Proteins, Carbs and Fats Simply Explained

Are you ready to improve the way you eat? We prepared this blog to simply explain and help you understand Proteins, Carbs and Fats. But also to help you understand why you should be prioritising counting macros over calories, and to learn the right sources of each macronutrient.

What Are Macronutrients?

Macros - macronutrients are required in larger amounts, and are nutrients that our bodies need to create energy in order to fuel our daily activities. Macros are what makes the caloric content of a food, and the caloric combination of the macros is where that mysterious overall number of calories comes from.

Macronutrients are:

PROTEIN

1g of protein equals 4 calories

Proteins are made of amino acids, which function as building blocks for cells. Cells need protein to grow and to repair themselves. Your body also uses protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. It is an important building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Protein sources: 

> 2 large eggs: 155 calories = 1.5 g carbs, 11 g fat, 22 g protein
> 3/4 cup tempeh: 333 calories = 15.9 g carbs, 19.4 g fat, 30.9 g protein
> 3/4 block of firm tofu: 311 calories = 6.8 g carbs, 19.9 g fat, 33.7 g protein
> 100g chicken: 164 calories = 0 g carbs, 5.2 g fat, 29.2 g protein
> 100g cooked kidney beans: 127 calories = 22.8 g carbs, 0.5 g fat, 8.7 g protein

CARBS

Carbohydrates are foods that get converted into glucose (sugar), in our bodies during digestion. Although glucose is a form of sugar it is also the main source of fuel for our bodies. It is important for our brain function. Other fuel sources (from fat or protein) are nor as efficient as carbohydrates to produce energy.

1g of carbs equals 4 calories

Simple carbohydrates – the ‘bad’ carbs you want to avoid: sugary foods such as processed sugar, baked goods, commercial cereals, cookies, honey and dairy products.

Complex carbohydrates – the ‘good’ carbs’ sources: 

> 2 medium baked sweet potatoes200 calories = 46 g carbs, 0.3 g fat, 4.5 g protein
> 1-1/2 medium baked potato241 calories = 54.9 g carbs, 0.3 g fat, 6.5 g protein
> 1-3/4 cup of cooked oatmeal: 291 calories = 49.1 g carbs, 6.2 g fat, 10.4 g protein
> 1-1/4 cup cooked quinoa: 278 calories = 49.3 g carbs, 4.4 g fat, 10.2 g protein
> 1 cup cooked brown rice: 216 calories = 44.8 g carbs, 1.8 g fat, 5 g protein

FAT

Your body needs fat, it needs the so called ‘good’ fat delivered from real food. Fat is a major source of energy, it helps you absorb some important vitamins and minerals. It is needed to build the exterior part of your cells, and it is essential for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation.

1g of fat equals 9 calories

Fat Sources:

> 1/4 cup of cashews: 314 calories = 17.1 g carbs, 25 g fat, 10.3 g protein
> 3/4 avocado: 241 calories =  12.9 g carbs, 22.1 g fat, 3 g protein
> 2 tbsp peanut butter: 210 calories =  6 g carbs, 16 g fat, 7 g protein
> 1-1/2 tbsp olive oil: 180 calories = 0 g carbs, 21 g fat, 0 g protein
> 1/2 cup almonds: 275 calories = 9.4 g carbs, 24.1 g fat, 10.1 g protein

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There are different macro combinations you can chose to follow depending on your goal, gender or body type. Most common ratios:

protein : fats : carbs

If you would like to learn more about Micronutrients you can read our more in depth blog on [MACROS AND MICROS EXPLAINED] BALANCE YOUR MEALS!

Fat is GOOD for you!

Over the years we were told that fat isn’t good for us, that it makes us fat, and it can contribute to cardiovascular diseases. And so we cut down on it or switched to low-fat and fat-free products. But was this shift the healthier option?

Well, the opposite is the truth. Eating the right kinds of dietary fat can offer health and weight-loss benefits. So yes, fat is good for you!

The truth is:

Your body needs fat, it needs the so called ‘good’ fat delivered from real food. Fat is a major source of energy, it helps you absorb some important vitamins and minerals. It is needed to build the exterior part of your cells, and it is essential for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation.

Just like we discussed carbohydrates in our previous blog >Carbs are GOOD for you! some fats are better than others. The good fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, while the not-at-all-good ones are the man-made and processed trans fats. Saturated fats lay somewhere in between.

