Diet Basics for Beginners: Nutrition Vocabulary
Nutrition
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June 19, 2020
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diet basics for beginners

Are you unfamiliar with the ins and outs of nutrition? Are you ready to learn more about it so you can make smarter choices when it comes to eating for your health and weight? Great! We’ve got you covered with diet basics for beginners that will give you a better grasp of important vocabulary that you should be familiar with.

Diet Basics – The 3 Macronutrients

 1. Carbohydrates 

According to Science Direct, carbs consist of hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon. Interesting, right?

Beyond that, it is important to realize that you can get carbs from a wide variety of foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and grains, as well as sugars.

Also, carbs can be broken down into two main groups: simple and complex. They’re classified based on the amount of fiber that they contain, and the amount of processing they go through before reaching the grocery store shelf.

2. Fat 

Dietary fat is a long chain of fatty acids, and fat is classified by the number of fatty acid chains and the degree of saturation.

You will come across healthy fat and unhealthy fat. Fat is deemed healthy or unhealthy based on how it affects your health and your vascular system.

To keep things simple, remember that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the healthy ones that you want to get from your diet, while saturated fat and trans fat should be avoided because they’re unhealthy.

  • Monounsaturated fat is found in a range of healthy plant-based foods, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and vegetables oils.
  • Polyunsaturated fat is found in both plants and animal products. Examples of good sources of this fat include nuts and seeds, vegetables oils, and fish.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, which means your body can’t make them on its own. You can get them from various foods like nuts, seeds, vegetables oils, and fish, as well as from supplements.
  • Saturated fat is unhealthy, and you’ll find it in animal products, dairy products, eggs, and desserts. Avoid these as much as possible.
  • Trans fat is naturally occurring in some animal products, but it can also be synthetically made through the process of hydrogenation. Avoid it as best as you can because it can raise the risk of heart disease.

3. Protein 

Protein is made up of amino acids. Nine of those amino acids are essential, which means your body can’t make them on its own, so you have to get them through your diet.

Protein is necessary for overall health, and it even serves as a building block for just about every cell in your body.

It’s easy to get protein, no matter what diet you follow, as it’s found in many plant-based foods, too, such as nuts, grains, legumes, beans, and seeds.

Want to Go Beyond Diet Basics?

When you’re ready to go beyond diet basics, read through our many nutrition articles to dive deeper into this interesting topic!

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