Vitality

How To Eat Healthy: Fit In The Recommended Carbs, Proteins, And Fats

The human body needs the right type of fuel to run properly, so it's important to eat the recommended portions of certain food groups every day. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the three macronutrients the body needs to stay energized and sustain normal, healthy bodily function. By eating the right amount from each group, not only will you reduce the risk for disease, you'll also curb unnecessary cravings, feel less hungry, and lose excess weight.

First, you need to figure out how many calories your body needs based on your sex, age, and level of activity. The average physically active woman needs roughly 2,000 calories each day to maintain her weight, while the average man needs roughly 2,500 calories. To keep track of your calories, give yourself a realistic limit and stick to it by keeping a food journal, reading the labels on products, and learn how to track serving sizes carefully.

Carbohydrates

Carbs have a bad reputation, but that’s because they’ve been misunderstood as simply breads, starches, and pastas. Carbs also include fruits and vegetables, making them a vital fuel source for the body. According to the Mayo Clinic, carbs are broken down into sugar for digestion and then absorbed into the bloodstream, while any extra is stored in your liver for muscles to use or to convert as fat.

Now, calculate your daily intake. Your diet should consist of 55 percent carbohydrates, which means you multiply your calorie intake (2,000) by .55, which adds up to 1,100 calories of carbohydrates.

Proteins

Protein is the building blocks of the body, used as essential nutrients to help build, repair, and replace muscles, tissues, nails, hair, and blood. However, not all proteins are created equal. Alternate between animal and non-animal based protein in order to reduce the saturated fat intake you can get from red or processed meats. Generally speaking, normally active adults should consume 0.4 to 0.6 grams of protein for every pound they weigh.

This translates to protein making up 15 percent of your caloric intake. Take you total day’s calories of 2,000 and multiple it by .15 to come up with 300 calories a day.

Fats

While the American Heart Association recommends that adults should limit their dietary fat to no more than 20 to 35 percent of their total daily calories, it all depends on the type of fat a person eats. By consuming harmful fats, like the previously mentioned saturated fats and also trans fats, you run the risk of increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and unhealthy cholesterol levels. Choose healthier dietary fats, including monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and omega-3 fatty acids.  

Calculate your fat intake to stay within the healthy limits. The average person needs 30 percent of their total caloric intake to be fats, which means you multiple 2,000 by .30 in order to find out you need 600 calories of fat a day. 

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