Carbs, protein and fat are all nutrients to be familiar with. This way, you’ll know exactly how much of each one you should be eating as part of a healthy diet. Find out what role they play in your body and how to balance your intake. There are many diet mistakes to avoid, but with some basic guidance, you’ll dodge any diet traps.
As part of a balanced and healthy diet, getting familiar with carbs, protein and fat is key if you want to put together examples of fitness meal plans that are right for your needs.
Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy of the human body. Your brain consumes over 25% of your glucose intake. Muscles also consume a high numbers of carbs, which they use after they’re stored as glycogen. Carbs and exercise go hand in hand. That’s why many foods that contain carbs are in the top 10 foods to eat for athletic performance.
There are two types of carbs: simple and complex carbs. Glucose, fructose, galactose, lactose, sucrose are all simple carbs, whereas starch, cellulose and glycogen are all complex carbs. These are also often mistakenly called “slow sugars.” Carbs raise your blood sugar. This is known as a blood sugar spike that’s measured using the glycemic index (GI). The lower a food’s glycemic index value is, the slower the blood sugar spike will occur. These carbs are then digested slowly, which is why they’re called “slow sugars.”
To get enough carbohydrates to fuel your workouts, your daily carbohydrate intake ranges from 40 and 55%.
Fat, also known as lipids, contributes to your nervous system and cell membrane structure. They’re also the precursors of hormones and molecules that contribute to a healthy immune system.
These essential nutrients are made up of triglycerides and phospholipids, which are both made up of saturated and unsaturated fat. Each one has a different chemical structure. Not all of them can be produced by the human body, so getting these nutrients from your diet is vital.
Omega-3 and omega-6 are unsaturated fatty acids that should make up most of your fat intake. However, eating high amounts of saturated fat found in meat and dairy products can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Your daily fat intake ranges from 35 to 40%.
Protein is one of the macromolecules that make up all living things. It plays many roles throughout your body and is so important for healthy muscle fiber regeneration. Your diet as someone who exercises must contain enough protein. A person’s needs vary from 10 to 15% of their daily intake. You don’t need to start eating a high-protein diet in order to get results.
Controlling your portion sizes and getting the right nutrient intake is important when you exercise regularly with three 20-minute workouts a week.
Carbs are fuel when you exercise. That’s why you need to eat 4 to 5 g of carbs per kilogram of body weight per day to get results if you want to lose weight or gain muscle.
Fat is actually good for your health. During an intense workout, your body relies on it as fuel, so don’t overlook this nutrient intake. Eat 1.2 g per kilogram of body weight per day.
It’s important to watch your protein intake, whether it’s animal or plant-based. If you want to lose weight, you need to eat between 0.8 to 1.2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. If you want to gain muscle, increase your intake between 1.8 and 2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. If you eat a vegetarian diet, paying special attention to your protein intake in order to gain muscle is key.
80% of your results depend on your eating habits, which is why you should get familiar with carbs, protein and fat to help you start eating a healthy diet that will get you to your fitness goal. Still, knowing these tips aren’t always enough for you to make balanced meals. You can rely on the FizzUp Nutrition Guide that includes over 150 tips, tricks and recipes so that you can cook wholesome food and get into great eating habits in your everyday life.