Calories: The Good and Bad
Tuesday November 3, 2020
It’s that time of year when families gather and we go to parties to indulge in festive food and drink. Now, some of us may not be gathering as we did prior to Covid restrictions, but cooking and keeping family traditions is important. Food and drink bring us comfort. We need to fill up on the good calories and do our best to avoid empty calorie food.
The holidays can bring on stress, and 2020 has its own set of unique circumstances. Making a commitment to have healthier eating habits is a tough one. Knowing how to implement that commitment maybe even harder. Where do you start? What foods should you eat, and which ones should you stay away from? These are all questions you should answer before going out to the grocery store.
We need nutrients to survive. We need vitamins, minerals, and calories every day. There are two types of nutrients. Micronutrients are our vitamins and minerals and macronutrients are where our calories come from. The three types of macronutrients are fat, carbohydrates, and proteins.
Many people think that all fats are bad and recently started thinking all carbohydrates are bad too. That leaves us with just protein. If this were the case, our diets wouldn't be very enjoyable. Fortunately, not all fats are bad and the same goes for carbohydrates.
With all the negative publicity recently, you might be afraid to eat any carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are our main fuel source. Our brain can't use anything else to power itself with and our muscles will work the best on it. Don't deprive yourself of it. Carbohydrates that you should stay away from are simple sugars that are found in candy, sodas, and many snacks. Good carbohydrates such as whole wheat and fruits will keep you energized throughout the day and avoid sugar highs and lows.
Fats are also very important. Without fat, our body wouldn't be able to utilize some of the vitamins we consume. Fat is found in our cell walls and makes up a big part of hormones. Fats you should avoid are saturated fats that come in meat, milk, and dairy products. Everyone should consume good (unsaturated fats) that come from plant sources such as nuts and olives.
I’ve always said the 90’s made us fat and dumb with the “Fat-Free” food frenzy (remember Snack Well cookies?). We thought that eating “fat-free” was better for us. In hindsight, it was devastating to our waistline. Most processed foods that are made to be fat-free will ultimately taste like cardboard. So, the food industry got creative and added tons of sugar to make up for the lack of taste. We went nuts and gobble up so many fat-free items that we gained weight and our brains lacked the needed fat to survive. Read the labels and watch your sugar content. Remember, healthy fats are good for us!
The good news is that we can control what we purchase and what we put in our bodies. I wish you a healthy holiday season filled with nutrient-dense and delicious food!
Eat well. Live well. Be Well.
Until the next time,
🌿Be Well, de😊
☮️ Peace. 💚 Love. 💦Oils.