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Updated on March 27, 2015

American Heart Association

Understanding your fats and fiber

According to the website that was given to us on American Heart Association, under the meet the fats section, there are four different types of fats, two good fats and two bads. The bad fats are saturated and trans. Saturated fats has a chemical that is made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms, which are typically solid at a room temperature. Trans fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. Another name for trans fats is "partially hydrogenated oils". Trans fats are harmful because they raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Many trans fats will increase high risks of heart disease and stroke. Saturated and trans fats are in foods like hamburgers with cheese and bacon, steaks with baked potatoes with butter, sour cream, bacon bits, and cheese, also in desserts such as cheesecake.

The good fats are mon (monounsaturated) and poly (polyunsaturated). Mon and poly are good fats. Unsaturated fats are simply fats that have one double bonded carbon in the molecule. Monounsaturated fats rae typically at room temperature but will firm up when chilled. Vegetable and olive oil are examples of this process.

Fiber is roughage you get from fruits and vegetables, whole wheat, and grains, which help to clean out fat and cholesterol from the blood stream and keep the digestive system of preventing constipation. Lipids help clean out the blood of bad cholesterol.

Food sources of the dietary fiber can be found in lettuce, Swiss chard, raw carrots, tender cooked vegetables, such as asparagus, beets, mushrooms, turnips, and pumpkin. They can also be found in broccoli, artichokes, squashes, sweet potatoes, string beans and vegetable juices. You can be able to get more fiber from legumes, such as lentils, black beans, split peas, kidney and lima beans, and chick peas. They are also in sunflower seeds, almonds, pistachios nuts, and pecans. Another good source of fiber is fruits and grains, such as whole wheat products in flowers.

The differences between soluble and insoluble fibers are that soluble fiber draws water and turns into gel during digestion, and it slows the digestion as well. This type of fiber can be found in oat bran, barley, nuts seeds, beans, lentils, peas and some in fruits and vegetables. This fiber can help to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Insoluble fiber, which is found in foods, such as wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains, can add bulk to the stool helping food pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines.

The benefits of a high fiber diet are energy, faster and smoother bowel movements, avoiding constipation and other digestive issues. This cleanses the blood by removing bad cholesterol, preventing heart disease and stroke.

food label
food label

Why is it important to Understand Food Labels

It is important to understand and the use of the Nutrition Facts Label. The Nutrition Facts Label helps to ensure everyone is eating a healthy, balanced diet. There are 6 parts to a nutrition facts label. “The serving size” is the amount of servings in the item. “Calories” is the amount of calories per serving. 3 & 4 are the “the nutrients” that gives us all energy regulating our body processes. The footnote of the nutrition facts label that is located at the bottom of the label is based on the percentage daily value 2,000 calorie diet. “The percentage Daily Value” is based on the percentage Daily Value. There are three things that people need to know about the nutrition facts label: calories, serving size, and % of daily value. The fact is that most people do not think about how much calories they are consuming.

The food that you eat is the food that will keep you running but in order to know about healthy eating and to keep the body strong and energetic, it’s a good idea to look on the label what you would be consuming. Every serving you see on a can is the amount of calories you see on a can. Here are three examples in my food pantry. I have a box of Ritz Fresh Stacks Whole Wheat Crackers. It reads that every 5 crackers have 70 calories, carbohydrate is 3 %, protein is 1 gram, and fiber is 3 %. My second example is a can of Progresso Vegetable classic French Onion soup. The can has 50 calories per 1 cup. Carbohydrate is 3 %, protein is 2 grams, and fiber is 3 %. The third example I have is Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna in water. The tuna has 50 calories per serving in a 2 serving can which means that the cam would be 100 calories. There is no carbohydrate or no fiber in the tuna fish can, and 13 grams of protein.

While watching the video, Gia’s friend went outside and looked for average people on their thoughts about breakfast cereal. The question is “What is the official serving size of a bowl of cereal.” The result of this was that there was many that chosen the medium sized cereal, a few chosen a full bowl of cereal, and only 1 chosen the lesser bowl. The correct answer was the person who chose the lesser bowl of cereal, which is actually a cup of cereal. I also discovered which I did not know about was that the calories intake is not as they seem to be.

It was interesting that I had also learned about the 5/20 rule. According to the video, there were not many people who knew what the 5/20 rule was. Before I watched the video, I also did not know what it was. The 5/20 rule means that anything of 5 percent or less of the daily value of nutrient is not good source such as Calcium. Anything of 20 percent and over is a very good source.

In conclusion, I feel that everybody needs to pay attention to the Nutrition Facts Label, perhaps it would be less obesity in the United States.

My 3-day diet

It is very important to keep track of your food intake, analyze and what you can do for yourself for better health in the future.

