Portion control is imporant for weight management and we need to ensure that our bodies get enough of the right macro and micro nutrients. Typically we should be consuming the following amounts of macro nutrients daily:
Carbohydrates: 50 – 60% (mainly complex carbohydrates)
Fats: 30% (not more than 11% saturated, 13% mono saturated and 6.5% polyunsaturated)
For more information on fats, carbs and sugars please see this previous blog post.
Carbohydrates provide energy in the form of glucose and this is what mainly fuels the body. There are 3 types of carbohydrate: sugar, starch and fibre. The glycemic index measures how fast the carbohydrate increases our blood sugar level or how quickly carbohydrates turn into sugar within the body. Foods with a low glycomic index are more slowly digested and don’t tend to spike our blood glucose levels. Eating foods with a low GI can help people with diabetes management and their blood glucose levels.
Protein is broken down into amino acids and helps the body with tissue repair and growth. We are advised to intake protein after exercise to help repair our muscles, therefore an active person may need more protein than a sedentary person. However, too much protein can impair the kidneys and liver and be converted to fat storage.
Fats allow our bodies to intake nutrients into our cells. They also provide energy and protection of our internal organs and insulation for our bodies. Essential fats help with the transportation of vitamins and minerals and should be eaten with moderation.