Vegetarian Means Vegan, Right?

Actually vegetarians tend to differ from what Vegans consider themselves to be. The exact reasons for why, evade me at the moment.

I eat plenty of vegetables but also enjoy eggs so I think this means I may be a vegetarian but I am not a vegan because eggs are not on their menu. I need to watch my calories and weight.

Veganism, if I may, seems to be more like a religion than just a healthy eating regime. I think the term is applied to not only eggs but even to wearing things that may have once been alive, like leather.

I have no feelings on this one way or another and think our life choices are just that, our life choices.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Crucial Building Blocks Of Diet

By Irene P Price

Nourishment can be quite puzzling. There are the vitamins and antioxidants, the minerals and the fiber, the complex carbohydrates and the sugar but how do they all fit concurrently?

Well to start with our bodies have need of particular amounts of macronutrients to live. There are a a minority of individuals who focus on one macronutrient over another and they eat more of one and less of the others but in general we all need some of these macronutrients and a healthful diet consists of a good balance of the three macronutrients.

Protein, fat and carbohydrates are the macronutrients. Fat is the most dense of the three and it provides 9 calories per gram. Protein and carbohydrates both provide 4 calories per gram. A calorie is a measurement of the energy content of food and it is mainly the amount of heat energy requisite to bring up the temperature of 1g of water 1 degree Celsius.

Due to this incongruity of 5 additional calories per gram, it was supposed for a few years that the fat in our diet was the main cause of the fat on our bodies. It has since been demonstrated that this all too simple account is not quite accurate. The fat on our bodies is caused by a number of diverse factors including the eating too many calories in total be they from fat, protein or carbohydrates.

Protein is basic as it is the building block of all of the tissues in our bodies and it is crucial to all of the processes within our cells. Protein is found in eggs, dairy products, meats and fish but there are also some excellent plant sources of protein including beans, legumes and especially soybeans.

Carbohydrates are the key energy source of our bodies. A simplistic clarification of carbohydrates is that they convert to sugar in our bodies, which in turn provides the energy that we need. Carbohydrates can be further broken down into simple carbohydrates, which include sugar, candy, white flour and more and complex carbohydrates, which include whole grains and vegetables. Simple carbohydrates break down in our bodies at a very quick level, causing energy swings and increased hunger while complex carbohydrates break down slowly which gives us constant longer-term energy.

Fat was long misaligned as being bad for our health but that is not wholly factual. The saturated fats and trans fats are destructive to our bodies but there are also essential fats that we need to uphold good health. Those would include the monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats such as olive oil, peanut oil and canola oil and the fats found in nuts and seeds, avocados, olives and the acai berry. The bad fats are the saturated fats such as the fat found in animal products and the "fake" fats or trans fats that are produced by hydrogenation.

Macronutrients are the main construction blocks of all nutrition and the micronutrients, such as the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber are all found within the macronutrients.

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