In this section, we’ll look at some basic concepts about food nutrition facts that will help you make healthier eating choices. If you want to skip this basic overview and jump right to the in-depth articles about food nutrition facts, click here to jump down the page and see all my articles about food nutrition facts.
Proteins are nutrients that help you build and maintain healthy muscle, skin, and organs. They’re made up of amino acids, which are known as the “building blocks” of muscle. Healthy sources of protein include meats such as poultry, fish, lean beef and pork, dairy products, nuts, whole grains, and legumes and beans.
Certain fats are essential to maintaining health. Fats are classified as either saturated, trans, polyunsaturated, or monounsaturated. Fats you should eat more of include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, which are found in foods like fish, nuts, and heart healthy oils such as olive oil.
Now let’s talk bad fats. Trans fats are one of the main causes of high cholesterol and lead to many other health problems and diseases. As a general rule, try not to eat any foods with trans fat, especially fast food, desserts, and packaged foods. Saturated fats are okay in moderation.
But you should avoid refined and processed carbs such as white bread, white flour, white rice, white pasta, sugary sodas and packaged snack foods. These have been stripped of their natural whole grains and much of their nutritional content and may contribute to weight gain, interfere with weight loss, diabetes, and heart disease.
Most of your carbs should come from fruits and vegetables, beans, and whole grain products such as oatmeal, whole wheat and multi-grain pasta, brown rice, and whole wheat bread.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins are natural substances found in plants and animals that are necessary to sustain life. There are 13 essential vitamins, including vitamins A, B (multiple B vitamin), C, D, E, and K. Minerals come from the soil and water and include calcium, chromium, selenium, zinc, sodium, potassium, and iron.
So now that you’ve seen a basic overview, let’s look at each of these topics in more detail.
Food Nutrition Facts Articles