Essential Knowledge 101
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
For us to lose weight and maintain our health it is super important to know what we are dealing with, it is not just yummy objects we put in our mouth so check this article that i had found while searching , i hope it helps:) Enjoy :
Two Types of Carbohydrates
There are two major types of carbohydrates in foods: simple and complex.
Simple carbohydrates: These are also called simple sugars. Simple sugars are found in refined sugars, like the white sugar you'd find in a sugar bowl. If you have a lollipop, you're eating simple carbohydrates. But you'll also find simple sugars in more nutritious foods, such as fruit and milk. It's better to get your simple sugars from food like fruit and milk. Why? Because they contain vitamins, fiber, and important nutrients like calcium. A lollipop does not.
Complex carbohydrates: These are also called starches. Starches include grain products, such as bread, crackers, pasta, and rice. As with simple sugars, some complex carbohydrate foods are better choices than others. Refined grains, such as white flour and white rice, have been processed, which removes nutrients and fiber. But unrefined grains still contain these vitamins and minerals. Unrefined grains also are rich in fiber, which helps your digestive system work well. Fiber helps you feel full, so you are less likely to overeat these foods. That explains why a bowl of oatmeal fills you up better than sugary candy that has the same amount of calories as the oatmeal.
So which type of carbs should you eat? Both can be part of a healthy diet.
How the Body Uses Carbohydrates
When you eat carbohydrates, the body breaks them down into simple sugars. These sugars are absorbed into the bloodstream. As the sugar level rises in your body, the pancreas releases a hormone called insulin. Insulin is needed to move sugar from the blood into the cells, where the sugar can be used as a source of energy.
When this process goes fast - as with simple sugars - you're more likely to feel hungry again soon. When it occurs more slowly, as with a whole-grain food, you'll be satisfied longer. These types of complex carbohydrates give you energy over a longer period of time.
The carbohydrates in some foods (mostly those that contain a lot of simple sugars) cause the blood sugar level to rise more quickly than others. Scientists have been studying whether eating foods that cause big jumps in blood sugar may be related to health problems like diabetes and heart disease. You're probably already on the right track if you are limiting simple sugars (such as candy) and eating more complex carbohydrates (like vegetables, oatmeal, and whole-grain wheat bread).
You probably know you need to eat protein, but what is it? Many foods contain protein ,but the best sources are beef, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds, and legumes like black beans and lentils. Protein builds up, maintains, and replaces the tissues in your body. (Not the tissues you blow your nose in! We mean the stuff your body's made up of.) Your muscles, your organs, and your immune system are made up mostly of protein.
Your body uses the protein you eat to make lots of specialized protein molecules that have specific jobs. For instance, your body uses protein to make hemoglobin (say: hee-muh-glow-bin), the part of red blood cells that carries oxygen to every part of your body. Other proteins are used to build cardiac muscle. What's that? Your heart! In fact, whether you're running or just hanging out, protein is doing important work like moving your legs, moving your lungs, and protecting you from disease.
All About Amino Acids
When you eat foods that contain protein, the digestive juices in your stomach and intestine go to work. They break down the protein in food into basic units, called amino acids (say uh-mee-no a-sids). The amino acids then can be reused to make the proteins your body needs to maintain muscles, bones, blood, and body organs.
Proteins are sometimes described as long necklaces with differently shaped beads. Each bead is a small amino acid. These amino acids can join together to make thousands of different proteins. Scientists have found many different amino acids in protein, but 22 of them are very important to human health.
Of those 22 amino acids, your body can make 13 of them without you ever thinking about it. Your body can't make the other nine amino acids, but you can get them by eating protein-rich foods. They are called essential amino acids because it's essential that you get them from the foods you eat.
Types of Fat
You might see ads for foods that say they're "low-fat" or "fat-free." Lower-fat diets have been recommended for health and to help people lose weight. But nutrition experts are finding that fats are more complicated and that some kinds of fat are actually good for your health. As a bonus, fat in food helps people feel satisfied, so they don't eat as much.
But that doesn't mean a high-fat diet will be good for you. And some fats are better than others. Here are the three major types:
Unsaturated fats: These are found in plant foods and fish. These may be good for heart health. The best of the unsaturated fats are found in olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, albacore tuna, and salmon.
Saturated fats: These fats are found in meat and other animal products, such as butter, cheese, and all milk except skim. Saturated fats are also in palm and coconut oils, which are often used in commercial baked goods (the kind you buy at the store). Eating too much saturated fat can raise blood cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease.
Trans fats: These fats are found in margarine, especially the sticks. Trans fats are also found in certain foods that you buy at the store or in a restaurant, such as snack foods, baked goods, and fried foods. When you see "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oils on an ingredient list, the food contains trans fats. Trans fats are also listed on the food label. Like saturated fats, trans fats can raise cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD