The best way to keep your body running smoothly is to eat a variety of foods. Different foods contain the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients your body needs to grow and operate.
Everything you do from breathing to playing ball uses energy. You get that energy from the calories in the food you eat. A calorie is a measure of how much energy the nutrients in a food can give you. Your body burns calories as it needs them. The rest are stored in the body as fat, so it's wise to watch your calorie intake.
One way to watch the intake is to read the nutrition labels on foods. The information is calculated according to servings so first check the serving size. Then check where the calories come from. The amounts are given in grams. For every gram of protein or carbohydrate you get four calories. That means you need to multiply the number of grams by four. Fats give you nine calories per gram so multiply by nine.
Your body needs some fat, but your fat intake should not be more than a third of your daily calories. You also need to watch the type of fat. Some fat, the monounsaturated types, are often called "good" fats because they help lower cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease. Saturated fats are linked to high levels of cholesterol and increased risk of heart attack, so they are often called "bad" fats.
Read the nutrition label here and answer the questions.
1. How many calories come from fat?
2. What kind of fat do most of the calories come from?
3. How many calories come from carbohydrates?
4. Is this a healthy snack? Why?
What's your favorite snack? Check the nutrition label to find out what's in it. If you go for fresh fruits or veggies, check them out at the supermarket. Most produce departments have the nutrition facts posted. You can also find this information online at www.aboutproduce.com. Look under Produce A-Z. Click on Search Produce.