Important Nutrients to Know: Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats


Plate of salmon, tomatoes, asparagus, lemon and herbs Proteins are often called the consistency ’ s build blocks. They are used to build and repair tissues. They help you fight infection. Your body uses extra protein for energy. The protein foods group includes seafood, tilt meat and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds. Protein is besides found in the dairy group. Protein from plant sources tends to be lower in saturate fatness, contains no cholesterol, and provides fiber and early health-promoting nutrients .


Carbohydrates are the body ’ s independent source of department of energy. The yield, vegetables, dairy, and grain food groups all contain carbohydrates. Sweeteners like boodle, honey, and syrup and foods with add sugars like sugarcoat, indulgent drinks, and cookies besides contain carbohydrates. Try to get most of your carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, nonfat and low-fat dairy, and whole grains rather than lend sugars or refined grains .
many foods with carbohydrates besides supply character. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your torso can not digest. It is found in many foods that come from plants, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains. Eating food with character can help prevent digest or intestinal problems, such as constipation. It might besides help lower cholesterol and blood boodle .
It ’ second better to get fiber from food than dietary supplements. Start adding roughage slowly. This will help avoid gas. To add character :

  • Eat cooked dry beans, peas, and lentils.
  • Leave skins on your fruit and vegetables but wash them before eating.
  • Choose whole fruit over fruit juice.
  • Eat whole grain breads and cereals that contain fiber.


Fats give you energy, and they help the body absorb certain vitamins. essential fatso acids help the torso function, but they aren ’ thymine made by your body—you have to consume them. many foods naturally contain fats, including dairy products ; meats, domestic fowl, seafood, and eggs ; and seeds, nuts, avocado, and coconuts .
Certain kinds of adipose tissue can be bad for your health—saturated fats and trans fats :

  • Saturated fats are found in the greatest amounts in butter, beef fat, and coconut, palm, and palm kernel oils. Higher-fat meats and dairy and cakes, cookies, and some snack foods are higher in saturated fats. Dishes with many ingredients are common sources of saturated fat, including pizza, casseroles, burgers, tacos, and sandwiches.
  • Trans fats, which is short for trans fatty acids, occur naturally in some foods but are also artificially produced. Because trans fats are not healthy, food manufacturers are phasing them out. But trans fats can still be found in some processed foods, such as some desserts, microwave popcorn, frozen pizza, margarine, and coffee creamer.

Fats that contain by and large trans fats and saturated fats are solid at room temperature. Limit your consumption of saturated fats to less than 10 percentage of your calories each sidereal day, and keep trans adipose tissue intake ampere first gear as possible .
Replace saturated and trans fats with these two types of healthy fats while keeping total fat intake within the recommend range :

  • Monounsaturated fats. These are found in the greatest amounts in canola, olive, peanut, sunflower, and safflower oils and in avocados, peanut butter, and most nuts.
  • Polyunsaturated fats. These are found in the greatest amounts in sunflower, corn, soybean, and cottonseed oils and in fatty fish, walnuts, and some seeds.

Oils contain by and large monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and are liquid at room temperature. These types of fatty seem to lower your prospect of heart disease when they replace saturated fats. But that doesn ’ metric ton beggarly you can eat more than the Dietary Guidelines suggests.

To lower the saturated fatty in your diet :

  • Choose cuts of meat with less fat and remove the skin from chicken
  • Use low-fat or fat-free dairy products
  • Choose oils, such as olive or canola, for cooking
  • Replace ingredients higher in saturated fats with vegetables, whole grains, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, or lean cuts of meats and poultry
  • Read the Nutrition Facts label and choose products lower in saturated fats

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For More Information on Nutrition and Aging

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National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
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National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs
President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition
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This capacity is provided by the NIH National Institute on Aging ( NIA ). NIA scientists and other experts review this capacity to ensure it is accurate and up to go steady .

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