What are good sources of carbohydrate, protein, and fat for athlete's diet



Carbohydrate is the most important part of an athlete's diet. Meals and snacks should center on carbohydrate. “Whole” grains are the most natural form of grain and provide longer sustained energy than their refined grain counterparts.

Whole grains vs. refined grains

Meals and snacks should center on carbohydrate

Refined, white grains include white flour, white bread, white rice, and most pasta. Refining removes the bran and the germ from the grain, reducing the amount of fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and other health benefitting phytochemicals.


Sources of whole-grain include:

·        Whole wheat breads
·        Whole wheat cereal
·        Oatmeal
·        Brown rice
·        Whole-grain barley
·        Whole-grain crackers
·        Whole wheat pastas
·        Wild rice

Fruits and vegetables are also an important source of carbohydrate in an athlete's diet. Both fruits and vegetables are lower calorie sources of carbohydrate and provide beneficial vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber.

Fruits and vegetables


Fruits and vegetables are also an important source of carbohydrate in an athlete's diet. Both fruits and vegetables are lower calorie sources of carbohydrate and provide beneficial vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber.



Good sources of carbohydrate from fruits and vegetables

·        Corn
·        Peas
·        Potatoes
·        Sweet potatoes
·        Apples
·        Bananas
·        Oranges
·        Raisins

Note: Suddenly increasing the amount of fiber/whole grain in your diet may result in gastric disturbances such as constipation and bloating. Increase your levels of wholegrains over several days or weeks to avoid such disturbances and achieve dietary recommendations. At the same time, you should increase fluid intake, or, at the very least, maintain adequate fluid intake.

Protein

Protein is an essential component of an athlete's diet because it aids in muscle repair. Athletes have higher protein needs than the general population because they are more active and damage their muscles more often than non-athletes. Good sources of dietary protein include:
·        Eggs
·        Lean beef
·        Pork
·        Chicken
·        Fish
·        Nuts
·        Beans
·        Low-fat milk
·        Low-fat cheese
·        Low-fat cottage cheese
·        Soy milk
·        Tofu
·        Pasta and Bread

Fat

Fat is an important component of an athlete's diet, and despite popular assumptions, can contribute to an overall healthy life. However, it is important to consider the type of fat consumed. Mono and poly-unsaturated fats are considered to be health-benefitting fats. Saturated and trans-fats are unhealthy fats that can contribute to heart disease and other chronic diseases. Recommendations are that less than 10% of daily calories be from saturated fats, and less than 1% of daily calories be from trans-fats.

Saturated fats are found in fried foods, bakes goods, meats, butter, and whole milk. Limit your consumption of these foods and other foods containing saturated fats. Trans fats are found in fried foods and foods made with partially hydrogenated oils (this includes margarine!). Try not to eat any of these foods.
Note that one gram of fat is more calorie dense than one gram of carbohydrate (i.e. 1 gram of fat has 9 kcal and 1 gram of carbohydrate has 4 kcal). Thus, a handful of peanuts would have a considerably higher amount of calories than a handful of pretzels.


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