Calories, calories, calories!!!!… who cares about CALORIES?!?! It’s all everyone ever talks about….UGH! Who cares, why should I care, and what good comes from caring about my calories?
A calorie is actually a measure of heat; the amount of heat it takes to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celius….which nicely complements the term ‘thermogenesis’, which deals with an increase in energy expenditure. Total side note…sorry. So.. our food is measured in calories, the more heat it takes to break down and metabolize the food you eat, the more calories that food contains. Pretty, simple right? lol.. I say, thank goodness the calories in our foods are already measured and recorded somewhere for us! So MACRONUTRIENTS are the stuff that contain CALORIES.. among other things. There are four macronutrients.. three of them are essential for proper function.. one is essential for the average American’s proper FUN. :o) They are Carbohydrates, Protein, Fats….and Alcohol.
Carbohydrate: Contains 4 calories per gram. Carbohydrates are our tasty downfall.. in most American diets, not because they’re bad; but because they’re overconsumed. They are a reliable and essential source for energy, brain activity, and maintaining blood insulin levels, used as glucose. It’s normally recommended to take in whole grain sources of carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, etc. However, raw sources of carbohydrates are just fine, given the situation. “White carbs” are given a bad rap, because they are absorbed into the blood stream faster, thus causing a spike in blood insulin levels…which is not ideal for fat loss…MOST people’s fitness goals.
Protein: Contains 4 calories per gram. Proteins are probably the nutrient that is most often under consumed in American diets. They are a super source… with the capability of being used everywhere in the body, including muscle retention, hair, skin and nail growth… and it’s stored in muscle as glycogen, rather than fat. Good sources of protein are considered COMPLETE proteins…normally found in animal sources….poultry, beef, eggs, fish, and tofu. Though vegetarians and vegans are able to create complete proteins by combining the right INCOMPLETE proteins, which includes sources like beans and lentils.
Fat: Contains 9 calories per gram. Fats are also a killer in the American diet, and easily over consumed. They are, however, essential in hair skin and nail health, aid in satiety, insulation, digestion and nerve activity. It is also the most resented calorie, stored in our physiques as unattractive lumps misplaced all over various parts of the body. Fat sources would include butter, nuts, and oils.
Alcohol: Contains 7 calories per gram. Alcohol is considered most like carbhoydrates in their chemical structure.. but not in how they’re broken down… These bad boys have an entirely separate metabolic system in the liver developed just for them.. called the MEOS. Alcohol metabolism takes priority over any other macronutrient metabolism because the body, in most cases, recognizes it as a toxin and works to eliminate it immediately. It really does nothing for your health, as far as make YOU look or even function better.. but it could make not so good looking people look better to you.. which you may regret in the morning..
Up next… What are good Macronutrient ratios?…