Not all calories are processed the same
The calories in food come from three types of nutrients, called macronutrients. These nutrients are: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. All three are important for a healthy diet (yes, even the fat). The trick is in choosing the right proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates give us energy to do all of the things we want to do. Foods like sugar, apples, spinach, and oats are all primarily carbohydrate. Sugar, white flour, white rice and other highly processed carbohydrates are quickly digested and absorbed, causing your blood sugar to “spike” and then drop. Complex carbohydrate foods like whole fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products, are unprocessed and contain fiber so that your body has to work a little harder at digesting them. Because these complex carbohydrates stay in your digestive system longer, the energy is released gradually, keeping your blood sugar in a more steady state.
Fat comes from both animals and plants. In general, the fats found in animal foods like meat (including poultry with the skin), milk, and eggs are of the saturated variety, while most fats present in plant foods are unsaturated. Many experts now say that it is the saturated fat in foods we eat that raises our cholesterol. Fish is the exception – the type of fat that is naturally present in fish promotes heart health.
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