Forget fad diets: Balance is always best

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The macros or macronutrients in our diet are carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Some popular diets and “fad” diets have gained popularity and many of these tend to exclude one of these food groups, and heavily favour another. For example, the ketogenic diet, where fats are heavily relied on, and carbohydrates intake is very minimal.

These can seem appealing because they provide us some form of structure, that as humans we love and think we need when making a change.

However, every macronutrient plays an important role in our body and it’s important we don’t omit any to avoid being at risk for deficiency in any vitamin or mineral or becoming undernourished.

Carbohydrates play an important role in being our body’s primary source of energy and providing dietary fibre, which is key for digestive and gastrointestinal health. Proteins have many functions in the body including being the structural component of our cells and tissues as well as many enzymes, hormones and the active proteins secreted from immune cells. They are also critical for growth, maintenance and repair of these tissues. Fats are critical for hormone production as well as allowing absorption of certain nutrients.

The key to these nutrients is choosing the correct portions and choices within these macronutrient groups.

When consuming carbohydrates, make sure you aim to consume low GI, higher fibre choices made from wholegrains.

When consuming proteins, make sure you aim to consume lean choices, without skin, batter and limited amounts of crumbing, sauces or marinades.

When consuming fats, make sure to consume healthy choices, primarily foods containing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as opposed to choices high in saturated fats which should be limited.

The portion and ratios of these macronutrients is critical when promoting weight loss.

Key takeaway: don’t eliminate any macronutrient from your diet completely unless directed by a health care professional, as it could have long-term impacts.

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