Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fat
Carbohydrates, protein, and fat are the three main nutrients that your body need to function. Everything we eat is made up of some combination of these three nutrients. All of these nutrients serve their own unique purpose.
Protein is broken down into amino acids in the body. These amino acids are used to build other proteins in the body. These proteins may be used for your muscles, skin, hair, bones, organs, anything! Nearly every cell in your body needs protein.
Fat, as scary as it may seem, is another essential part of you diet. Fats help us use many different vitamins and work together with proteins so our cells can do everything they need to. Fats are also an excellent source of energy for the body. Sometimes fats are used for energy right away, other times the fat is stored. Stored fat is good, but too much of a good thing can be bad. We'll talk later about how much fat is too much, and how to balance your diet between these three nutrients.
Carbohydrates are the last, and most significant, nutrient we will talk about. Carbohydrates can be simple or complex, but they are all essentially sugars. Both types of carbohydrates will provide the energy that your body needs to function, but they are not exactly the same. Simple carbohydrates digest very quickly, so they will spike your blood sugar very quickly. Complex carbohydrates digest over several hours, so your blood sugar will not spike as dramatically. Generally, you will want to avoid simple carbohydrates and stick to complex carbohydrates. More important than knowing if a carbohydrate is complex or simple is knowing the glycemic index.