Are sugar, starch and fibre. The end result of all these are single sugar molecules in the blood stream to be distributed to muscles for energy and to the liver for readily available storage. Any in excess to this will be stored as fat. The speed at which it is broken down into sugar is called the GI or Gycemic Index and the amount of sugar in a food is called the GL or Glycemic Load. A lot of foods might be labelled Low GI but few have the GL value. For instance wholemeal pasta may be low GI but has a high GL and so could prompt the insulin response to high blood sugar and therefore store fat. Watermelon on the other hand is high GI but low GL and so although it is broken down quickly there isn’t much sugar and so no fat storage.
Ideally stick to fruit and veg for your carbohydrates, these are mostly low GI and GL, high in water, fibre and vitamins and minerals. Refined carbs like bread, pasta, cereals are typically high GI and GL.
Protein comes from meat, fish, eggs, soya and also some in beans, pulses, dairy and nuts. It is required for growth and repair, breakdown of fat, slows down digestion and keeps you feeling full & requires energy to breakdown.
You should aim for per kilo of bodyweight:
· 0.8g to prevent deficiency
· 1.4-2g for HIIT training and reduced energy intake
· 2.2g to boost metabolism, weight management, increase performance and satiety
4 types: 1. Trans fats (or hydrogenated), 2. Monounsaturated, 3. Polyunsaturated, 4. Saturated
Avoid Trans fats as these are chemically engineered and harmful to health. Monounsaturated fats boost ‘good’ cholesterol. Polyunsaturated fats can be broken into Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s. These should be in a ratio of 1:1 but often in our modern diet it can be up to 1: 30, too many Omega 6’s. Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory, reduces the insulin response to sugar and is heart healthy. Found in oily fish. Saturated fat is the one we are most familiar with but shouldn’t try to cut out.
As with all of these fats, (except Trans fat), a balanced amount is essential for good health and a feeling of satiety. Get them from whole foods like eggs, nuts, avocado, olives, meat (grass fed if possible) and fish.