Not All Calories Are Created Equal: healthy vs. unhealthy food, food choices
A calorie is not simply a calorie. The macronutrients in our food produce nuanced but significantly different effects. In order to achieve and sustain weight loss, we must understand the roles macronutrients play in overall nutrition.
One barrier to weight loss has been the idea that high levels of fat intake contribute to obesity. While this school of thought took hold decades ago, it has since been dispelled through numerous studies. In fact, high-fat (and similarly, high-protein) diets are more effective for achieving and sustaining body fat reduction than low-fat or low-protein diets.
Reducing carbohydrates, on the other hand, has shown to make favorable improvements in reduced lipogenesis, or formation of fat. The effect of carbohydrates is largely inflammatory, driven by increased insulin activity due to demand and later insulin resistance. Carbohydrates contribute more to cardiovascular disease than any other macronutrient.
To follow a healthy eating plan, one must develop some basic knowledge of portion sizes and daily recommended intake of macronutrients. Healthy portion control can be practiced by equating one cup to the size of a closed fist, a half cup to an open, cupped hand, a flat palm to 3 ounces, and one teaspoon to the size of a thumb.