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What “type” are Your Calories?

April 24 2013

What “type” are Your Calories?
By: Debra Meszaros
Body Performance Coach- ClubMX

Is weight management really “calories in vs. calories out”?

Could the “type” of calories mean more than the amount?

What are the “real” essentials to maintain your health and weight?

The majority of people today, including some doctors and fitness professionals, believe the way to maintain health and proper body weight is to count calories. Diet is actually much more complex than that; one must be able to determine the types of calories and most importantly, how the body reacts when they are consumed.

Digestion, the key to calorie types

We’ve all heard how important water and being hydrated means to the human body; hence the reason it is the body’s most important element. Protein is the second most important element. Protein is not just for building muscle. Once proteins are reduced to amino acids, protein is used for numerous functions in the body; glucose (fuel) for energy, overall cellular function, and to produce the body’s hormones. It takes the work of your stomach and your small intestine to fully digest protein.

It may surprise you that fats are third on the list of important elements to the body; they are indeed a source for the highest concentration of available energy. Due to their concentration, they take longer than proteins or carbohydrates to digest. Fats are not digested in the stomach. It takes the work of the pancreas and gallbladder to reduce fats to smaller molecules of fatty acids. These fatty acids will travel through the body and either used by your muscles for energy, help keep your cells “plump” so nutrients can pass into your cells easier, or be stored for later use.

So that leaves the most widely consumed food group, carbohydrates as the final element. Interestingly, the three groups of carbohydrates: monosaccharides, disaccharides, polysaccharides, all process differently in the body. How well you chew a carbohydrate determines how much you may or may not stress the body to digest them. That’s because digestion of carbohydrates begins in your mouth, not your stomach. It takes the work of your mouth and small intestine to digest carbohydrates. The secret danger to carbohydrates is how fast they are converted to glucose and hit the bloodstream. Excess glucose not utilized travels to the liver and is either used by the liver or stored. The liver loves to turn excess glucose into cholesterol, triglycerides, or other forms of fat.

Striking a balance:

Eating too much of one “type” of calories can lead to overeating; and the “type” most likely to do this is carbohydrates. With all the different dietary plans out there today confusion can set in easily; but what if you decided to create a dietary balance taking into consideration the most important elements? That would mean water, protein, and fats, would be a focal. Carbohydrates would be the lowest denominator.

Something to consider:

How well your digestive system functions determines how all calories are utilized. If any organ or gland within your digestive system is faulty, poor metabolic function develops. Once over the age of twenty, the digestive system begins to decline, and the absorption and utilization of nutrients suffers. To counteract this decline, supplementing with digestive enzymes is commonly used.

So if you want to avoid tipping the scale in the wrong direction, strike a balance!

©2013 Debra Meszaros All rights reserved; no duplication without permission.
DISCLAIMER: When you read through the diet and lifestyle information, you must know that everything within it is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. I am making no attempt to prescribe any medical treatment. You should not use the information here for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. The products and the claims made about specific products have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. Confirm the safety of any supplements with your M.D., N.D. or pharmacist (healthcare professional). Some information given is solely an opinion, thought and or conclusion based on experiences, trials, tests, assessments or other available sources of information. I do not make any guarantees or promises with regard to results. I may discuss substances that have not been subject to double blind clinical studies or FDA approval or regulation. You assume the responsibility for the decision to take any natural remedy.
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