Healthy Eating: What You Need Good fat? Find out about healthy eating. You've heard the phrase, “You are what you eat,” right? Well, it's partially true — not that you'll turn into a cow if you eat too many burgers — but there's a little truth in there somewhere! Healthy eating is all about choosing the foods that help your body function at its best. A balanced diet gives you more energy, and helps you think more clearly. Take a look at the following tips and learn a little about nutrition: It'll help you make good decisions so you can feel your best, every day. Food categories — what you need for healthy eating Your body needs at least 40 nutrients to work well. You get these nutrients through food and supplements (like vitamins). Food is divided into three categories: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Each of these provides vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Too much of any one category can throw your body's balance out of whack. Let's go back to those burgers. Say you eat them for lunch and dinner every day. Well, burgers are red meat, which is protein. Too much protein is hard on your kidneys and can even damage them. Too many carbs (candy bars, pasta, bread) on the other hand, might make your pancreas work overtime, which can increase your chance of getting diabetes. Fats are a little more confusing because they are divided into "good" and "bad" categories. Bad fats can hurt you by possibly clogging your arteries and increasing your chance of heart disease. Carbohydrates Carbohydrates, or "carbs," are the sugars and starches found in foods like bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, cereals, dried beans and peas, and sugars. According to most nutrition experts, carbs should make up the bulk of your diet. Carbohydrates provide your body with valuable vitamins, minerals and fiber. There are two kinds of carbs: Simple carbs — found in sugars like honey, fruit, candy, and even non-diet soda. Complex carbs — found in the starchy foods (bread, pasta, rice, and certain vegetables). Fats Fats are a great source of energy, but they have more calories per serving than any of the other food groups — about 135 calories a tablespoon compared with 60 calories for a tablespoon of protein. Some fats are better for you than others. Steer clear of trans-unsaturated and saturated fats and cholesterol. These are found in animal fats and can be harmful to your body in large amounts. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatsactually help your body function. In Mediterranean countries (Italy, Spain, — found in natural vegetable oils — Greece) where olive oil is used a lot, there's a low rate of heart disease and breast cancer. Some fats are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These are mainly in fish oils, and actually protect your body against diseases such as atherosclerosis and arthritis. Protein Proteins — found in meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs, soy products, beans, seeds, cheese, and other foods — give your body amino acids that help build and maintain tissue. Your body needs protein for repairing cells, too. Most people tend to eat more protein than they need — and they get that protein mostly through meat and cheese, which isn't so great. Only about 10 to 15 percent of your total intake each day should be from protein. So that’s a wrap on nutrition, but it’s up to you to choose the right foods for your body. Whether you’re looking to add more protein or carbs to your diet, do your research and make the right decision for you. Learn about healthy eating is and read how to lead a healthy lifestyle at BeingGirl.com.