Just like we discussed in Part I, the term “macronutrients” refers to our three main nutrients; fat, carbohydrates, and protein. These nutrients are all important parts of our diet, but certain foods within each class are good, while others are bad.


It’s important to note that, with regards to body weight, no one particular food or macro is related to obesity. It’s the number of calories consumed ultimately impacts our weight!


Fat

You’ve probably heard fat as either good or bad fat - but let’s break that down a little more. Fat comes in four forms (monounsaturated, polyunsaturated fat, saturated, and trans). Mono and poly fats fall together under the “good” umbrella, while saturated and trans fats fall together under the “bad” umbrella.

Just to confuse you even further, some saturated fats are good for you, depending on how they were created. Just remember: if it’s processed, it is bad, if it’s natural it’s good! :)


Mono and poly fats, when consumed properly can actually reduce the risk for type II diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and stroke. Watch out though, trans fats and some saturated fats work in the opposite direction (increase disease risk)!


So what are some sources of each fat?

Let’s have a look!


  • - Monounsaturated Fat: Olives and olive oil, peanuts and peanut oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds

  • - Polyunsaturated Fat: Fatty fish, canola oil

  • - Saturated Fat:

    • - Good - Coconut oil, whole fat dairy products, butter

    • - Bad - baked goods, packaged and processed snack foods


  • - Trans-fat: Baked goods, packaged and processed snack foods, partially and fully hydrogenated oils.


Carbohydrates

Just like our friend fat, carbohydrates exist in a number of food and forms. Healthy carbs are unrefined - meaning that they are high in fiber or unprocessed. Unhealthy carbs are refined - those that have been processed - or carbs that are similar to table sugar. In other words - NOT good.



Here are some examples of both:

  • - Healthy: Fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and pastas, brown rice, quinoa, oats and oatmeal, beans, dairy products (both a protein and a carbohydrate).


  • - Unhealthy: Snack foods, baked goods, fruit juice, soda, candy, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, natural and artificial syrups, reduced fat dairy products (Reduced fat dairy products are often filled with sugar to make them taste better).


Protein

Protein is commonly thought of as meat and seafood products. However, protein also exists in many other foods including both vegetarian and non-vegetarian proteins. It is best to consume protein through whole-food sources when possible.


Check out some of these options!

  • - Healthy sources of Protein: Seafood, lean cuts of beef, poultry, and pork, legumes, eggs, nuts and seeds, nonfat dairy products, unprocessed deli cuts of turkey, ham, and beef, tofu and soybeans.

  • - Unhealthy sources of Protein: Cured or processed meats (including sausages, hot dogs, highly processed lunch meat, bacon), deep-fried cuts of meat, reduced fat dairy products.