The human body needs energy (fuel) to get work done. The two main sources of fuel are carbohydrates (glucose) and fat. Carbohydrates is the primary source and fat is secondary.
What are Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are macronutrients that are found in certain foods and drinks. They provide most of the body's energy. The two main forms of carbohydrates are simple and complex carbohydrates (simple and complex sugars).
Simple carbohydrates (sugars) produce a spike in blood glucose levels and a short energy supply. Table sugar, milk sugar, sport drinks, fruits and vegetables are examples of simple carbohydrates.
Complex carbohydrates (sugars) raise blood glucose levels for longer and provide a longer energy supply. Starches, breads, cereals, nuts, beans, whole grains and starchy vegetables are examples of complex carbohydrates.
The body breaks down sugars and starches from foods and turns them into glucose (blood sugar). Glucose is moved from the bloodstream and into cells. The hormone, insulin, helps with this process.
Glucose is used for energy by the cells and excess amounts are stored in the body. A small amount of excess energy is stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver. Most of the energy is stored as fat in adipose tissue in the from of triglycerides.
What are Dietary Fats?
Dietary fats are micronutrients, also called fatty acids and lipids, used as energy sources for the body. They take longer to digest than carbohydrates and proteins. Excess energy from fats are stored in the adipose (fat) tissues in the body as triglycerides.
Dietary fats have many important functions in the body such as: stores energy, protects organs, keeps body warm and helps absorb fat-soluble vitamins. There are healthy fats and unhealthy fats.
What are Healthy Fats?
Healthy fats take longer to digest than carbohydrates and proteins. Eating healthy fats will control your appetite, keep you from overeating.
The two main categories are monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. These fats comes mostly from vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish and are liquid at room temperature not solid.
Monounsaturated fats are found in plant foods such as nuts, avocados and vegetable oils (olive, peanut, canola, sesame).
Polyunsaturated fats are found in plants and animals such as fatty fish, tofu, seeds, walnuts, vegetable oils (soybean, safflower) They are liquid at room temperature but start to turn solid when chilled. These are essential fats the body needs for important body function
What are Unhealthy Fats?
There are two types of fats that are considered unhealthy fats: trans fats and saturated fats. The worst type of dietary fat is known as trans fat. Trans fats are byproducts of a hydrogenation process that turns healthy oils into solids.
trans fats are found in many fried "fast" foods, packaged, or processed foods and margarine. Trans fats have no health benefits and increases health problems
saturated fats are found in animal based foods like beef, pork, poultry, full-fat dairy products and eggs and topical fats (coconut, palm and palm kernel