When discussing the body, there are three main components that create bodily wellness: nutritional or what we put into our body, physiological or what we do with our body, and lifestyle behaviors or where we put our body. These three components combine to create the overall degree of wellness in the body. Each of these components can be broken down further for deeper exploration.
The first subcomponent of the nutritional status is macronutrients. Macronutrients consist of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. These are the three food groups, and everything we consume will fall into one or more of these groups.
Carbohydrates provide the main sources of fuel for the body. 45-65% of the diet should be derived from carbohydrates. Each gram of carbohydrates provides 4 kcals of energy. The best choices are complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, starchy vegetables, and legumes. Simple carbohydrates, such as refined sugars and refined flours should be limited.
Proteins are the building blocks of our body. They are broken down into amino acids responsible for building new cells and new tissue. 20-35% of the diet should be derived from proteins . Each gram of protein provides 4 kcals of energy. The best choices are lean meats, seafood, dairy, beans, and nuts. Protein can also be obtained through soy products. However, some controversy exists regarding the safety of consuming soy.
Fats are also an energy source for the body but are primarily utilized during rest or low energy level activities . 20-35% of the diet should be derived from fats. Each gram of fat provides 9 kcals of energy. Some fat is essential as it regulates biological processes . Not all fats are created equal: the best choices are monounsaturated fats found in olive and canola oils, avocados, and nuts. Trans fats should be limited, such as those found in man-made margarine and processed foods.
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Thompson, J,, Manore, M. (2009). Nutrition: An Applied Approach, 2nd Edition.
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