Calories are needed to provide energy so the body functions properly. The number of calories in a food depends on the amount of energy the food provides. The number of calories a person needs depends on age, height, weight, gender, and activity level. people who consume more calories than they burn off in normal daily activity or during exercise are more likely to be overweight.
|1 gram = 9 calories|
1 gram = 4 calories
1 gram = 4 calories
1 gram = 7 calories
Fat should account for 30% or less of the calories consumed daily, with saturated fats accounting for no more than 10% of the total fat intake. Fats are a concentrated form of energy which help maintain body temperature, and protect body tissues and organs. Fat also plays an essential role in carrying the four fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E, and K.
Excess calories from protein and carbohydrates are converted to and stored as fat. Even if you are eating mostly "fat free" foods, excess consumption will result in additional body fat. Fat calories in food are readily stored, while it takes energy to transform protein and carbohydrates to body fat. The only proven way to reduce body fat is to burn more calories than one consumes.
Cholesterol intake should not exceed 300 milligrams a day. Individuals differ on their absorption of dietary cholesterol, what is important is one's level of blood cholesterol. High blood cholesterol has been linked to the occurrence of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a buildup of fatty deposits in the coronary arteries and other blood vessels, and is a leading cause of heart attacks.
Dietary cholesterol is only found in foods from animal sources, including meat, fish, milk, eggs, cheese, and butter. You may have heard the terms HDL and LDL discussed in relation to blood cholesterol and heart disease. HDL and LDL are lipoproteins, substances found in the bloodstream, that transport cholesterol and triglycerides in the body.
Carbohydrates are a major source of energy and should account for 50% to 60% of calories consumed each day.
Sources of fiber from highest to lowest are highfiber grain products, nuts, legumes (kidney, navy, black and pinto beans), vegetables, fruits, and refined grain products.
protein should account for 10% to 20% of the calories consumed each day. protein is essential to the structure of red blood cells, for the proper functioning of antibodies resisting infection, for the regulation of enzymes and hormones, for growth, and for the repair of body tissue.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are found in a variety of foods. Meat, milk, cheese, and egg are complete proteins that have all the essential amino acids. Other sources of protein include whole grains, rice, corn, beans, legumes, oatmeal, peas, and peanut butter. For those who do not eat meat, eggs, or dairy products, it is important to eat a variety of these other foods in order to get enough protein.
Sodium intake is recommended to be less than 3,000 milligrams daily. One teaspoon of table salt contains about 2,000 milligrams of sodium. The difference between "sodium" and "salt" can be confusing. Sodium is a mineral found in various foods including table salt (sodium chloride). Table salt is 40% sodium.
people with high blood pressure (hypertension) may be instructed by their doctor or dietitian to reduce sodium intake. High blood pressure can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, or kidney disease. The body needs a small amount of sodium to help maintain normal blood pressure and normal function of muscles and nerves. High sodium intake can contribute to water retention.
Sodium is found in table salt, baking soda, monosodium glutamate (MSG), various seasonings, additives, condiments, meat, fish, poultry, dairy foods, eggs, smoked meats, olives, and pickled foods.
potassium is essential for maintaining proper fluid balance, nerve impulse function, muscle function, cardiac (heart muscle) function
Sources: bananas, raisins, apricots, oranges, avacadoes, dates, cantaloupe, watermelon, prunes, broccoli, spinach, carrots, potato, sweet potato, winter squash, mushrooms, peas, lentils, dried beans, peanuts, milk, yogurt, lean meats
Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamins and Minerals are required for the regulation of the body's metabolic functions, and are found naturally in the foods we eat. Many foods are fortified in order to provide additional nutrients, or to replace nutrients that may have been lost during the processing of the food. Most people are able to obtain satisfactory nutrition from the wide selection of foods available in the United States.
If a person is not able to eat a variety of foods from the basic food groups, then a vitamin and mineral supplement may be necessary. However, except for certain unusual health conditions, very few persons should need more than 100% of the Recommended Daily Allowance for any single nutrient. Large doses of vitamin and mineral supplements can be harmful.
Vitamins come in two varieties: fat soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in the body for long periods of time, while excess amounts of water-soluble vitamins are excreted in the urine.
|Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)|
|Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)|
|Folate (Folic Acid)|
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