Food provides the energy our body needs but all that we eat is not nutritious. Many foods provide us with "empty" calories—that is they contain no other nutrition (like minerals, vitamins, proteins) except the energy. It is important that you know and realize the nutritional value of what you eat.
It contains a lot of calories and gives you instant energy. But these calories are "empty" calories as they contain no other nutrition (like minerals, vitamins, proteins) except the energy (or calories). If your intake of sugar is high it can cause unwanted weight gain.
Ghee (and butter)
These contain saturated fat which increases the LDL cholesterol or the bad cholesterol in your blood. Indian foods (such as sweets, biryanis, parathas) are especially rich in ghee and butter. Avoid eating ghee and butter as much as possible.
Vegetable oils also contain lots of calories but unlike ghee they have unsaturated fatty acids. Fat is needed as they supply the body with essential fatty acids which are needed to maintain several functions of the body. Use of too much vegetable oils also increases LDL cholesterol or the bad cholesterol in your blood. Any kind of oil should be used sparingly. Margarine and other hydrogenated oils contain trans-fat which is considered bad for the heart---so avoid using them.
Milk and milk products
Milk is rich in calcium and protein. Both these are important for building body. Use of low fat or skimmed milk and milk products (paneer, curd, cheese) should be preferred.
Fruits and vegetables
Eat plenty of fresh green vegetables and fresh fruits. If you are on a diet avoid fruits like mangoes, bananas, chikoo and grapes as these are high in calories and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potato.
Grains, pulses, meat, and poultry
Use of foods prepared from whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat bread should be preferred. Refined or highly processed cereals lack fiber and many vitamins and minerals. Eat fish, chicken and other lean meat.
Remember those unused calories, not only fats but for carbohydrates and proteins are also converted into fat. All the excess fat is stored in your body and it leads to obesity. Obese people are at higher risk of developing hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and several other health set backs.
Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the macronutrients that your body needs. The macronutrients make 90% of the dry weight of the diet and provide100% of the energy that your body needs.
The energy that these nutrients provide is measured in calories and all the three differ in the amount of energy that they provide.
- Protein gives 4 calories per gram.
- Carbohydrate gives 4 calories per gram.
- Fat gives 9 calories per gram.
Carbohydrates are the quickest in supplying energy whereas fats are the slowest.
All the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) are digested in the intestine. They are digested and then converted in the body to their basic units: carbohydrates into sugars, proteins into amino acids, and fats into fatty acids and glycerol. These are then used by the body for its various functions like growth, metabolism, maintenance, repair, and activity.
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