Junk Food Can be Addictive. Fat has often been blamed for obesity, because fat contains more calories per gram than protein and carbs. Fruit juice can have more calories and sugar than soda. Soluble fiber is the soft part of fruits, vegetables and certain grains that slows digestion. This may be due to the fact that arguably the best source of vitamin D is natural sunlight, and fewer people work and play outdoors now than in the past.
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Your body uses the carbohydrates it needs right away and then converts the rest into glycogen, a complex type of polysaccharide carbohydrate. When carbohydrates are not available, glycogen is quickly converted to glucose for immediate energy. Typically your liver and muscles store enough glycogen to fuel up to two hours of vigorous activity. Fiber is a type of complex carbohydrate, but it does not break down into glucose and therefore does not provide calories.
Only plant foods provide fiber. Soluble fiber is the soft part of fruits, vegetables and certain grains that slows digestion. Insoluble fiber, which is the tough skin of plant foods that is difficult to chew, speeds up digestion and relieves constipation.
Most fibrous foods have some of each type of fiber. All fats have nine calories per gram, but not all fats are created equal. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, from vegetable oils, avocados, nuts and cold-water fish, protect your heart and can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Avoid harmful saturated and trans fats that can damage your heart.
Keep your fat intake to 20 to 35 percent of your total calories, which amounts to 44 to 77 grams for a 2,calorie diet. Protein is a structural component of muscle tissues, organs and cell walls, but it also acts as a backup source of energy when carbohydrate and fat are not available.
Like carbohydrates, protein has four calories per gram. Between 10 to 35 percent of your calories should come from protein, depending on your activity level. If you follow a 2,calorie diet, you need 50 to grams of protein each day. It takes 3, calories to equal 1 pound of body weight.
Gaining weight means that you are consuming more calories than your body is able to burn. Cutting just calories from your daily diet can result in 1 pound of weight loss in as little as two weeks. Sugar has a bad reputation, but not all sugars are harmful. Fruit has sugar in the form of fructose and milk has sugar as lactose. These naturally occurring sugars from whole foods are a part of a healthy diet.
The sugars you need to avoid are sucrose, dextrose, maltose or other added sweeteners. These types of sugars are added to processed foods, which are often low in nutrients. Dark green vegetables like kale, spinach and broccoli are high in calcium, but the calcium has poor bioavailability. These foods contain phytic acid and oxalic acid that inhibit some of the calcium absorption.
You should not rely solely on plant foods to meet your calcium intake. Dairy foods are some of your best options for highly bioavailable calcium. You need some sodium in your diet to maintain fluid balance, an essential function for normal heart function. Problems with sodium occur when you consume too much. Excessive sodium intake causes your body to retain water, making your heart work harder. Over time this may put you at risk for heart disease.
Protect your heart by keeping your sodium intake to less than 1, milligrams per day. In many countries, people live on literally hundreds of different plant-based foods — in the United States, corn, soy and wheat consumption far outpace that of any other plant food. Many individuals have little or no fresh fruits and vegetables in their everyday diet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that higher consumption of fresh produce correlates with lower incidences of chronic diseases — namely heart disease and cancer.
Junk food comprises nearly half of the calories for a huge portion of the population. Food with little or no nutritional value is readily available, and generally pretty inexpensive in the United States. However, studies show that roughly one-third of all people in the United States get nearly half of their calories from junk food every day. Combined with statistics that show too-high average calorie consumption, the extremely high incidence of weight-related health issues should come as no surprise.
Certain lifestyle factors can impact your nutrition level. If you smoke heavily, drink excessive alcohol or do drugs, these could be causing nutrient deficiencies. Many nutrients require the presence of others for proper uptake, so unhealthy habits may produce chain reactions that impact your health in a variety of ways.
Generally, the best policy is to practice moderation in everything, especially potentially hazardous lifestyle factors. Healthy Recipes and Nutrition, Nutrition. Healthy Recipes and Nutrition , Nutrition. Connect with us Follow. You May Also Like.