In the world of diet nutrition, recently both fats and carbohydrates have been seen as the villains we wage our war of weight against. First it was fat that was causing all of the problems. Then, carbohydrates became the bad guys, and fats were see as not so bad, as long as you chose the right kinds.
The truth is that both fats and carbohydrates play an important role in nutrition, and you need both as part of a healthy diet. Removing all fat from the diet would be impossible and unhealthy, since fat creates energy, and carries such crucial vitamins as vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K, throughout the body. Fat also plays a highly crucial role in regulating metabolic and other bodily functions.
While some fat is necessary, though, excessive fat can be destructive to the body. Excessive levels of dietary fat have been named the culprit behind some forms of heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol levels, and some forms of cancer. Most dietitians suggest that fat intake should be somewhere between 10% and 20% of calories consumed.
The type and amount of fat in the diet is what counts the most. It is the saturated fats, the trans fats, and cholesterol that are associated with heart disease, stroke, and other illnesses. Chronic, long-term obesity is also associated with the consumption of dietary fats at a high level.
Reading your food labels will help you make choices that will lead to healthier eating habits. Trans fats are listed under ingredients, and they are generally found in processed foods. The more you understand nutritional labeling, the easier it will be to limit your intake of fat and cholesterol. These labels are mandated by the government so that consumers can make informed choices.
Carbohydrates are also integral to a healthy diet. They provide energy and many necessary nutrients. Carbs are found in fruits, vegetables, grains, and in milk or dairy products. Not all carbohydrates are equally healthy, so make sure you read the nutritional label to see if you are consuming the right kind of carbs.
Saturated and trans fats are not healthy. Trans fats are most often consumed in cookies, cakes, and other baked, processed foods. They can also be found in salty snacks, like potato chips, and in fried foods. While these foods are acceptable in moderation, large quantities are good to avoid.
Less is often more when it comes to choosing carbohydrates. For example, a whole-grain bread that has more fiber in it is healthier than white bread, which has been refined more thoroughly. The more a food is refined, the fewer nutrients remain in the food.
Sugar and salt are two parts of the diet that should be highly limited. America is facing an epidemic of diabetes, in addition to higher occurrences of obesity, heart disease, and related conditions, because Americans consume too much salt and sugar. Limiting these in your diet can increase the nutritional value of the foods that you do eat.
Health and nutrition can be confusing, especially given all the buzz around fats and carbohydrates. Read articles online and in health magazines to learn more.
Copyright 2006 – Ivar Rudi. Ivar suggests you find great market for less by shopping online today. For more information and resources about this subject check out: http://www.weight-watcher.info and also http://www.calorie-counter-guide.org