Proteins Fats and Carbohydrates

Before you cut anything out of your diet it is important to understand what food does for you. Food is generally divided up into 3 macronutrients: Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates

Proteins made up of amino acids are the building blocks of the body. They are involved in a vast number of processes in the body. From creation and repair of all cells to assisting with detoxification through the liver. You can't heal without protein. They provide energy, if there are insufficient amounts of fat and carbohydrates and this is the last line of defence - the cellular creation and repair will suffer. You can get protein from both plants and animals products, however there are higher quantities in animal products. It is important for all of the functions of the body to have all 20 amino acids in the diet. Most people are eating a western diet high in muscle meat. These cuts contain high amounts of selected amino acids like cysteine and tryptophan. Interestingly, gelatinous material like cartilage, marrow and other material associated with bone is high in the other amino acids needed to balance the muscle meats. So homemade stocks and stews are fantastic sources of all the amino acids that make up protein.

Fats or (lipids), include several fat-like compounds in the body. Lipids are used for concentrated energy supply, are a component of cell membranes and are used to absorb vitamins that are not easily absorbed. These vitamins include Vitamins A, E, D and K. Lipids are also used as the starting point for bile synthesis, vitamins and steroid hormones among others.

Carbohydrates or sugars are used as a ready energy supply for the body. It is the primary source of fuel because it is the simplest for the body to use. Your brain uses mainly sugar and without it you would pass out! It doesn't produce as much energy per molecule as fat but you can't burn fat without the ready energy of carbohydrates. Your body also needs that same ready energy to digest and utilise protein. Sugar has been given a bad wrap and one of the reasons for that, is the form of sugar. For the purpose of this article we are looking at naturally occurring sugar. The type found in fruits, honey and table sugar not the form of High Fructose Syrups, like high fructose corn syrup, which is used primarily in processed foods, soft drinks and even some baby foods. Nor the artificial or synthetically created sweeteners. Extensive research has documented the toxic effects of these two sugar replacements.

As always, life is about balance. The rule of thumb is to ensure you are having all your macronutrients in every meal from non-processed forms. That way you are giving your body a chance at getting the nutrients it needs.