Proteins, fats and carbohydrates are called macronutrients, because they are required by our body in large quantities for the production of daily energy, growth and recovery.
Vitamins and minerals are called micronutrients because they are needed daily in small quantities.
Remember that glucose is the main molecule that plays the role of the main fuel in the body. Glucose, obtained from both carbohydrates and proteins and from fats, interacts with oxygen in cells and is “burned” to generate energy necessary for the vital activity of the cells of our body. Glucose for the body is the same as gasoline for your machine. Neither your car nor your body can function without the fuel being burned with oxygen and generating energy.
Carbohydrates are the primary fuel that triggers our body to work, and can quickly be processed into glucose. For example, when you eat biscuits, starch begins to be processed into sugar already in the mouth during chewing. In terms of the rate of conversion into glucose carbohydrates are simple (rapid transition to glucose, accompanied by a corresponding acceleration of insulin production) or complex (slower processing into glucose, weak stimulation of the release of insulin). Complex carbohydrates are found in untreated cereals, vegetables and fruits; they also supply the body with dietary fiber: soluble fiber (for example, pectin) and insoluble fiber (cellulose, for example, “fiber” of celery). Simple carbohydrates are found in starchy foods, for example bread, potatoes, flour products, simple cereals, fruit juices, candies, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as in certain fruits with high sugar content, such as bananas.
Proteins and fats, on the other hand, are more slowly involved in metabolic processes in the production of glucose and are involved in the restoration of energy needs of the body for several hours after ingestion. Our brain needs a constant level of glucose, so eating should be balanced and distributed throughout the day in such a way that the brain receives the necessary amount of this nutrient. If you eat too little or if too much time is consumed between two meals, you feel a certain “cloudiness” because your brain does not get the required amount of this very effective fuel that it needs to function properly.
In the 60’s. women’s magazines advised to exclude “fattening” carbohydrates from the diet. Ten years later, they began to say that carbohydrates are useful, but the excess weight, to which their presence in the body leads, is harmful to health. ” This belief was based on the belief that surplus body fat is a consequence of the excess fat on the plate contained in sour cream, animal and vegetable oils and mayonnaise, used as a seasoning for chips, flour products or salads. There is some truth to this, but gaining excess weight depends to a much greater extent on the consumption of a large number of calories (simple potatoes – 100 calories, potatoes with sour cream, bacon bits and butter – from 500 to 600 calories) than on the type of food consumed.
At the present time, carbohydrates are generally recognized as “harmful.” Where is the truth? Should I listen to those who recommend a minimum intake of carbohydrates, or to those who recommend a diet high in carbohydrates and low in fat? How to understand who can be trusted in such a spread of opinions? Part of the answer is related to the size of your body and body type. If you are slender and you already have the ideal weight and a combination of the necessary elements in the body, you most likely do not have to worry about what diet to adhere to, – continue the course that already brings some results.
However, if you are one of the many women who, in middle age, lose their wasp waist, you really should include in your nutrition plan a suitable type and amount of carbohydrates. Long-term consumption of large amounts of carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates such as bread, flour products, fruit juices, alcohol and sweets, leads to increased production of insulin, a hormone that helps to retain fat in the body.
If you suffer from thyroid dysfunction and consume carbohydrates in insufficient quantities, eventually your brain will receive a signal of “hunger” and, in turn, will send a signal to the thyroid gland, as a result of which more active thyroid hormone TK will combine with proteins and will lose its activity. Greater degree of TK connectivity is a protective reaction of the body in order to slow down metabolic processes and to detain the body’s fuel (fat) stores if you are actually starving. But if you are a middle-aged woman, trying to lose weight, then the slowing down of metabolic processes you in no way required!
Most books that tell about diets do not even mention the effect that a lack of carbohydrates can have on the balance of the thyroid, while this is a very important point, because it is for this reason that diets, such as the Atkins diet, in which a lower intake of carbohydrates is recommended , briefly help those women who have much more hidden disorders of the thyroid gland. The presence of some carbohydrates in your diet is necessary, but they must be of the appropriate type and sufficient quantity.
For most middle-aged women, the daily intake of carbohydrates should be only 35-40% of the total food. One gram of carbohydrates contains four energy calories (which is half that of fats), but in fact they force the body to spend more energy on using them as fuel. The best source of carbohydrates in this life stage is the complex carbohydrates found in raw cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables. Taking complex carbohydrates instead of simple ones slows down the increase in blood sugar, prevents an “insulin burst”, leads to a low maximum sugar content in the blood, slows down the drop in blood sugar levels, promotes a more gradual absorption of other nutrients, provides a higher level of fiber and a healthy a feeling of satiety, so that you will not have the urge to overeat. Complex carbohydrates, as a rule, do not lead to increased production of insulin, which helps as we grow older and fuller? and our cells no longer react so well to insulin and more calories contribute to weight gain. To prevent “blood sugar jumps” as a result of carbohydrate intake and a feeling of satiety (saturation) for more time and more sustained maintenance of the energy level, it is necessary to ensure a correctly balanced combination of proteins and fats at each meal.
Obtained with food proteins split and form 28 kinds of amino acids, which serve as the primary building blocks of our body and produce our own proteins necessary for growth, restoration of body tissues and disease control. In addition, as a result of metabolic processes, proteins are processed into glucose supplying our body with daily fuel to generate energy necessary for growth and recovery of the body. Some amino acids also serve as a building block for mediators and pain killers, for example endorphins and enkephalins.
