Protein, Carbs and Fat: Learn How to Diet with MacronutrientsWritten by David McCormick
Weight loss plans are almost always trying to get you to get rid of some food that you love. However, three macronutrients (Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat) as well as unofficial fourth, water, are all necessary for good health. Never try to eliminate any of these from your diet. If you're trying to lose weight, here is simple truth about stuff that makes up food.
Protein Power Protein is building block of all life. All life on this planet is made up of amino acids that form chains called proteins. Every function of every cell in your body involves proteins. It should come as no surprise, then, that consuming protein in your diet is essential to your good health. Protein can come from many sources, not just red meat. All animal parts are protein-rich, from fish to chicken to pork to any animal you'd care to cook up. If you are a vegetarian, you probably already know that many beans and nuts are good sources of protein as well. The highest concentration of protein is in muscle fibers, in humans and other animals. Therefore, if you want to build up your muscles, you must consume more protein than your minimum daily requirements. And if you consume less than your daily dose, your body may cannibalize your own muscles to get it. This is why an adequate intake of amino acids is essential.
Carb Cravings Carbohydrates is a fancy word for something very simple: organic molecules that contain at least two hydrogen atoms for each carbon atom. All carbodydrates that you can eat are sources of energy. No matter what their composition, your body will break them down into glucose, a simple sugar, which is then used for energy when it is needed. Some carbohydrates are very long chains called "complex carbohydrates", and some are short chains called "simple sugars". Complex carbs are better for you because they provide more energy, but it takes body longer to break them apart, which means energy lasts longer and keeps you feeling full for a longer time. Simple sugars are broken down very quickly, which causes your blood-sugar to rise rapidly. If you don't burn it right away, your body will turn it into fat. Carbohydrates are most abundant in foods that taste sweet. The sweeter taste, simpler carb. So candy of all kinds are made up almost entirely of simple sugars. Carbs are also abundant in fruits and vegetables, as well as grains. Whole grains contain complex carbohydrates, while other grains and plants have shorter chain carbs. Some modern diets suggest trying to eliminate carbohydrates from your diet, because they are a major source of calories that you're trying to reduce. Reduction of carbs will be necessary for weight loss, but it is vitally important not to get rid of them altogether. As mentioned above, carbohydrate-rich foods include fruits and vegetables that contain many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Losing all those good elements would put your body in a very unhealthy place. On top of that, your body processes carbs to raise blood-sugar, which is important to your feeling of satiety, or feeling full. If you have no carbs, you may easily be overeating fats (see below). Finally, if your body is not using carbs for energy, it will break apart proteins in your food for energy before it breaks down fats. So, you lose benefits of amino acids you've eaten, which we discussed above. A good tactic that many people find easy to identify and follow in their diets is to get rid of "empty carbs", meaning carbohydrates that don't provide anything but energy. White bread, potatoes, refined sugar and candy are empty carbs that you should avoid.
Fat is Fine (in small doses) The third macronutrient is fat, which is most easily thought of as concentrated carbs. One gram of fat has 9 calories, while carbohydrates and protein contain 4 calories per gram. So, if you are reducing calories in your diet, reducing fat is easiest way to lower total calorie count.
Why High Blood Cholesterol Levels Are DangerousWritten by Kim Beardsmore
Cholesterol, like fat, cannot move around bloodstream on its own because it does not mix with water. The bloodstream carries cholesterol in particles called lipoproteins that are like blood-borne cargo trucks delivering cholesterol to various body tissues to be used, stored or excreted. But too much of this circulating cholesterol can injure arteries, especially coronary ones that supply heart. This leads to accumulation of cholesterol-laden “plaque” in vessel linings, a condition called atherosclerosis.
When blood flow to heart is impeded, heart muscle becomes starved for oxygen, causing chest pain (angina). If a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery affected by atherosclerosis, a heart attack (myocardial infarction) or death can occur.
Are you at risk? Cardiovascular disease is still one of greatest health problem affecting western countries. According to American Heart Foundation, over 70 million Americans have cardiovascular disease (CVD). The national cost of is nearly $400 billion and every 45 seconds an American has a stoke.
Certain risk factors increase your chances of developing cardiovascular disease.
High blood cholesterol
Insufficient physical activity
High blood pressure
Excessive alcohol intake
Many people have multiple risk factors for heart disease and level of risk increases with number of risk factors. By reducing these risk factors you can largely prevent onset of cardiovascular disease. On its own elevated blood cholesterol is not necessarily a problem, but coupled with one or more other risk factors for heart disease, it is often straw that breaks camel’s back.
It is, therefore, very important to know what your cholesterol levels are and to keep them at a healthy level before you have any problems.
High risk cholesterol If your total cholesterol level is 240 or more, it's definitely high. You have a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. In fact, you should have your LDL and HDL cholesterol tested. Ask your doctor for advice. Close to 20 percent of U.S. population has high blood cholesterol levels.