Nutrition 101: starting from the beginning

Everyday it seems is new research released, magazine articles published, and news reports aired detailing the latest in nutrition. Countless books on the topic are sold and a quick internet search will bring up millions of websites. With all that "info" available, it's easy to understand why for some this one of the most confusing health topics.

That being said, we'll strive to keep things as simple as possible. Let's start your nutrition "basic training" with an overview from the beginning.

There are two classes of nutrients: micronutrients (ie vitamins, minerals, and other substances) and macronutrients. There are three categories of macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Every food you eat is made up of one or more of these nutrients.

Carbohydrate - 4 calories/gram
* Healthy Food Sources: grains, vegetables, fruit, and legumes
* Primary Role: bodies preferred fuel source
* Recommended amount: ~60% of energy intake (calories)

Protein - 4 calories/gram
* Healthy Food Sources: lean meat, poultry, fish, low/non-fat dairy, eggs, tofu/tempeh, nuts
* Primary Role: growing, repairing, replacing tissue
* Recommended amount: ~10% of energy intake (calories)

Fat - 9 calories/gram
* Healthy Food Sources: olive/canola/flaxseed oil, low fat mayo and salad dressings, butter
* Primary Role: brain function, insulation, fat-soluble vitamin absorption
* Recommended amount: ~30% of energy intake (calories)

Tomorrow: Dietary guidelines

Be sure to leave your questions or comments below.
To your fitness success!

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