The Perfect Way To Balance Your Carbs, Proteins, And Fats
Whether you are trying to eat healthily, lose weight, or just maintain your weight, one thing is for sure- dieting is confusing. One time you are told a high protein diet will help you lose weight. The next minute, the same increases your chances of building high levels of cholesterol which risks a heart disease.
Again, you read that a high carbohydrate diet although low in fat may lead to a high build-up of triglyceride making you a perfect candidate for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). What about fats? A Journal of the American Medical Association concluded in a publication that taking little protein with lots of carbohydrates and fats leads to increased body fat with less muscle mass.
So, where does this leave us, greenhorns?
What’s the best blend? Or how do you balance your carbs, proteins, and fats?
Photo Credit By Ella Olsson
Here are ways for you to stay healthy and get fitter.
What we know
We all agree that our bodies need a healthy blend of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats for it to be able to fuel both metabolic and physical needs. These three major nutrients together are summed into one group called macronutrients. For a healthy lifestyle, a balance has to be struck in our daily intake of nutrients.
Additionally, there’s no agreed perfect balance, but it all depends on the age and dieting goals.
So, let’s see some recommended ratios for each.
According to The National Academy of Medicine, previously known as the Institute of Medicine. Mentioned that carbohydrates should constitute about 45-65 percent of your daily calories. Carbohydrates are recorded to be having 4 calories per gram and are your quickest form of energy given that they contain the most glucose.
Besides being an instant source of energy for our bodies, carbs are stored in our liver in the form of glycogen which is released any time the body needs energy. There’s a limit, though, as to how much our liver can store. If the limit is achieved, the excess is converted to fats.
Carbs come in two forms: healthy and not-so-healthy carbs.
The healthy carbs are also called slow-acting or complex and is known to last longer and slowly raises the blood sugar levels. This property allows this type of carb to help you keep feeling hungry for extended periods as well as keeping our blood sugar levels near normal.
The not-so-healthy carbs are commonly known as fast-acting or simple carbs. These are the carbs you rush to when you want to raise your blood levels quickly (although they don’t last long or satisfy
hunger as would the healthy carbs).
Just like carbohydrates, proteins also have 4 calories per gram. Unless one needs a dietary modification, an average healthy person needs about 10-35 percent of total caloric intake per day. That means for a 2000-calorie diet, 200-700 calories from this diet should comprise of proteins.
Proteins are needed by our bodies for a variety of functions including growth, energy, and maintenance. Our bodies convert about 60 percent of protein to glucose and can sometimes be stored and primarily used by our muscles.
In terms of the effect on blood sugar levels, it may take between 3 and 4 hours for the effect to be seen on our blood sugar levels and the rise may be negligible.
Of the three macronutrients, fats have the highest number of calories per gram measured at a staggering 9. A healthy daily diet should have about 30-35 percent of fat. For a typical 2000-calorie-diet, about 400-700 calories should be fats.
Fats play a critical role in the body just like the other two macronutrients. They are responsible for providing energy, protecting organs and storing vitamins. Taking extremely low amounts of fats is generally unhealthy and is likely to lead to damage to vital organs and decreased hormone production.
So, what’s the Ideal Blend
There’s nothing standard.
The amount of each macronutrient one should take is influenced by many factors including age, health, and diet goals. Whatever exists are suggestions from different diet experts around the globe.
Some suggest 57/30/13 (% carbs, protein, and fats respectively) like Celebrated British track and field coach Brian Mackenzie. Others recommend 50/30/20, but the balance for any person should
fall within the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDR).
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