My daily food intake would be from when I get I would normally have some coffee to wake up. I am not working at the moment, so I spend my days at home either working on my assignments or clean the apartment. I am trying to eat breakfast in the mornings since I do work out so that I could be able to loose body fat. I eat 3 meals a day. Throughout the whole day I would drink coffee and I had stopped taking sugar, instead I would take Truvia or something like that. I do love coffee. I know that it is important to eat something for breakfast in the morning. If I cannot find anything for breakfast, I would end up eating yogurt as an alternative with cinnamon. During lunch hours I would try to find something to eat, most of the time I would eat a sandwich such as tuna fish, if not I would have one of those raman noodles or leftover food from dinner from the night before. I know I do well in my lunch because I am constantly thinking about my protein intake. Every once in a while when going to the store to pick up groceries, my partner would purchase a 16 ounces diet coke and I would wait for taxi. I would drink some of the diet coke along with him. I do not drink sodas any more . I sometimes snack on things anything that I could find if I crave for it. However, I had stopped eating junk food when I started working out. There are times that I would crave for food at night, which I know is a bad idea. I try to drink a lot of water, especially in my workouts. It seems that I would drink about three to four glasses of water. Dinner time, my partner does the cooking in the household. Many times he would not cook any vegetables so I am left no vegetables on the plate and have one portion of protein and two portions of carbs. Sometimes he would double the amount of carbs. I am the type of person who would eat everything on my plate. It is hard for me to stick with my diet because my partner is a diabetic and he eats certain foods and foods that would throw me off guard with my food intake such as chocolates or crackers or any other snacks. There are times that I would want to order either pizza or Chinese food that includes that I will eat the leftovers for lunch the next day. Sometimes I would have iced tea along with my dinner, if not water. Because of my present food intake I had noticed that I was gaining weight again, and it is affecting my lower back because I have been having daily pain, so I decided to work out again and loose some of the weight.

According to the 3 day diet analysis for my 2400 calorie allowance shows that I need some working on in my food intake. The first day of Analysis I had not eaten any fruits at all. I am not much of a fruit person, and it is something that I would need to start working on. In my protein column I have 100%, slightly a bit over. I try to eat as much protein as possible because I heard it is very important. My grains, vegetables, and dairy are all under, in other words are low and can use more food intake. Day two as you could see that I had eaten more grains than day one. My vegetables are lower than the first day. I did not eat much fruits on this day only ¼ cups. The protein is over 100% just like day one. On the final day my grains very low and could had taken in more grains for that day. I did not take any fruits. My vegetables column is very good and was the most vegetables intake out of the 3 day analysis. My protein is slightly over 100%.

In conclusion on this 3 day analysis are that I enjoyed this analysis and would be delighted to share this with you. Before working on this, I knew my fruits would be on the low side, and the proof is there that I would need to eat more fruits and also keep my vegetables on the high side rather the low side. I will also keep an eye out in the future for the 5/20 rule because it will definitely help me to become more healthier.

Organic Foods

Ever since my mother was always shoving organic vegetables in my mouth, I did not learn to like the organic vegetables until I grown older. Now, I could appreciate the rich flavors and qualities of the foods. Organic gardening is on the rise because there is a high demand for it. You see it in farmers markets for years and now they are showing up in the local grocery stores. This is a big change for the last 10 years. Organic food meant in the 1960s an 1970s that you were a stoner, or a hippie. Not any more the label has been taken off the foods. I personally like organic vegetables. I like the carrots and the beets, which I do not like the old fashion way, the organic way. The organic seems to make the high quality tastes of foods and is 100 percent safe for the body. I think the world will be heading to an organic method of gardening and cooking. Heading to this direction of organic methods will help people from getting sick by growing their own organic vegetables, a plus to organic vegetables is that they grow almost double in size as the normal vegetables, and the taste is richer. Organic or not, gardening newbie, or a gardener who have been gardening for years, gardening information will provide the latest time tested information on organic gardening. You could use this information right away. This information to grow organic vegetables is safe for you, your family, and the environment. Organic vegetables are not the only organic product available. Organic whole wheat is also a substance to make organic bread, organic pie dough, and pie cakes among a few items. As I was growing up, my mother had a wheat grinder so not only she had made organic wheat; she had made flour also such as, rice flour, corn flour, and potato flour. Notice that there was no white flour mention, only because white flour whether it is organic or not, it is not good for you. Organic garden burgers are being produced as well as soy or organic hot dogs, and chicken jerky, so there is even organic milk and ice cream for people who have sweet tooth. You could understand there are many options in the organic world and there is more out every day. Even though there are no pesticides on organic foods, you should still wash it to remove the dirty waste. If you do not, you are taking a chance of hepatitis A and B, and jaundice. In conclusion, Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, or any other larger city will have farmer’s markets, so if you do not feel like going to the grocery store, you could instead go to the farmer’s market to buy the vegetables.

