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How Carbohydrates, Lipids, and Protein Are Involved in the Average American Diet, Coursework Example

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Coursework

Introduction

A balanced diet requires a balanced approach in order to obtain the appropriate amounts of all recommended nutrients. In particular, carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins are essential components of the average diet and should be consumed according to recommended guidelines. Each of these nutrients is important in performing one or more roles to achieve energy output, build muscle, and regulate the function of many body systems, amongst other roles. These nutrients are found in many different types of food at different levels. It is important and necessary to establish a healthy diet with these nutrients to achieve optimal energy, overall health, and wellbeing.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are a form of macronutrient and are found in many types of foods, such as bread, fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and legumes (Mayo Clinic). Carbohydrates are found in three forms, including starch (beans, peas), sugar (fructose and sucrose), and fiber (fruits and vegetables (Mayo Clinic). Carbohydrates are typically regulated with the glycemic index, which ranks food products according to whether or not the index is high or low (Mayo Clinic). Typically, the recommended daily allowance of carbohydrates is between 45 and 65 percent of the daily caloric intake, or 225 to 325 grams per day (Mayo Clinic). Carbohydrates often receive a negative response in the media, particularly with those who diet and are trying to lose weight, as carbohydrates are touted as the enemy (Mayo Clinic). However, carbohydrates are beneficial to body systems and are a necessary component of a traditional balanced diet (Mayo Clinic).

Lipids

Lipids include a number of substances, such as fats, and are a necessary component of a healthy diet (CDC). In particular, dietary fat serves as a valuable resource for maintaining routine bodily functions (CDC). Fats are categorized into different segments, such as trans fats, saturated fats, cholesterol, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats (CDC). It is recommended that no more than 10 percent of calories are derived from saturated fats, that 300mg or less of cholesterol is consumed on a daily basis, and eliminate trans fats (hydrogenated oils, etc.) from the diet as much as possible (CDC). It is recommended that adults consume no more than 20 to 35 percent of their daily calories from fat sources (CDC). This recommended allowance assists in maintaining a healthy weight and overall improved nutritional status (CDC).

Proteins

Proteins are located in all parts of the body, including organs, tissues, and cells, and are found in such foods as meats, eggs, nuts, milk, and legumes (CDC). Protein is an essential component because it forms the foundation for amino acids to replace proteins that have naturally broken down (CDC). This process is important because it provides additional energy resources for individuals to conduct their routine activities (CDC). Proteins are formed from 20 different types of amino acids, with some noted as essential for the production of new proteins, and food products such as eggs, cheese, milk, and meat provide the richest sources of protein for a successful diet (CDC). In addition, there are two other types of proteins, incomplete and complementary, both of which weaken the ability to produce new proteins because they lack one or more of the essential amino acids (CDC). For the average adult woman, 46 grams of protein are required on a daily basis, while males require 56 grams of protein (CDC). It is important to recognize which foods will provide the best possible sources of complete protein so that essential amino acids are readily available, which include eggs, poultry, milk, and nuts, amongst others (CDC). These and other foods are essential to a healthy protein-rich diet to sustain healthy living at all times (CDC).

Nutritional guidelines are located all over the place, including food labels, menus, and restaurants. Therefore, it is important to regularly assess food products prior to consumption to determine if the appropriate types of food and portion sizes are achieved as best as possible (Drummond and Brefere). Since there are many different types of diets, it is important to develop a balance that will support the intake of all required nutrients in an effective manner. For example, vegetarian diets do not consume any type of meat or poultry; therefore, these individuals must obtain their protein sources in other ways, such as soy or other proteins that are derived from plant sources (CDC). Since diets vary so widely, it is very important to consider which foods provide the most essential nutrients in a balanced manner to achieve improved dietary performance. It is important to address nutrition in the context of improved health and wellbeing to prevent disease and other complications.

Nutrition incorporates a variety of nutrients; however, the most important nutrients include lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins to ensure that body systems operate effectively at all times. There are many dietary variations; however, remaining as close to the recommend daily allowances is essential to promote optimal nutrition for all persons. This process also supports the promotion of general wellbeing for all persons across all age groups, particularly when they have one or more health limitations that restrict their diets and level of activity in one form or another.

Works Cited

Centers for Disease Control. “Dietary fat.” 7 March 2013:

http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/fat/index.html

Drummond, Karen E, and Lisa M. Brefere. Nutrition for Foodservice and Culinary Professionals.

Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley, 2007. Print.

Mayo Clinic. “Carbohydrates: how carbs fit into a healthy diet.” 7 March 2013:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/carbohydrates/my01458

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