Foods can be broken down into 3 main categories:
We get all our calories from these 3 food components. Each gram of carbohydrate or protein yield 4 calories (Kcal) in the body. Each gram of fat yields 9 calories. Ideally each of these food components should comprise the following percent calories in our diet to maintain good health:
CARBOHYDRATES 70% – There are 2 basic types of carbohydrates, complex and simple.
-complex carbohydrates are unrefined, unprocessed as close to whole natural state as possible. These should comprise 60% of your total calorie intake. Examples are whole oats, whole wheat, whole rye, millet, bulgar, barley, legumes (beans such as pinto, lentil, black, navy, Lima, split peas), fresh vegetables, brown rice, whole white potato, sweet potatoes, whole fresh fruit
-simple carbohydrates are refined, processed, sweetened foods which do not resemble their whole original state. They should make up no more than 10% of our calories. Foods which are considered simple would include sugar, corn syrup, white flour, doughnuts, pastries, cookies and food products that use the term “wheat” without the word “whole” in front of it.. These foods are devoid of both the bran and the germ of the entire grain. Other examples would include pop, caffeinated beverages, white rice, cereals made with sugar or white flour, honey, pop, and even fruit juice.
Simple carbohydrates raise your blood sugar levels quickly causing your body to secrete large amounts of insulin. This results in increased amounts of fats being stored. Simple carbohydrates thus exacerbate diabetes, hypoglycemia, obesity, chronic yeast infections, high blood cholesterol, and high fats.
FATS 20% -The average American gets 43% of their calories from fats. There are 2 basic types of fat in the diet, unsaturated and saturated.
Unsaturated fats include essential fatty acids, fats which are absolutely necessary for health and survival. They are used to regulate our immune systems, control our blood pressure, and keep our triglycerides and cholesterol down. They are found in foods such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, oils, and fish. 15% of our calories should come from here
Saturated fats are fats which tend to clog our arteries by raising cholesterol and fat in the blood. They also worsen diabetes, inflammatory states (bursitis, arthritis, tendinitis), asthma, and blood pressure. The 2 main sources of saturated fats are dairy products and red meats, and certain processed foods. Examples are lean beef (50% fat), cheese (60-80%) fat, fried chicken (60% fat), chips (55% fat), and baked goods such as croissants, scones, doughnuts, cookies and various creamy dressings and sauces (40-90% fat). Eggs are 55% fat. They should be eaten boiled or poached rather than fried or scrambled. Avoid margarine, palm, cottonseed, and coconut oils. Read labels carefully.
PROTEIN -10% -Most Americans get far too much protein which can lead to allergies, increased risk of cancer, osteoporosis, and other problems.