Here’s a guide for those who would like to understand the basic features and benefits of protein, carbohydrates, and fat to prepare healthy and balanced meals.
Have a Balanced Diet
To prepare healthy and balanced meals, first, you need to understand the basic features and benefits of protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
Protein is a macronutrient that is essential to build muscle mass. Consuming protein after exercise helps the muscles to heal and prevents the loss of lean mass. Lean mass contributes to a muscular and toned appearance.
Red meat, poultry, fish and seafood, dairy products, and eggs are rich in protein. You should also add some plant-based proteins in your diet to prepare balanced meals such as spinach, artichokes, green peas, broccoli, edamame, almonds, pistachios, lentils, chickpeas, and quinoa.
Carbohydrates are macronutrients that help the body to recharge and restore its fuel supply. The main purpose of carbohydrates in the diet is to provide energy. Most of them get broken down or transformed into glucose, which can be used as energy. That’s why there should be enough carbohydrates on your plate before and after a workout.
You should start taking notes here: The difference between whole and refined carbs is very important. In other terms, there are good carbs and not so good carbs. Examples of whole carbs include some vegetables, whole fruits, legumes, potatoes, and whole grains. These foods are mostly healthy.
On the other hand, refined carbs include sugar-sweetened beverages, white bread, pasta, white rice, and so on. These are the types of carbs that you should avoid eating.
What About Fat?
Dietary fats are essential to give your body energy and to support cell growth. They also help protect your organs and help keep your body warm. Fats help your body absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones, too.
For so many years, fat is cursed and banished from healthy diet plans. But today we know that “balance” is the keyword. We definitely need some fat in our diets too. We just have to know which fat to consume.
The worst type of dietary fat is known as trans fat. That is the kind of fat that you should be avoiding in your diet. Instead, you can consume healthy fat coming from vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish. Healthy fats are liquid at room temperature, like olive oil.
Drink Plenty of Water
Since about 70 percent of the body is made up of water, it is vital to drink plenty of it every day in order to maintain the fluid balance of the body.
Drinking water can help decrease the hunger you feel before meals. It may also increase feelings of fullness following a meal and promote weight loss. It stretches the stomach enough to send signals of fullness to the brain.
Now that you understand how vital water is, how much water you need becomes the main concern. It depends on a lot of things and varies from person to person. For adults, the general recommendation from “The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine” is about: 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) a day for women, 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) a day for men.