Friday, January 6, 2012

Culinary IQ: Friday, January 6, 2012; Carbs and Protein

Must Haves!

Trendy diets abound and usually they have extreme requirements. High protein, low carb, carb addicts diet, the grapefruit diet! The benefit of these diets are that you lose weight and lose it fast, the downside is the minute you go off the diet you gain it back and usually more. Unfortunately, the more you lose weight and gain it back, the harder it becomes to lose weight at all. On top of all of this, the older we get, the harder it is to lose weight and also to maintain muscle mass. I am a firm believer that if you maintain an average weight through your young adulthood that you create a set weight around which you will hover for the remainder of your life. As you grow older and gravity takes its course the weight may re-distribute, thus the importance of maintaining an active exercise schedule. Increased muscle mass also helps burn more calories!

As I mentioned in my last post, the most important part of achieving optimal weight and fitness is a balanced diet. So here are some important facts about carbohydrates and protein.


Carbohydrates are the primary source of the body's energy,  they supply 4 calories per gram. Glucose, a simple carbohydrate, is the body's number-one source of energy. Most of the carbohydrates you eat are converted to glucose in the body.

Key recommendations:
  • Choose fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains often.
  • Choose and prepare foods and beverages with little added sugars or caloric sweeteners, such as amounts suggested by the FDA's MyPyramid
  • Reduce  the incidence of dental caries by practicing good oral hygiene and consuming sugar- and starch-containing foods and beverages less frequently.

Protein is part of most body structures; builds and maintains the body; is a part of many enzymes, hormones, and antibodies; transports substances around the body; maintains fluid and acid-base balance; can provide energy for the body; and helps in blood clotting. A gram of protein contains 4 calories.

Key recommendations:
  • The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein for both men and women is 0.8 gram per kilogram of dory weight. For healthy adults, the RDA works out to be 0.36 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
  • The amount of protein needed daily is proportionally higher during periods of growth such as infancy, childhood and pregnancy.
  • Adults should get from 10-35 percent of their total calories from protein.
  • Children from 1 to 3 years old should get from 5 - 20 percent of their total calories from protein.
  • Children from 4 to 18 years old should get from 10 to 30 percent of their total calories from protein.
I hope the discussion of these nutrients this week will help you decide on a more balanced and maintainable approach to reaching your New Year's resolutions. Later I will post a form that has always been helpful to me when I set my mind on changing my appearance.

Information adapted from Nutrition for Foodservice and Culinary Professionals, Seventh Addition, Karen Eich Drummond and Lisa M. Brefere, John Wiley and Sons, Publishers.

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