Remember here at Homeshredded I’m all about keeping things basic and the nutrition pages will be no exception. All you need to know to get you started are the basics below!
We all know about calories, it’s the amount we eat broken down into numbers. Based on your weight or your goals you need to find a recommended amount of calories to consume a day.
But the most important part about the calories is that the calories you take in must contain a good balance of nutrients. When you eat something you might read that you’ve just eaten x amount of calories. What’s really important is not always the amount of calories you’ve just consumed but what nutrients were in those calories.
Food provides a range of different nutrients. Some nutrients provide energy, while others are essential for growth and maintenance of the body. Below we are going to look at the key nutrients found in the calories of your food.
Often referred to as “carbs”, Carbohydrates include the sugars and starches our foods. Popular carb sources are rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, couscous, breakfast cereals and oats and grains.
Carbohydrates are a very important part of a healthy balanced diet. When carbohydrates are consumed the body breaks them down into glucose which are body then uses as a main source of fuel.
Wait don’t carbs make me fat?
If your looking to get shredded your friends and family might tell you to eat less carbs, this is a massive misconception that many are falsely lead to believe. Carbs not only act as our main energy source, they also contain lots of fibre which is important for our digestive health.
If you look into the science of carbs being fattening. There are no significant scientific studies that the consumption of of starchy foods themself cause any significant weight gain. Many scientific studios conclude that significant weight gain is caused by consuming too many calories from any source (carbs, fat, alcohol, protein etc.).
The reason why carbs are often considered the culprit when it comes to significant weight gain is because although they are usually not high in calorie content themselves, they are often paired with high calorie ingredients such as butter on bread, and high calorie sauces with pasta.
You might be asking yourself. What is dietary fibre exactly and how can it benefit me?
There are lots of different types of fibres in our foods but these can be broken down into two main groups.
Soluble fibre (These disolve in water and form a gel in the gut with helps with going to the toilet and keeping our bowls safe)
These can be found in high fibre breakfast cereals, wholemeat breads, pasta, brown rice etc. Also potato skins, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Dietary fibre has some amazing health benefits as you can imagine. It has been scientifically proven to reduce your risk of heart disease, some cancers and even diabetes. Of course it also aids in weight loss and control.
Consuming lots of soluble fibres as listed above is also a great way to reduce your cholesterol and maintain a good general high health.
It’s easy to see fats as the enemy as the chances are we are trying to lose fat from our body. By logic it seems like a bad idea to put fats in there if we are trying to get rid of them in the first place. However believe it or not it’s really important to put “good fats” into our body and it can actually aid fat loss.
What are these mystical good fats you mention of?
Yes, that’s right! I’m going to tell you to eat these fats to lose fat, no I’ve not gone mad!
Unsaturated fats (Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated)
To maintain their good values, these fats, usually as liquid form must remain at room temperature. Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats help the body to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. These can be found in vegetable oils such as olives, rapeseed and sunflower oils. Avocados, nuts and seeds also contain these great fats. But remember once you start to heat and fry these oils, these great properties can be lost.
Polyunsaturated fats contain essential fatty acids, such as Omega-3. These can be found in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel etc. They can also be found in flax seeds and walnuts. These fatty acids are good for the heart health and help to maintain a regulated heart rhythm and can prevent blood clots.
Protein is a very important nutrient, especially for muscle development and recovery. It is responsible for lots of functions in our bodies. This includes building tissue, cells and of course the muscles! If your looking to build muscles it’s important to increase your protein intake. Popular protein sources are chicken, beef, fish, eggs, milk and yogurts, beans and nuts.
For you Home Shredders I recommend a daily 1g of protein per 1kg of your body weight for muscle recovery and development. It is also recommended that you consume a good portion of protein within 30 minutes after you’ve finished exercising as during this period your muscles are most receptive to protein synthesis.
However you’re probably thinking to yourself now… After a hard workout the last thing I want to do is cook a high protein meal. Well you’re in luck! This is where protein shakes come in handy. Protein shakes are designed to be a quick way to get that important dose of protein straight into our muscles right after a workout. Protein shakes come in many forms. Choosing the right protein shake for your goals is very important. You can read all about protein shakes and how to choose the right protein shake on this page.