Proteins and carbohydrates make a major part of our daily meals no matter what we eat. However, it is extremely important to track how much we are ingesting on a daily basis as it has a significant effect on our bodies and how we function. Studies have shown that small changes to the type of proteins and carbohydrates we eat have a large impact on preventing long-term weight gain.
Protein is considered the most filling macronutrient, meaning that a meal with protein will satisfy your hunger for a longer period of time preventing overeating. When picking a protein for your meal, it is important to take into consideration that not all meats contain the same amount nor the same quality of protein. White meats are generally healthier and have fewer calories than red meats as red meats tend to have more cholesterol and saturated fats. However, red meats also contain more iron, zinc, riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamin B6 and B12 so it is important to understand the difference and apply it to your diet.
Proteins are an important element in the development of essential hormones, muscle tissue, and immune system and should be consumed on a regular basis. If you lead an active lifestyle and exercise regularly, you should consume about 1 gram of protein per 1 kilo of weight to allow your muscle tissue to maintain itself and recover.
High-quality proteins, such as meat and eggs, are important for muscle maintenance and growth and can be substituted by dairy products such as milk and yogurt or vegetables such as quinoa, legumes, green peas, tofu and nuts for vegans.
When picking protein sources to eat, another factor that you should take into account is the amount of iron you are in taking because it is an extremely important nutrient. Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin and it helps to transfer oxygen to our organs and tissues. It is recommended to consume about 20 mg of iron daily as people with iron deficiencies often suffer from drowsiness, fatigue, problems with skin and nails, dry mouth and anemia. Some foods that are rich in iron include liver, oysters, eggs, spinach, beans, asparagus, chickpeas, lentils, and pumpkin seeds. Now that we established the importance in including proteins and iron into your diet, we can talk about carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates have a bad reputation as an ingredient that contributes to obesity. However, it depends on how much and what kind of carbohydrates that you are ingesting. As a general rule, you should avoid processed grains and include whole grains in your diet instead. Whole grains contain all parts of the grain, including bran, germ, and endosperm which are a great source of dietary energy.
However, processed grains are bad carbohydrates as they are simple carbohydrates which are easily digested into sugar and doesn’t provide any useful nutrients. Keep in mind that natural sources of simple carbohydrates, such as milk and dairy products, fruits and vegetables, are much more beneficial to your body.
If you are looking to stay full for a long period of time, you should be such as sweet potatoes, lentils, whole wheat, brown rice, and peas.
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