Fats come from a group called lipids. There are fats that are good for you and fats that are not good for you. Fats that are good for you are called monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Fats that are bad for you are called trans fats and saturated fats.
Examples of monounsaturated fats:
- peanut butter
- nuts and seeds
Examples of polyunsaturated fats:
- fatty fish
- soybean oil
- nuts and seeds
Examples of trans fats:
- many snack foods
Examples of saturated fats:
- ice cream
- fatty meats
Proteins are made up of amino acids. There are complete proteins which provide all essential amino acids and there are incomplete proteins which are low in certain essential amino acids.
Example of complete proteins:
Examples of incomplete proteins:
Foods are essentially composed of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Most foods have a percentage of all three of these in them, but most are higher in one than the other two.
High protein foods include meat and poultry, fish, eggs and dairy, beans and legumes, and nuts.
High fat foods often include oils and animal fats. It is important to point out that there are healthy fats and unhealthy fats. Naturally high fat foods include nuts and seeds, avocados, whole-fat dairy products, and many animal products. Processed foods are often high in fats (and usually the unhealthy kind). Some common foods that are generally high in fat include hamburgers, chips, ice cream, pizza, and candy. Anything fried will be high in fat.
Carbohydrates (carbs) have a bit of a bad reputation, but there is a difference between foods with simple carbs and foods with complex carbs. The more natural something is, the more likely it is to have the "good" complex carbs. Whole grains like oats and wheat are good complex carbohydrate sources. On the other hand, foods high in sugar are typically full of the "bad" simple carbs. High carb foods include fruit, oatmeal, rice, pasta, breads, and cakes, cookies, etc.
A nutrition label will show the amount of each of these that a product contains.