Dr. Kristen Mitteness
Protein and Carbs and Fats! Oh My!
You’ve probably heard plenty about protein, carbohydrates and fat, but do you actually know what they are? Let me break them down for you.
All of our food is made up of three macronutrients: Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats. Some foods contain only one of these properties, but many contain a combination of them all.
Protein is broken down into amino acids. They are the building blocks of all of our body’s tissues. For your body to continually repair itself it needs quality proteins. Proteins from animal sources are used most efficiently by humans. This also includes meat, dairy and eggs. When we don’t eat enough protein our bodies will break down our tissues for energy.
Fat is required for hormone production and tissue growth. All of ours cells are surrounded by a layer of fat which helps them to communicate. Fat is needed to absorb vitamins A, D, E and K. Quality fat is essential for feeling happy, healthy and full. It is also a great energy source. Every meal should include some type of fat. Eat fat from quality animal products, coconut, olive oil and avocado.
Carbohydrates are broken down into various sugar molecules to provide the body with energy. They are the main macronutrient that increases insulin or blood sugar levels. Complex carbohydrates are made of larger molecules and break down slower than simple carbohydrates. Quality carbohydrates come from fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. They should always be consumed with fat to decrease the spike in blood sugar allowing you to feel satisfied and satiated for longer. Carbohydrates are actually the only macronutrient you don’t have to eat because your body can make them. There are no “essential” carbohydrates.
When it comes to meals or snacks, make protein your priority, add fat to feel good and carbohydrates for vitamins and minerals.