What are important things to look for when interpreting nutrition information provided on labeled foods?

How may this information be used to improve nutrition?

Serving size is the nutrition facts which are on the label on each product. It allows you to compare to similar products easily so you could choose the one that’s lower in calories and total fat. Number 1 in weight loss is your Fiber and protein and trying not use much carbs. However there are certain carbs and fats which are good. It’s always good to go to My Pyramid Plan and to evaluate your results to compare your foods. Reading the labels on products will help people to figure out which foods are good for you and what not. If you know the difference of each category ie calories, proteins, fats, carbs, cholesterol, fiber etc, you know by reading on the label which to purchase.

What are two nutrients necessary for a healthy body?

The two nutrients which are necessary for a healthy body are Fats and Protein. Fats make up for parts of all body cells, help us maintain body temperature and even delay hunger pangs. It also forms of mono unsaturated fats help raise levels of protective HDL cholesterol.

Proteins are required for functioning of the cells in your body. It should consume solid protein as part of your daily diet. They are created when amino acids are joined together by peptide bonds. Proteins are essential for a number of functions in your body such as; metabolism, cell signaling, the immune system, cell adhesion and cell cycles. My coach tells me that after I finish a good workout eat afterwards to refuel the body. It builds up the muscle tissues and muscle growth builds best while your asleep.

Understanding Food Labels

Protein can consist in meats, beans, legumes, eggs, and nuts. These are good sources or protein. Protein also maintains a healthy body by protecting against torn tissues. The human body is constantly draining its source of protein from the cells, therefore, needing constant replacement of that protein. Amino acids help in the digestion and replacement process of protein. So when a person takes in protein, they are helping themselves by maintaining their bodies. Amino acids consist of protein. They are like a pattern of building blocks, which consists of 20 different types of amino acids. Amino acids that the body cannot produce naturally are known as essential amino acids. These are the types that we receive from consuming protein and riched foods. Protein that we consume is classified by the amount of amino acids that this protein provides. Complete proteins are high quality proteins, which is a protein that has all of its essential amino acids in it. These proteins consist of eggs, cheese, meat, and milk. An incomplete source of protein is a source that is lacking one or more amino acid. Complementary protein is two or more incomplete sources of protein that together creates all in one complete source of protein.

There is 10 – 35% of your daily intake of calories should be protein. Over-consuming protein like the majority of people would consume, it is likely to increase calorie intake, therefore, putting weight on the body such as fat. Overeating protein will cause it to raise the LDL level of Cholesterol in the blood, also causing plaque to form in the arteries that will cause heart disease or stroke.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance for Protein that I should take in is 56 grams, which is a male between the ages of 19-74+.

The healthy sources of protein consist of plant forms of protein like beans, legumes, lentils, nuts, yogurt, and seeds.

There are high protein diets that can cause negative effects. One would be heart disease as it would produce too much fat and cholesterol. Another would be the breakdown of healthy tissue causing gout, bruising, and unhealthy immune system. The third negative effect of high protein would cause strain to your kidneys, causing the kidneys to malfunction.

Fat and Water Soluble Vitamins

In the classification for vitamins there are two categories, which are water soluble and fat soluble. The water soluble has the capability to dissolve in water. The fats soluble, which are vitamins A, D, E, and K., are stored and dissolve in the body fat. Both fat and water soluble vitamins are the vitamins that your body uses to maintain your health and able to fight off diseases. Vitamins are both unique and organic, each playing a significant part of your health. The American dietary guidelines consist that you intake vitamins from healthy foods, you should only take supplements if you are deficient in a specific nutrient or if you have a medical condition that requires a larger intake for them. Vitamins for fat soluble such as A, D, E, and K consists of dietary oils, fats and fatty acids, which is found in olive oil and nuts, these help to extract fat-based vitamins into your system.

Fruits and vegetables contain vitamin A while fish livered oil, organ meats and fortify foods contain vitamin D. Vitamin E is in nuts, oils, seeds, and soy. Green leafy vegetables contain vitamin K. Your body needs only a small amount of fat soluble vitamins per day. Vitamins B and C consist of water soluble. B vitamins consist of B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12, since these vitamins dissolve in water it is hard to overdose on these vitamins. It helps to absorb them in the body.

Even with a healthy diet, a necessary component is vitamins. Vitamins are considered essential nutrients since the body either does not make enough or does not make. Vitamins help with cell growth, blood cell production, enzyme synthesis, hormone, energy, metabolism, and maintaining a well-functioning body system, which includes the nervous system, circulatory system, immune system, and reproduction system. There is no single food that will contain every vitamin you need, and will need to obtain these vitamins and nutrients through a variety of foods. You could always take a pill to get these vitamins, however, getting them through natural sources is the best way.

