Know The Facts About Protein

 Nutritional Information  Comments Off on Know The Facts About Protein
Mar 072012
 

Proteins:

There are 3 ways to take in calories and they are called macro-nutrients, also know as Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats and they all serve a different purpose and we need all three at each meal to create a healthy, balanced diet.

Most people are familiar with the protein from animal sources; however, if you choose a vegetarian diet, you’ll have to seek out other creative ways of getting in your protein, see the end of this article for suggestions.

Animal protein breaks down into amino acid building blocks that help repair body cells. It is an essential part of our diet by building and repairing our entire bodies starting with our bones, skin, blood cells, nails and hair, not to mention enzymes, muscles, hormones, and the brain.

When we don’t take in sufficient amount of proteins it can weaken the immune system as well as loosing valuable muscle and bone mass, which causes the body to “cannibalize” itself in an effort to have the raw materials it needs to create new enzymes and maintain its immunity.  An average person taking in 3 to 6 ounces of protein per meal is sufficient, (about the size of the your palm). Eating protein gives us energy and helps us stay slim. Protein also causes the body to release an important fat burning hormone called “glucagon” that allows the body to use stored energy, fat instead of muscle.

Good sources of protein are fish, chicken, turkey and lean meat like buffalo, eggs, nuts and cheese.

Vegetarians can get their protein from soy products, tufo, tempeh, miso, nuts & legumes, to name a few.

Please see my posts on Fats and Carbohydrates in the nutritional information category. Here’s to your health!

 

Know The Facts About Fat

 Nutritional Information  Comments Off on Know The Facts About Fat
Mar 072012
 

Fats: Fat adds flavor and texture to our foods.  However; not all fats are created equal. We have all been told there are “good” fats and “bad” fats, but how do you know the difference? The truth is, we need fat to burn fat and the only way to do this is to take in fat from the foods we eat. They come from both animal and plant sources, and there are three different types.

  1.  Saturated Fats:  These are always solid at room temperature
  2. 2.  Polyunsaturated: These always remain liquid at room temperature and in the freezer.
  3.  Monounsaturated Fats: These remain liquid at room temperature and become solid when refrigerated or frozen.

The intake of fats provides our body with “Essential Fatty Acids” which provide for a healthy immune system while supplying us with energy, balanced hormones, stabilizing blood sugar levels, and controlling our hunger.

There are medical studies to show the benefits of eating greater amounts of the monounsaturated fats that come from things like olive oil, macadamia nuts, and avocados.

And there are studies that show that processed oils like hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated, (margarine & shortening) are detrimental to our health because they lack the enzyme necessary to break down and metabolize in the body. See my post “The Difference Between Butter and Margarine”. Polyunsaturated in their natural state are fine, but once they are heated and processed, they are no longer good for the body.  It’s important to note that good fats are immediately absorbed and responsible for the release of a very important hormone called CCK, (chrolecystokeninin) which signals your brain to stop eating and aids in turning off the hungry switch. The other important thing to know is the fact that fats slow down the rate of absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.

If we don’t get enough fat, the body is forced to break down muscle and bone mass and creates more fat storage.  So, don’t be afraid to eat the good fats in moderation, of course, like olive oil, avocados, fish and fish oils, all kinds of nuts, especially yummy macadamia nuts.