I can't tell you how many articles I have read about the best diets of today. Diets such as: How to Lose Weight, What's the Right Food to Eat, What's the Wrong Food to Eat and more.
But I have never once read an article on "Just Plain Eating Right" and "What to Look For on a Food Label."
All the diet programs out today are really just trying to sell you a bill of goods. They either want you to buy their books or buy their supplements or food programs. Without really telling you what the basics are for a healthy diet.
They act as a crutch so that you'll never learn the right way and what to look for on your own.
Now, I have tried every diet there is under the sun and I can tell you from experience that none of them work. You must learn to know your own body. This is the key.
Something that works for one person will most likely not work for the next. You must learn how to analyze the food labels so that you will know what you are putting into your body.
You may end up spending a lot more time at the market at first, but in the long run you will win by being in better shape.
Labels are really very self-explanatory if you take the time to read and understand them. The average diet should consist of the following percentages: 50% of calories should come from carbohydrates, 20-35% from fat (10% of calories from saturated fatty acids and less than 300mg/day of cholesterol, and keep the trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible) and 20% from protein.
Most people, when dieting, drop so many calories from their diet that they actually put their bodies into starvation mode, and will thus gain body fat. By "starvation mode" I mean that if the body thinks it's starving it will attempt to conserve as much energy as possible, thus your metabolism will slow down in order to stay functional and will hold onto body fat as a reserve.
When you want to drop body fat the % of fat calories in the diet should be dropped to 10-20%. Thus the % of calories from carbohydrates too should be dropped to 30-40% and the calories from protein should be raised to 40-50%. And you should be eating 4-6 low calorie meals daily to speed up the metabolism thus burning calories and fat.
Note: All food labels contain a footnote with the Percent Daily Values (DVs) based on a 2000 calorie diet only.
1. The Serving Size
The 1st place to start when you look at the nutrition facts label is the serving size and the number of servings in the package. The size of the serving influences the number of calories and all the nutrient amounts listed on the top part of the label.
Pay attention to the serving size, especially how many servings there are in the package. Then ask yourself, "How many servings am I consuming?" In the sample label above 1 serving size is 1 bar. If you consume two bars that doubles the calories and other nutrient numbers as well as the % Daily Values.
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Pay Attention To The Serving Size, Especially
How Many Servings There Are In The Package.
2. Calories And Calories From Fat
There are 200 calories in one Supreme Protein Carb Conscious Bar (43g) and there are 88 calories from fat. This is a little more than 1/3 of the calories from fat. The general guide to calories is as follows: 40 calories is low, 100 calories is moderate and 400 calories or more is high.
Remember, eating too many calories per day is linked to unhealthy weight gain.
3. Nutrients: How Much?
Fats, cholesterol, and sodium are the key ingredients that are the "ones to watch". These items need to be limited and eaten in moderation. Eating too much fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium may increase the risk of certain chronic diseases like heart disease or high blood pressure.
The main source of sodium in the average US diet consists of 5% added while cooking, 6% added while eating, 12% from natural sources and 77% from processed and prepared foods. So even though you may limit your sodium intake, the food itself may already be high in sodium.
It is recommended that sodium intake not exceed approximately 2000 mg (2g) of sodium per day for healthy adults. The lower your sodium intake, the more beneficial the effects on blood pressure. Though your body does need some sodium to function properly. It helps to maintain the right balance of fluids in your body, it helps transmit nerve impulses, and it influences the contraction and relaxation of muscles.
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It Is Recommended That Sodium Intake Not Exceed Approximately
2000 mg (2g) Of Sodium Per Day For Healthy Adults.
Carbohydrates make the body produce excessive amounts of insulin, which can lead to insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas to keep the blood sugar in check. If the body produces too much insulin it stimulates an enzyme that causes the body to convert calories into body fat instead of burning them.
Also there are 2 types of carbohydrates: complex (dietary fibers) which consist of rice, pastas, and potatoes; and simple, which consist of sugars and fruits. All of which can raise blood pressure, cholesterol levels, cram fat into cells, change protein and sugars into fat and cause the body to retain excess water.
The percentages of calories from the carbohydrates totals 10% for a serving of one whole English muffin. This is a moderate amount of carbs. Also the fact that the grams of sugar are low is exceptional because more often then not when you buy a "low fat or non fat" item it will be loaded with sugar, which defeats the whole purpose as stated above.
A Carb Conscious Bar has 15 grams of protein. Protein helps your body burn fat. There are many other sources of protein, as you will read about. But too much protein (in excess of 50% of calories) over an extensive period of time may damage the kidney and can take calcium from the bones.
In order to lose weight you must burn off more calories than you take in. You cannot lose weight by just dieting alone. So get yourselves on a good exercise program and meal plan.
(Please consult a registered dietitian with specific questions about your body composition. Everyone is different and all metabolisms are different).
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