In addition, one gram of proteins contains 4 calories, which contribute to the production of energy in the body. Processing of proteins into glucose is slower than the production of glucose from carbohydrates, so the presence of proteins in our body helps maintain a constant level of sugar in the blood (glucose) for 3-4 hours, compared to 1-2 hours in the case of obtaining glucose from carbohydrates. That is why compliance with the optimal amount of proteins – about 35% of the total intake of food – is necessary at every meal. Both proteins and carbohydrates are important elements of your plan for proper nutrition, aimed at maintaining the energy level, ability to concentrate, even mood and normal speed of metabolic processes throughout the day.
Amino acids are divided into two categories: those that the body produces itself and therefore does not need their intake with food (about 80%), called non-basic amino acids, and those that are not produced by the body, and therefore must be introduced with food (20%) and are called essential amino acids. Nine essential amino acids for humans include leucine, isoleucine, lysine, tryptophan, methionine, valine, histidine, threonine and phenylalanine. These essential amino acids perform different functions, alleviating the pain and helping the cells to use oxygen more efficiently.
Full (full) proteins are foods of animal origin containing all nine basic amino acids, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and cheese. This protein food also contains a large amount of fat, with the exception of lean meat, low-fat cheeses, poultry without skin, egg whites, etc. If you do not eat animal proteins, you need to combine vegetable proteins so that your body received full (full) proteins, because in plant foods, as a rule, is not enough of one or another amino acid. For example, beans in combination with rice provide a full (full) intake of proteins, but we must remember that at the same time this combination contains a large amount of starch, which leads to an increased release of insulin in the body.
Fats exist in the body in the form of numerous rings of fatty acids linked into chains. During the process of digestion, links between links break off, and individual fatty acids enter the bloodstream. Ultimately, they are processed into glucose, but for this the body takes a very long time. Due to the fact that fats and fatty acids pass through such an intricate path in the body, the glucose level immediately after a meal rises very slowly and as slowly falls an hour later. Thus, fats help maintain a sense of satiety for a few hours after eating. We do not feel hungry immediately after a meal, if along with the food to us the necessary amount of fats to maintain a constant level of glucose falls into the body.
Fats are divided into saturated (animals), monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (plant origin). The optimal combination of fats helps absorb fat-dissolving vitamins and supply the body with the essential fatty acids necessary for the production of a variety of hormones, including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, which are produced by the ovaries. If you drastically reduce the intake of fat, this will cause a premature reduction in the production of ovarian hormones, which will lead to early climacteric symptoms. New findings from the American Center for Health research published in Circulation in February 2001 indicate that for women who consume a low-fat diet with food (less than 20 g per day), there is a risk of undergoing a certain type of attack called “intraparenchymal bleeding”. This type of stroke is less common than ischemic stroke, caused by blood clots. The increased risk of intraparenchymal hemorrhagic stroke was noted, first of all, among women with high blood pressure, characteristic of overweight. Probably, food with a low fat content in combination with high blood pressure leads to the wear of the blood vessels of the brain and their rupture.
In 1 g of fats contains nine calories, the most powerful source of energy for our body, so every day we need very little fat. Few people are aware that all fats (whether they are in vegetable or animal oil, margarine or fat) in 1 g contain twice as many calories as carbohydrates and proteins (compare 9 cal / g and 4 cal / g). Although olive oil fats are more useful, for example, animal oil fats, since they are unsaturated in composition, 1 g or one serving of both olive oil and animal oil contains the same number of calories. So do not dunk any more bread in olive oil!
Despite the fact that fats contain the greatest number of calories, fat-containing food does not take up much space in the stomach, like food rich in fiber, and therefore we often do not notice how many fats (and calories) we consumed. Foods that are high in fat and poorly selected for their combination with proteins and carbohydrates slow the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, which leads to constipation, bloating and a general feeling of being fat and unhappy, especially in the second half of the menstrual cycle.
For middle-aged women, nutritionists recommend taking no more than 30% of fat with food, which is consistent with the recommendations of dieticians (ADA) and the American Heart Association (AHA). It is necessary to use unsaturated oils and fats of vegetable origin to supply the body with only the most necessary amount of additional fat, then the remaining amount of fat required by the body will come along with protein food. Thus, you can limit the consumption of 25-30% fat.
For many people, the main source of excess fats entering the body with food are hidden fats, especially trans fats, for example partially hydrogenated fats in soft margarine and processed foods. These hidden calories often negate all our efforts to reduce weight. For the detection of hidden fats, carefully study the labels on the product packaging. These fats are everywhere: in cereal flakes, dressing salads, ready-made soups, frozen foods, sour cream seasonings for flour dishes, donuts and cookies, artificial cream in coffee, shop pizza with lots of cheese and pepperoni, french fries and those big ones, such appetizing shop buns from “bran”. Each of these products contains almost daily sugar and fat, and there is hardly any more bran in them. This will help determine which foods contain hidden fats, and gradually cut their consumption daily to the level recommended by me in this book in terms of nutrition. Currently, several good books in soft covers have been published, giving an idea of the optimal fat content in a food product. Refer to them to find out which foods contain more fat than necessary, and there you can choose low-calorie foods for your diet.
Try not to succumb to the advertising ploy of manufacturers who present their products as low-fat and defatted products, which are so many now on store shelves. The product removed fats, but instead they introduced simple sugars, containing calories and while not having nutritional value. All these supplements increase the blood sugar level and cause an insulin surge, which causes your body to store large amounts of fat and causes fluctuations in the energy level. In addition, when the box of cookies is written “without fat”, we think that you can safely eat more! Honestly, did you ever eat a whole box at once? At the supposedly complete absence of fats in the cookies, however, many calories are contained, and excessive consumption leads to increased insulin production and fat deposition in the body.