A balanced nutrition: carbohydrates, fats and proteins

Each of these three play a crucial role for the human metabolism and are good for you so long as they are eaten in the right quantities.

GI < 50 : Slow-release carbohydrates (pulses, bran)
50 < GI <70 : Medium-release carbohydrates (potatoes, pasta, melon)
GI > 70 : Fast-release carbohydrates (white rice, white bread, dates)

15% : Monosaturated oils (olive oil, etc…)
9% : Saturated Fats (animal fat, dairy produce, tropical oils)
4% : Omega 3 (linseed oil, rapeseed oil, walnut oil, oily fish)
2% : Omega 6 (sunflower seed oil, grapeseed oil)

10% : Vegetable protein (pulses, etc.)
10% : Animal protein

Carbohydrates

These are sugars found in food in varying degrees and the right kind should make up roughly half of a balanced diet (the NHS are putting people on an almost zero carbohydrate diet to reverse type 2 diabetes). They are especially found in starchy foods, fruit and sweet food. There is a difference between complex, or slow-release, carbohydrates and simple, or fast-release, carbohydrates. The latter have a high glycemic index and can contribute to weight gain and diabetes. They are known as fast sugars because they cause the blood sugar level to rise quickly. It is best to eat them when taking physical exercise. Slow carbohydrates release sugar into the blood gradually. So, to avoid weight gain or diabetes, it is important to reduce fast-sugar consumption. You can find out more about the glycemic index of various foods in the Montignac method’s website.

Fats

Fats should make up around 30 to 40 of your calorie intake and come in three categories :

Mono unsaturated fats, like olive oil, are good for the cardio vascular system and should be around half of the fats absorbed

Poly unsaturated fats are made up of omega 3 and omega 6 and should make up around 20 of your fats
Omega 3 is found in oily fish rapeseed oil, linseed oil, walnut oil
Omega 6 is found in grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, pumpkin seed oil, and corn oil.

To get the right balance, it is a good idea to combine oils from each category.

Omega 3 fluidizes the blood, lowering the risk of heart attacks, but over-consumption of both Omega 3 and Omega 6 can cause heart problems.

Mono unsaturated and poly unsaturated fats are never both present in the same oil. Using different oils at home, such as olive oil and pumpkin seed oil, can help you achieve the right balance.

Saturated-fats are found in meat, dairy products and tropical oils such as coconut oil. They should not make up more than a third of fats eaten.

Proteins

These are found in many foods, but especially in meat and pulses. It is recommended that no more than half your protein intake should come from animal protein.

On a daily basis, you eat foods containing varying amounts of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. A crucial part of a healthy diet and weight loss is balance and eating the right quantities of these foods. This is what the Nifty plate will help you achieve.