Here Results with Lucy Nutritionist, Shane Nugent, provides us with an introduction to all things carbs, fats and protein...
Carbohydrates, fats and protein make up the three main macro-nutrient groups within your food intakes. Almost every food will call under one or more of these camps. Today I’d like to delve into each area to you can leave this blog knowing all the basics around each area!
Carbohydrates are primarily used for energy within the body, and all carbs can be categorised along a special scale called the ‘GI’ scale (Or Glycaemic Index). This scale tells us how fast a particular carbohydrate source is going to be digested and enter the bloodstream in the form of sugar. A sports drink would take no time at all, whereas a beans or whole grain sources would take longer to digest. Carbs are also an excellent way for us to gain plenty of fibre too!
Having the correct types of fats in the right amounts has a massive positive impact on our health levels, from joint health, to healthier blood vessels, assisting as an anti-oxidant and much much more. Fats also assist as a way of storing fat-soluble vitamins too (Vitamins A, D, E and K!). Fats in the diet can be broken down into 3x main sections:
Examples: Oily Fish, Flaxseed/oil, Avocado, Nuts, Seeds, Olive Oil…
What’s the Deal?: These are essentially healthy fats that help with a whole range of health benefits from heart health to lowering cholesterol and joint health.
Examples: Cheese, Animal Fat (Pork, Beef etc.), Butter, Palm Oils, Ready Meals…
What’s the Deal?: We can tolerate smaller amounts of these fats, so don’t worry a huge amount, but worth keeping an eye on, as it can lead to an increase in the ‘Bad Cholesterol’ in our bodies. Not the best!
Examples: Many Fried foods, Donuts, Cakes, Chips, Battered Foods, Margarines, Pie Crusts…
What’s the Deal?: Regular consumption can increase your risk of Heart Attacks, Strokes, heart disease and other health issues. Avoid as much as you can on a regular basis!
Protein plays a role in a crazy amount of processes within the body. Consuming the right amounts of protein helps our muscle tissue to grow and repair, and also helps you in the fight against hunger too, as protein not only takes longer to digest and helps you feel full quicker, but up to around 30% of the calories contained within protein can be lost within the digestion process! So up to 30 calories in every 100 consumed is used up when being digested, meaning potentially 70 calories are being ‘utilised’ by the body!