So, what about micronutrients, like proteins, fats and carbohydrates?
When you hear ‘eat good fats’, do you feel confused?
As nutrition evolves and more theories are developed, confusion can easily be created when one theory conflicts the other. That’s why understanding micronutrients you consume is important.
Take fat. Remember when we were told it was the enemy? We scoured the supermarket for skimmed milk, low-fat yoghurt, and low-fat spread. Now everyone is talking about ‘good fats’.
Then we were told to avoid carbohydrates by all means. But why is everyone now eating sweet potato?
The Importance of Understanding Macronutrients
Understanding the differences between the various macronutrients (i.e., the big nutrients that fuel your body) can not only save you a whole lot of time when it comes to shopping, or simply selecting a healthy meal, but it’s also very empowering for my clients when they want to eat out & feel they are breaking their ‘healthy lifestyle’.
Foods that create an unstable sugar level lead our body to ‘peaks & troughs’ in our energy levels. As food is our main source of energy it can mean we crave foods that give us an instant energy kick such as highly processed foods, sugar, caffeine & alcohol.
By selecting what may be referred to as the ‘good foods’ we create a stable release of energy and therefore, more sustainability in pursuing a good nutritional base.
Whole grains provide more fibre which means the breakdown of these foods happens a lot more slowly, although they all convert to sugar in the body.
Selecting a more nutrient-dense carbohydrate option such as sweet potato or other starchy vegetables with a high carb content like pumpkin will create relatively more balance than carbs put together by combining highly processed ingredients, for example, bread, pasta or noodles.
When fueled with good fats, our body has a slow release of energy. It’s essentially like putting coal on the BBQ instead of paper to burn. This helps us to keep going for longer.
These fats are as close as possible to how nature intended, e.g., full-fat milk (assuming you’re sure you can take dairy), avocado, nuts, meat fats, unrefined oils from plants such as coconut oil, olive oil or nut oils.
The alternatives, often seen as ‘bad’ fats, would be those that have been through heavy processing or are far away from their original source. Therefore, the body has a more difficult time breaking them down or it leaves us feeling void of sustenance.
This is why extra preservatives, flavours or chemicals are often added to fill the void. Common examples include, margarine, sunflowers oil, flavoured low-fat yoghurts & skimmed milk.
This crucial macronutrient, protein, not only repairs each cell but keeps you satiated for longer.
However, there are so many versions that provide very little nutritional value, i.e., low-quality sausages, burgers, crabsticks or cured meats. These can easily fall into those ‘bad’ proteins. Cuts of meat (including its natural fat) such as organic chicken, grass-fed beef, wild fish or non-GMO plant-based protein sources such as tempeh, lentils, chickpeas and seeds are considered ‘good’ proteins.
My earlier article also ties in quite well with this article and understanding micronutrients. If you’re really interested in getting on top form, then check it out! It’s called, ”The Lacking Nutrient compromising your immunity“.
In a rush?
Forget the hard rules explained?
No problem, why not ask yourself, was it created by nature?
I’ve never heard of the ‘bread plant’, have you?