Everywhere in our lives we get bombed with the newest diets and ideas to lose weight and live healthy. After the laws about the Nutrition facts labeling passed everyone should be able to judge if their food is healthy or not. But OH! Wait! There is just one Problem:
Who knows what Carbohydrate Percentages, Nutrition labels
and boxes say about food? What is fiber
? And why is everybody in the TV and in magazines telling me different stuff about fats and Proteins? There is one big reason: M O N E Y!
Money rules the world, right? So why would you believe in people with the only job to get money out of your pocket? Because they have a sweet little child in their TV-Spot? Because you like to give your money away for no reason? Ohh no… right! It is it because there is a big, bright note on the label that says NO CARBS! Did you ever think about that these people are trying to make you feel better with eating a thing that you like but know its unhealthy? Because most of the time that is exactly what it is all about!
Let’s start with Carbohydrates! Okay did you know that every Carbohydrate consist of sugar? Yes, almost every Carbohydrate, which is a polymer, consist of a monomer called Glucose. Glucose is the simplest sugar.
Because Glucose is just one molecule-circle shown in this picture :
It is called a simple sugar! Simple sugars as Glucose are sometimes also referred to as Monosaccharide’s. Because our body does not have to break them down with enzymes to much, most of it is directly used as a source for muscles for energy.
==> Quick Energy burst! Glucose is a an important part of our needs for our body. Glucose can be transferred to Glycogen in our bodies to store energy.
When two simple sugars come together and theirs chains are going to build a larger molecule to be stronger, dehydration synthesis occurs. That means that a water molecule is broke down from the parts of both Glucose molecules to build a Disaccharide. The most important disaccharides are Lactose (in milk), Maltose (starch) and Sucrose (table sugar).
When dehydration synthesis occurs more often than one time you get more monomers of Glucose together a polysaccharide is formed. Those take longer to be broke down by enzymes, which makes them to a better energy source for longer time periods.
Almost every Carbohydrate is going to be break down to a sugar until our body will process is! Don’t forget that while reading the Nutrition facts!
The second big group are the Proteins! Proteins have very different places and tasks where they function. One time it is a helper to transport iron and oxygen through the blood, the other time it has the form of Collagen and it helps to build your skin and body cells. It is really important to have those of Amino acid strains consisting chains in your diet to keep healthy. The chemical structure of a Protein looks like this:
The R-group determines which kind of the 21 Proteins (human body) it is.Also Antibodies are consisting of Proteins. Those help your body to fight against viruses and bacteria and stay healthy!
The last main part of you diet should consist of fats. YEES! Those nasty, nasty fats that everybody hates because they “go right to your waste”. Just for the records: THAT IS A LIE!
First of all, a better term for fats is lipids. Than you can think about it as Fats, oils , waxes and steroids. This horrible stuff is not that bad if you analyze it in depth. Their chemical structure looks like this:
The last one from this 3 fatty acid chains shows a double bond! Thats means it is monounsaturated. What that really means, more about that later!
Lipids are mostly un-polar, so they do not mix with water, which makes them hydrophobic. Just the little Carboxyl group is polar and so under water and the rest flows on it.
Our body NEEDS fats/lipids for almost everything it does. Yes you can separate between grease and “unsaturated fats” which are SOOOO GOOD for your body… That is what marketers are telling us about it. But really? You have to think about it like that: Just don’t eat everything to much and you are on the good side! That does not mean that you should run to McDonalds everyday, but that it will not kill you if you can compensate it with fruits and vegetables in your other meal. To find the right balance that is the vital thing.
Let’s talk about the difference between unsaturated fats and saturated ones. Omega 3 fatty acids are supposed to be really healthy and YES they are. But you also need saturated fats in your diet. The chemical difference is that an unsaturated fat has a double bond between two carbons. If it has more than one double bonding, it is referred to as a polyunsaturated fat. Those are mostly part of nuts and other healthy vegetables and fruits like avocados. There is most of the times a mix of saturated, mono unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in food.
To find out whether or not a meal is healthy or not a meal that you have in front of you is “healthy” or not there are several ways:
- Look for many different colors! This indicates you have many different vitamins and other Nutrition’s in your food!
- You can look at the labels from your food now and can judge for yourself what you need for your body. Internet sites
can help you with that. Because everyone has different needs that the body has to be satisfied with.
To stay in shape there is one thing you should never forget: Keep movin’ baby!!! Because if you have your daily weekly amount of sports there will be a little space for a food fudge cake once in a while without gaining pounds!
PS: Never forget, first think who wants to sell you something and about the reasons, and then think about whether it is really healthy or not! That is what i learned in our biology lessons and what i think about it. Even this does not cover everything that we did in the class, it shows for me the most important parts!