fat. But the best kind of fat for health is the unsaturated fats. They are also called the EFAs or Essential Fatty Acids. As the body can not produce this kind of fat, they must be obtained from diet. Sea foods like seaweed, fish oil, seeds and nuts contain them in abundance.
A healthy and a balanced diet consists of all three ingredients – carbs at fifty to sixty percents, fats at twenty five to thirty percents and proteins at fifteen to twenty percents. This is the percentage depending on the calorie value of the ingredients. Each one has different values – one gram carbs is equal to four calories, one gram protein to 4 calories and one gram fat to nine calories. The final estimation must be done according to these two charts.