THE BAD FAT

The worst dietary fat is known as trans fat. It is a byproduct of a process that turns healthy oils into solids to make them last longer. There are 0 health benefits from trans fats! This kind of fat is found in solid margarines, vegetable shortening, commercial cookies, pastries and most fast-foods fries or fried foods.

Eating foods rich in trans fats increases the amount of harmful-bad (LDL) cholesterol in the body, while reducing the amount of beneficial-good (HDL) cholesterol.

How do trans fats effect my health?
• create inflammation
• heart disease and stroke
• contribute to insulin resistance (increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes)

*for every 2% of calories from trans fat eaten daily, the risk of heart disease rises by 23%!

THE OK-ish FAT

Saturated fats are solid at room temperature, and liquid once heated up. They are not as harmful as the trans fats, but a diet rich in saturated fats can spike up cholesterol, especially the more harmful type. This LDL cholesterol can form blockages in the arteries. Which is why it is ok to eat this type of fat but, in moderation.

High-quality saturated fat sources: grass-fed butter, coconut oil, ghee whole milk and other whole-milk dairy foods

Fat is good for you

Healthy fats benefits:
• Improves fat-soluble vitamin absorption
• Maximises metabolism
• Provides fuel & energy
• Maintains healthy skin
• Help the body absorb nutrients
• Improves nerve, brain and heart function

High- quality monounsaturated fats sources: peanut oil, sesame oil, and olive oil, canola oil, avocados, and most nuts
*always choose cold pressed oils

Polyunsaturated fats are essential fats, meaning they are required for normal body function. However, your body can't make them, so you need get them from food. Eating polyunsaturated fats reduces the bad LDL cholesterol and improves overall cholesterol profile.

There are two types of polyunsaturated fats:
omega-3 fatty acids (fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, flaxseeds, walnuts, canola oil)
• omega-6 fatty acids (vegetable oils, soybean, sunflower, walnut, and corn oils)

Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent heart disease and stroke, reduce blood pressure, raise HDL. There are other health improvements such as lowering the risk of dementia which is what makes the Omega-3 fatty acids the best kind of fat.

Fat is good for you

BUT WHAT ABOUT FAT-FREE PRODUCTS?

When removing fats from foods, something else needs to be added instead. And guess what that is? Yup => processed sugar!

You can read more about sugar and which sugar type is actually good for you on our blog > The Healthiest Sugar Alternatives

Sugar causes damage to your body, because it digests simply to elevate blood sugar levels. On the other hand, fat is more complex, and can be crucial for maintaining satiety and metabolic health. Hence low-fat diet foods, full of sugar and starch are actually worse for your health than full fat products.

Is this whole fat dilemma too confusing for you? Then book a FREE consultation with us! We are here to help you.

The Truth About High Protein Diets

How Much Protein?

Depends on whether you work out or not and how strenuous your workouts actually are. Your average desk-bound male requires just 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day, while for endurance athletes, the recommendation is between 0.5 and 0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

Not sure what is the right amount of protein for you? Click HERE to find out! OR  BOOK a free consultation with us!

High Protein Diets - The Truth:

The Best Protein Sources

Choose protein sources that are nutrient-rich and lower in saturated fat and calories, such as:

High Protein Diets - Truth

How Do High-Protein Diets Work?

When you cut out carbohydrates, you lose weight quickly because you lose water. Then, with no extra carbs, the body begins burning more fat for fuel. This can lead to ketosis, which may make losing weight easier because you feel less hungry. Ketosis may cause temporary headaches, irritability, and nausea but appears to be safe long-term.

We suggest a a balanced diet of protein, carbs, veggies and healthy fats. Carbs are just important as protein (in smaller amounts) after all are a fuel for you body as well as they are needed post-workout to help build and recover your muscles.

High-Protein Health Risks

• Heart Disease
• Colorectal cancer
• Kidney Disease
• Osteoporosis
• Diabetes Complications
• Nutritional Deficiencies

A Healthier Way to Lose Weight

Of the many ways to lose weight, one stands out as by far the most healthful. When meals are built from a generous array of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans—that is, healthy vegetarian choices—weight loss is remarkably easy. And along with it come major improvements in cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and many other aspects of health.

Now HERE is the truth = the answer is very simple: Cut out foods that are high in fat and devoid of fiber and increase foods that are naturally low in fat (skip the 'fat free' and 'low in fat' diary crap), rich in fiber, and most nutritious.

> Still confused about protein?BOOK a free consultation with us and let us help you with your diet in the long run!

High Protein Diets - Truth
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