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Confused about nutrition terminology



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RUSSELL_40
Posts: 16,745
12/27/12 12:06 P

I think you should focus on what carbs, protein, and fats are, and not label things good or bad.

There are many ways of eating to lose weight, and on the different plans, different foods are allowed, or limited, based on whether they fit that plan. Saying any food is good or bad, may be wrong, if the person you are " helping " is on a different plan.

To the OP, you should google " top sources of ...protein, carbohydrates, fat ".

Most foods are a combo of the 3 macronutrients. A few things you will want to look up are saturated/ unsaturated fats, and under carbohydrates, you will have starches/ fiber, as well as soluble/ insoluble fiber.

For now, just eat in range, cut out sweets, and sodium as much as possible. You should see some weight loss, but most of all, you need to do more research. Then you can formulate a better plan to fit you. Get some books from the library on basic nutrition, or look up Spark articles.

Hope you have great success.



COTTERR
SparkPoints: (10,706)
Fitness Minutes: (6,923)
Posts: 112
12/26/12 5:26 P

Look up articles on SparkPeople. Lots of good information. At the top hover ober healthy lifestyle and choose nutrition.



ANARIE
Posts: 12,317
12/26/12 4:44 P

Go to the website for your nearest community college and sign up for a class in the basics of nutrition. It's best if the class is taught by the biology department or by a pre-med/ pre-nursing program, NOT an adult education class. You can go to class one night a week, learn exactly what words like "protein" mean, and meet a bunch of new people, all for less than the price of spending the same number of hours at the movies.



CALLMECARRIE
Posts: 1,594
12/26/12 10:28 A

It's good to get into the habit of reading labels and checking the nutrients of foods you eat. It takes time to learn these things, but it's well worth it. Don't let other people tell you what's "bad" or "good," you can figure it out yourself. If you're not sure what to have for breakfast, look at the nutrition for a bowl of cereal and a banana and an egg. Then for comparison, look at the nutrition in, say, a maple bar. You know fiber and vitamins and whole grains and protein are good things; you know large quantities of sugar and fat are not. Seeing it in black and white helps you learn it.



SARAHANN01
SparkPoints: (1,619)
Fitness Minutes: (930)
Posts: 115
12/25/12 8:23 A

As for proteins, carbs, and fats... These are macronutrients. Most foods will have some of each of these thing. Some foods are just higher in one certain area.

Examples of Good Protein: chicken, fish, egg whites, beans, low-fat dairy
Examples of Good Carbs: veggies, oats, whole grains
Examples of Good Fats: olive oil, nuts and natural nut butters

As for fiber... Fiber isn't a macronutrient, but it's still something that is good to have. If you're looking to increase your fiber most beans, whole grains, and many veggies are high in fiber.

As for what foods are "healthy"... You really need to find what fits your individual goals. Avocados are very good for you. However, it is true that they are high in calories. So if your primary goal is weight loss then you will only want to have them in moderation. Weight loss is not everyone's primary goal so having avocados regularly might suit someone else's goal.

If you're confused about what foods to eat a general rule is to eat things that are unprocessed to minimally processed - stick to the walls of the grocery store. This will include fruits and veggies, meat, eggs, dairy, etc. Find what works for you.

As for the food tracker... It tracks just what it says it tracks, food. It is not going to track a recipe. You're are going to have to track that recipe by the individual ingredients. Spark has a recipe calculator that can help you do that:
http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-ca
lculator.asp

If it is something that is prepackaged then you can click the "Enter food not listed" option and pull the information off of the box/can/jar of food (making sure that you are aware of the serving size so that you're not tracking incorrectly).



STEPHEN_NANNY
SparkPoints: (10,496)
Fitness Minutes: (16,232)
Posts: 385
12/25/12 8:20 A

Sometimes people refer to a food as a "protein" or a "fibre" but some of your confusion is happening because when people say things like this, they are simply referring to a main 'feature' that the food is often known for in dieting circles. But even they know there is more to the story...every food has many different aspects to it (different types of carb...different vitamins...different kinds of fat...etc). And whether that food is "good" or "bad" for you depends on 2 things:

1) is the predominant characteristic of that food item scientifically proven to have negative consequences that outweigh any smaller positive benefits of its other characteristics?

2) do the the predominant characteristics of that food item fit within a healthy eating regime for YOU?

So, take the avacado. True, eating too many calories everday will contribute to weight-gain over time (its more complicated than that, but I'll oversimplify for now). However, you NEED calories to function as a human being, even more if you are physically active...and too few calories will have very negative effects. So, is the avacado good? Well, it is calorie rich, but as long as you aren't eating so many avacados as to be eating too many calories every day (the said could be said of ANY food...even the awesome apple), then the good fats (yes, there are good/necessary fats...and the avacado has them) and vitamins and fibre in that avacado make it a GOOD food by any measure.

So calories, carbs, protein, certain kinds of fat...these are good things. It is simply that too much or too little of each every day will have negative consequences. Your next step is to do some basic reading on nutrition to find out what these things are so that you can understand the make-up of the foods that you are eating right now in your life. Then you can see which foods are generally 'good' and which have mostly negative impacts. You'll especially want to keep an eye out for foods that have alot of calories, but have very little else in them at all...these are called "empty calories" because they don't bring any significant amount of good fat, protein, vitamins, minerals or fibre. Deep-fried food...candy...most fruit drinks...you'll find that these foods have calories that don't come with much else of benefit...and therefore are usually 'bad' if not kept in check in a healthy eating regime.

Good luck!



NIRERIN
Posts: 11,720
12/25/12 6:42 A

the thing about it is that there are very few foods that are purely protein or purely fat. so most things are a mix of all three. tracking will help you see which foods fit in which categories best. and as you track, you can also see how much you need of each. turning on the meal plans can help you see other ways to meet those goals [and as long as you don't tick the box next to each line they won't actually count towards your cals/fat/car/protein/etc for the day]. and finally you can run your feedback report at the end of the day, which will offer suggestions for what to eat to make up for what you are low in or what to try instead to get your numbers down.

and there simply isn't a single list of universally healthy foods. personally i wouldn't consider the fries i eat bad for me, but my fries are: washed potato, sliced, lightly tossed in olive oil, seasoned, baked and eaten with the skin. some people consider some things bad for you, others think they are great. you have to decide what your primary objective is and what foods fit that best. and what works for you may not work for another person.

and the other thing you have to learn is the difference between a food and a recipe. apples are a food. while there will be some variety in nutrition information according to type of apple, they're all pretty close in there and if you track a braeburn as a granny smith, you'll be off but close enough when it comes down to it. peanuts are a food and as long as you make sure you are picking nutrition information that is the same as what you have in front of you [roasted and salted, roasted and unsalted, unroasted and salted, unroasted and unsalted pretty much being the combos there], you're good to go, it's a food. peanut butter is getting into the recipe. some places just whiz up peanuts, others add oil, still more add a sweetener of some kind and still more add things i have no idea what they are doing in peanut butter. so you need to make sure that you are using either plain blended nuts or that you're entering or finding the info from your label. which means that indonesian peanut soup isn't a food, it's a recipe. and since like every other recipe on the planet it's different from all the others, you need to treat it like a recipe. sparkrecipes.com will let you type in indonesian peanut soup as a title. then you can add all the foods in the quantities that you use them in and enter in the servings. this will let you figure out the nutrition info for your soup. you don't have to fill in the full instructions, just enter a character and make sure you don't share the recipe. save it and it will go into your favorites, when you can treat it like a plain food.



MANDIETERRIER1
Posts: 13,499
12/24/12 11:45 P

You will hear a lot of different things. Personally I believe that there is no completely bad food and no completely good food only food in moderation.

Every food can fit into a healthy diet. Even french fries and donuts. I am sorry but I don't know how to track that soup.

Bananas are a good source of fiber. One large banana is often two servings of fruit.

Avocados are high in fat and calories, but it is good fat and good calories.




PATIENCEPIE
SparkPoints: (714)
Fitness Minutes: (39)
Posts: 50
12/24/12 11:10 P

I read about Proteins, carbs, fiber, sodium etc and wonder what actual foods fit in those categories. Like I know beef, chicken and fish are "protein" but what else? Am not sure what a carb or fiber is either. I want to know what "foods" I can eat. Some foods are obviously bad, like I know I should avoid donuts and French fries for example. But I hear in the same week from different people that sour cream for example is considered a healthy item by one person and unhealthy by another. Avocados are a good example. They are supposed to be good for you but have lots of calories. So are they good or not? Whole wheat is another one. Some sources list it as healthy but others say not to eat breads and then there are wheat allergies too. I'm confused about foods and when the food tracker lists things by calories and sodium and stuff, I feel defeated before I even start. I have tried food track apps and they don't really work as when I have something like "Indonesian Peanut Celery soup" it won't track something it doesn't recognize and I have no idea how to list it. I was going to go with smoothies but someone told me bananas are bad, full of sugar and calories! What am I supposed to be eating!?



 
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