HealthyPlate: Balancing Carbs, Protein and Fat

Three key nutrients that are important in a balanced healthy diet are carbohydrates, protein, and fat. These nutrients contain calories that the human body uses for energy. 

How do carbohydrates fit into a healthy balanced diet?

Harvard Health defines Carbohydrates as foods that get converted into glucose during digestion. As glucose is a main source of fuel for our body it is essential in a healthy human diet. You can get your daily dose of healthy carbohydrates from vegetables, fruit, and grains.

Healthy carbs: Complex, slow acting carbs include things like multigrain bread, brown rice, lentils, and beans. They raise the blood sugar slowly and lasts longer which helps keep you from feeling hungry and help regulate blood sugar levels.

Unhealthy carbs: Simple, fast-acting carbs include things like sweets, dairy products, sugar, soda, many juices. They raise blood sugar levels very quickly, bu don’t last long. Although they may help to lower blood sugar they don’t satisfy hunger as well as healthy carbs.

How does protein fit into a healthy balanced diet?

The human body needs protein for growth, maintenance, and energy. It can promote muscle growth and about 60 percent of protein is turned into glucose. It can take protein three to four hours to minimally affect blood sugar levels.

Healthy protein: Found in foods like lean meats, poultry, eggs, tofu, nuts, legumes, and dairy. 

How does fat fit into a healthy balanced diet?

The American Heart Association mentions that fats are essential for energy, nutrient absorption, hormone production, and support in cell growth. Dietary fats help protect organs and help in keeping your body warm.

Mono-unsaturated or poly-unsaturated fat: Usually liquid at room temperature. Mono-unsaturated fats can help lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) in your blood. You can find them in olive, canola, avocado, and nut oils.

Saturated and trans-fats: Saturated fats are found in processed foods, fried fast foods, and animal byproducts such as meat, dairy, etc. They are usually solid at room temperature. Limiting these types of fats can ensure healthier arteries, and a healthier heart.

Please remember that this can differ based on specific dietary needs, lifestyle choices, and health concerns*

What does your version of a healthy plate of food look like? 

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