We Eat Food NOT Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats!
“Eat this much Protein, that much Fat and this many Carbs!”
That’s all well and good but the problem is, we actually eat food and when you go shopping those foods aren’t listed as Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats.
Instead they’re labeled as the food that they are, Chicken, Carrots, Beef, Olive Oil, Butter, Potatoes, etc…
Now of course, these foods consist of Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates but the trouble is for many that are new to health and fitness, they don’t know the difference between Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats or which foods are classified as each.
You also have some people, often the seasoned dieters, that pretty much know the difference but are slightly confused here and there.
These are the issues I’ll be clearing up for you today. I’ll also include a printable chart that you can download for free and stick on your cupboard or fridge to remind you of what foods are actually Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats.
Food Sources of Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats
To kick things off, I’ll start with Proteins.
Proteins are very important for optimal health, especially as they are the second most abundant substance in the body.
Some of the best food sources of proteins are animal products such as Meats, Poultry, Fish, Eggs and Dairy.
There are also a few vegetarian sources which include the likes of Nuts, Seeds and Legumes just realise that vegetarian protein foods are often much lower in protein per gram relative to animal based foods so for many it is very difficult to get adequate protein from vegetarian sources alone.
You’ll also find that there are many different protein supplements you can buy also. Some are good and some are absolute trash.
Just ensure you do a little research and choose supplements which have been minimally processed to ensure quality and effectiveness.
Next on the list we have Fats.
Without going into detail, fats have gotten a bad rap the past 40-50 years – particularly Saturated Fats and their so called link to Heart Disease and High Cholesterol.
Now this article isn’t about whether fats are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for you so I won’t be going into detail here but all I will say is this, don’t believe everything you see or read without seeing or hearing the other side of the story.
Anyway, lets get back on point.
Quality food sources of fats include Animal Fats (in eggs, dairy, meats, butter, cheese, duck/goose fat, lard, etc.), Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Avocados, Nuts and Seeds.
Getting healthy fats into your diet is essential if you want to stay healthy in the long run regardless of whether your goals are fat loss, building muscle, improving fitness or anything else health related.
Last on the list we have Carbohydrates a.k.a. Carbs.
You may have noticed how Carbs (particularly sugar) are getting some stick in the media and online recently.
The truth is, all carbohydrates are sugars! This doesn’t automatically make them bad though.
What’s important to remember is that almost any food that’s consumed minimally processed, as nature intended isn’t inherently bad for you.
What makes a food ‘bad’ for you are things like over processing, over cooking or the fact that your body is allergic or intolerant to that particular food.
Carbohydrates are no different. If eaten in their wholefood state, they’re no more unhealthy for you than any other food providing you’re not intolerant and you don’t overdo it.
So which foods are Carbohydrates?
Pretty much all fruits and vegetables (there are exceptions such as Avocados – they’re classified as fats), sea vegetables and grains.
I have so many conversations with people who tell me they “don’t eat Carbs”. Then I get them to list the actual foods they’re eating and they’ll mention fruits and vegetables. These are the folks I mentioned earlier that are a little confused regarding Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats.
They have a a good idea of things but are unknowingly confused here and there.
What these people tend to actually mean is that they’ve eliminated or are limiting processed carbs such as Cakes, Biscuits and Sweets from their diet.
In the table below I have listed the most commonly available food sources of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.