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Healthy Eating for Weight Loss

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Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates give your body fuel in the form of glucose, which is a type of sugar. Adults should get about 40% to 55% of their calories from carbohydrates. Most Americans eat too many carbohydrates, especially processed carbs, leading to obesity, prediabetes, and diabetes.

Some carbs are rich in nutrients. Those include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

Other carbs are sugary and starchy, and not high in nutrients. You should limit those, which include candy, pastries, cookies, chips, soft drinks, and fruit drinks.

Vitamins

Vitamins help with chemical reactions in the body. In general, vitamins must come from the diet; the body doesn't make them.

There are 13 essential vitamins. Your body can store vitamins A, D, E, and K, and it can be a problem if you get too much of them. Vitamin C and the B vitamins don't build up in your body, so you need to keep getting them regularly in your diet.

Minerals

Minerals, like vitamins, must come from the diet. Your body needs them, but it can't make them.

You need more of some minerals (such as calcium, potassium, and iron) than others. For instance, you need only small amounts of the minerals zinc, selenium, and copper.

What About Water?

Water has no calories or nutrients, but it keeps you hydrated. It also makes up 55%-65% of body weight. You can drink water or get it from foods that naturally have water in them, like fruits and vegetables.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on September 28, 2014
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