Carbohydrates fuel the body. Carbs are sugars and starches that are further divided into two categories-simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates give energy for short amounts of energy and are easily digested. Simple carbs found in fruit and dairy products are a good choice, yet when eaten in the form of white foods – sugar, pasta’s, bread’s -they do not offer many nutritional benefits. Complex carbohydrates are digested very slowly and thus are considered to be a long-term energy supplier.
Proteins are made up of 22 different types of amino acids, and since your body can only make 16 of these, you must get the remaining 8 from another source. Good news is that many foods contain all 8 amino acids (complete proteins) such as meat, dairy products, eggs, fish, shellfish and poultry. Proteins help our body grow, maintains/repairs our cells, and produces antibodies. Protein is the main nutrient that keeps our bones healthy, so choosing protein rich foods is an important part of an overall, everyday healthy diet.
Fats are necessary and give your body many essential nutrients. You just have to make sure you choose the ‘right’ kinds of fat to eat. Bad fats are found in foods such as ice-cream, butter and cheese, making it a smart choice to limit the amount you eat of these particular foods. Good fats are unsaturated fats, and can be found in foods such as olive oil, avocado and nuts.
Finding the right percentage for eating carbs, proteins, and fats is a matter of practice. Starting with a 55/30/15 ratio may be a good place to start, but it’s highly recommended that you research this and then also check with your doctor for more information.
*This is a very basic overview of carbs, proteins, and fats. Know that when you choose to eat a healthy breakfast, you are helping your body start the day feeling good!
Pancakes include lots of complex carbohydrates while syrup is made up of simple carbohydrates.