In a previous post, we established that a calorie is a unit of energy. Our bodies require energy in the form of food in order to carry out cellular functions.
Now that we’re clear that all calories are the same, we need to start becoming savvy as to whence the calories cometh.
Calories (energy) can come from fats, carbohydrates and proteins, a.k.a., MACRONUTRIENTS.
Calories (energy) pal around with equally important little friends known as MICRONUTRIENTS
Before we go any further, I’m going to make a bold statement here…
It is my firm belief that the people who concern themselves mostly with nutrition and very little with calories, will find themselves, GRADUALLY AND WITH GREAT PLEASURE, eating for performance and maintaining a healthy body composition throughout their lives.
I think it would be swell if every one reading this would commit that little gem to memory. Write it in black permanent marker on your frontal lobe, folks, and refer back to it every time you find yourself in a restaurant or grocery store, seated at a dining room table, standing in your pantry , staring into the refrigerator or standing wherever you might be thinking to put food in your mouth.
The above statement pretty much summarizes my entire diet philosophy, so we’ll be revisiting it soon and often.
So let’s get comfy and start talking nutrition.
Disclaimer: What follows is extremely basic and simplistic on purpose. It covers just about everything most people in search of improved health and fitness will need to know.
Macronutrients…where calories call home…
Carbohydrates – Fruits, Vegetables, Pastas, Rice, Oats, Bread. All of them are broken down to basic sugars which are stored in your muscle, brain and liver cells to be used for exercise and brain function.
Proteins – Meat, eggs, dairy products, nuts, fish. Mostly utilized for cellular repair and maintenance and hormone regulation.
Fats – Oils, butter, lard. Fats are essential for nervous system function and development as well as vitamin absorption.
Here’s a visual of those macronutrients which includes overlapping to indicate that foods typically aren’t just one category. For example, meats (mostly proteins) also contain varying amounts of fat and even some carbohydrates.
Micronutrients…friends and associates of calories…
Vitamins – Organic substances, available to us in food, that are essential for normal bodily growth and function
Minerals – Non-organic substances, available to us in food, that are essential for normal bodily growth and function.
And that’s all the further we’re going on this subject here at the award-winning Strength In Numbers website. In my life, I have found that the more time I spend gathering information beyond what will get the job done, the longer I put off getting down to business.
I’m not going to leave you hanging, however. Our next post will feature a friendly, easy-to-access discussion of energy and nutrition intake management.