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Fats, Carbs or Proteins?

Timeless Nutrition Tip

Basically, 3500 calories added to the diet equals a pound of fat gained. What difference, if any, does it make if the calories come from fat, carbohydrates, or protein?

Fats, Carbs or Proteins?

We really are what we eat. The five basic nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, and minerals) are necessary to sustain life. Each nutrient has an important role to play in our diet.

Protein

Proteins form the basic building blocks of muscle, bone, hair, blood, fingernails, antibodies, enzymes, hormones, and other body tissues.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates furnish the body with energy and give bulk to food. Sugars and starches supply energy to the body in the form of glucose, which is the only energy source for red blood cells and is the preferred energy source for the brain.

Fat

Fats nourish the skin, aid in the absorption of certain vitamins, help form cell membranes and hormones, help provide stamina, and serve to insulate the body from extreme temperature.

Vitamins are needed to maintain a variety of vital functions in the body. Minerals are essential for various functions, such as formation of bones and teeth. The Food Pyramid lists the recommended number of daily servings from each of the major food groups. Generally, daily calories should be divided according to the following percentages:

  • 55 percent carbohydrate.
  • 30 percent fats.
  • 15 percent protein.

In addition to gaining weight by eating excessive calories, a nutritionally poor diet can cause many other unhealthy conditions. Approximately one-third of the cancer deaths and a large number of heart disease related deaths are linked to high-fat, high calorie foods.

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