If food labels make your head spin and you don’t know if you should be eating high protein, low carb, low fat, low protein or some other combination, check out the nutrition basics below.
Protein. Proteins are a part of every cell of our body, and the proteins we eat help to replace
the proteins that are used and broken down daily. Protein is made up of amino acids.
- Meats, fish, poultry and dairy give us complete proteins, all of the amino acids we need.
- Beans, rice, corn and soy give us incomplete proteins, only some of the amino acids we need. But if a variety of incomplete proteins are eaten in a day, then we will have eaten all of the necessary amino acids.
Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide the fuel needed for our body to work.
- Complex “carbs” are vegetables, fruits and whole grains. These also provide necessary fiber.
- Limiting simple “carbs” (sugar, refined flour, etc.) will help keep blood sugars and weight under control.
Fat. Some healthy fat is needed daily for our health.
- The best fats are olive oil, canola oil and sunflower oil.
- Limit saturated fats (found in animal products) and eliminate trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils).
Easy Portion Tips:
- Protein=1 serving is about the size of a deck of cards.
- Carbohydrates=1 Cup serving of vegetables is the size of a baseball.
- Fats=1 serving of fat is the size of 1 die.