Benefits of vitamin A (beta-carotene and retinol) help to maintain a healthy day and night vision, also maintains a healthy immune system. There is a deficiency that causes night blindness as well as eye disease and dried pimply skin, more infections, and kidney stones. Too much vitamin A can cause pressure increase in the skull, vision would be distorted and fuzzy, and loss of hair.

Vitamin D can help keep a normal level of calcium in the blood, and insulin and prolactin, secretion, immune and stress response, functions of the muscle, melanin synthesis, and it is also vital for kidney functions while maintaining strong and healthy bones. Lack of vitamin D can give you rickets, which includes soft bones and teeth while getting too much vitamin D can produce nausea, irritability, and weakness and may leave to liver and brain damage

Vitamin E helps to prevent vitamin A oxidizing during digestion, builds up immune response, can help with cystic fibrosis, liver disease, early in disease stages. It also helps to prevent cell membranes, LDL cholesterol from buildup of plaque in the arteries. Too much vitamin E can interfere with the absorption of other fatty vitamins especially vitamin K.

Vitamin K’s health benefits is to help blood coagulate, helps vitamin A and D build bone protein, also giving to newborns and injection form to help prevent from blood clots and to women before labor or to patients before or after surgery. Deficiency and toxicity are rare.

Water soluble vitamins in B1 have a health benefit that is vital for keeping a healthy nervous system while working essentially transferring glucose to energy. Systems of a deficiency include depression, irritability, and attention deficit while a severe deficiency leads to edema paralysis and heart failure. There has been no toxicity reported. Vitamin B2 helps to metabolize lipids, fats and carbohydrates also acts as a transfer of electrons and oxidation-reduction reactions. Vitamin B2 is needed in the actions of vitamin B6 helps to create red blood cells while the maintenance of body tissues more specifically skin and eyes. The deficiency of vitamin B2 is dry scaly skin on the upper portions of the body such as around the face, causing dry sores around the sides of the lips, and swelling orally. There is no proof of toxicity in the body. Vitamin B6 is necessary for the immune system, making amino acids and turning others to hormones. Vitamin B12 helps with the production of red blood cells with the help of folic acids.

Vitamin C helps with the cleansing of the liver. Deficiency is scurvy, taking too much vitamin C can cause diarrhea. Folic acids break down amino acids in the blood.

Mineral and Water Function

Essential minerals are those that the body needs and uses. They are sometimes split into a multiple of two groups. The first group is major minerals “macro minerals” and “micro minerals” also known as trace minerals. Both of these are of equal importance. There are only minimal amounts that are needed in trace minerals. The minerals importance is not indicated by its size. Eating a healthy well balanced diet will provide the minerals that the body needs. Major minerals consist of sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and sulfur. Sodium, chloride, and potassium is needed proper fluid balance. Sodium and chloride comes from table salt while potassium comes from meats, fresh fruits and vegetables. Calcium and phosphorus are important for healthy and strong bones, teeth and help in the relaxation of the muscles. Calcium comes from milk products. Phosphorus comes from meats, fish, eggs, and poultry. Magnesium is present in bones, helping the producing of protein and strengthening the immune system. Magnesium comes from nuts, legumes, seeds, leafy green vegetables, and even chocolate which is a good source. Sulfur is found in protein molecules, and can be found as part of protein, meats, poultry, fish, and eggs. Trace minerals consist of the following: manganese, zinc, iron, molybdenum, copper, iodine, selenium, fluoride, and chromium. Iron functions as part of the molecule or hemoglobin in red blood cells that brings oxygen to the human body. Sources are organ meats, red meats, poultry, and fish. Zinc functions in many enzymes used to make protein, wound healing, and normal fetal development. Zinc can be found in meats, fish, poultry, and vegetables. Iodine’s function is in the thyroid hormone, which helps monitor growth development, and a healthy metabolism. It can be found in seafood, iodine salt, bread and dairy. Selenium is an antioxidant found in meats, seafood, and grains. Copper is an enzyme needed for iron metabolism found in legumes, nuts, whole grains, organ meats, and drinking water. Manganese is part of many enzymes, can be found in most foods, fluoride, and used in the formation of teeth and bones, keeping the teeth from rotting. It also can be found in drinking water, fish, and most teas. Chromium works with insulin to regulate blood sugar, can be found in liver. Molybdenum is an enzyme found in legumes, breads, and liver.

Functions of water in the body helps to regulate the core temperature and helps moisten joints while keeping tissues in the mouth nose and eyes wet. Water also helps to maintain a healthy digestive system by fighting off constipation while helping kidney and liver function by cleansing out their waste products. Water maintains nutrients and oxygen to the cells, which will dissolve nutrients by making them accessible.

The effects of dehydration in the body are fatigue, such as muscle tiredness and bad concentration while experiencing headaches, along with dizziness, and poor metabolism. People with one or more of these symptoms are clueless that this is dehydration do not realize that drinking a glass of water would make these symptoms go away.

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