Tips on Understanding Nutrition for the Body

Developing healthy eating habits is not difficult. It merely requires choosing foods that offer the best balance of nutrients for your body’s needs. There are some basic rules you should try to stick in planning your daily diet. The first rule is to keep your total fat intake lesser than 30% of your total calories. Body fat basics dictate that you should also get at least 55% of your total daily calories from carbohydrates and protein should make up only about 12 to 15 percent of your daily calories. Nutrient and calorie needs vary from person to person, depending on age, sex, body size, an level of physical activity. Of course, understanding nutrition would also mean taking note of the following nutrients.

Tip #1: Understanding carbohydrates.

An immense variety of foods, nearly all of them are derived from plants and supply your daily need for carbohydrates, which is the body’s principal source of energy. There are two types of carbohydrates namely simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.

Tip #2: Understanding simple and complex carbohydrates.

The first type of carbohydrates simply means sugar. To most people, sugar means refined, white table sugar, made from cane or beets. They are otherwise known as fructose, lactose, maltose and and sugar alcohols like sorbitol and xylitol. Sugars are often identified by their sources.
Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, are considered as the primary sources of starches, which are large chains of glucose molecules. Starch is the storage form of carbohydrates in plants, comparable to the glycogen in humans and animals.

Tip #3: Understanding how to regulate carbohydrates in the body.

If you are trying to control your weight or lose several pounds, you have probably heard contradictory things about carbohydrates. Some dieters avoid starchy foods as well as sugary foods because they believe that they are highly fattening. However, you should understand that every gram of both simple and complex carbohydrates contain exactly the same number of calories as protein.

Tip #4: Understanding protein.

Protein is considered as the basic material of life. It constitutes three-fourth of your body tissue. The muscles, organs, antibodies, some hormones, and all enzymes are largely composed of protein. It is not a single, simple substance, but a multitude of chemical combinations. The basic structure of protein is actually a chain of amino acids that can form many different configurations and can combine with other substances.

Tip #5: Understanding how protein works.

Proteins are constantly being broken down in your body. Most of the amino acids are reused, but you must constantly replace some of those that are lost. This process is known as protein turnover. Without dietary protein, growth and all bodily functions would not take place.

Tip #6: Understanding the need for protein.

You need adequate protein intake to build muscles, but if you eat a normal, balanced diet, it is hard not to get enough protein. Even strict vegetarians get enough if they eat grains and vegetables in the proper quantities and combinations to insure that their protein is complete.

Tip #3: Understanding fats.

By now, the health effects of too much fat in the diet have been fairly well established. A high-fat diet has been linked in several studies with heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses. Since fat contains about twice as many calories by weight as carbohydrates and protein, high-fat foods can also contribute to obesity. Some people think that fat is a nutritional villain that should be shunned at all cost. However, fat is essential to the proper functioning of the body, and you should need to consume some fat to remain healthy.
Body nutrition is best understood once you know more about carbohydrates, protein and fats. Doing this will help you distinguish the good from the bad, the essential from the unnecessary, the safe from the harmful.