Food has three main components: carbohydrate, protein and fat. Carbohydrate, accounting for most of the food we eat, consists of sugar, starch, and fiber. (…)
The base of the Thrive Diet pyramid consists of fibrous vegetables. In addition to fiber, these foods deliver a large amount of chlorophyll, vitamins, and minerals, as well as fluid to help maintain hydration. For fuel, fruit is the food of choice. This is in keeping with the Thrive Diet’s on-step principle, since it is easily digestible and rich in simple carbohydrate. Also known as simple sugar, simple carbohydrate is a on-step nutrient; it can be directly used by the body for fuel. Conversely, the body must break down complex carbohydrate into simple carbohydrate before it can burn it, which takes extra work. Extra work requires energy, leaving the body with less.
Whole, unrefined complex carbohydrates do have their place in our diet, though. Pseudograins and other seeds, Thrive Diet staples, provide high-quality protein but also contain complex carbohydrates yet in a form that is more easily used by the body than traditional sources, such as wheat. In addition, vitamins and minerals found in fruit and vegetables are nicely complemented by those present in unrefined whole grains such as brown rice, and in starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes and yams. Therefore, these foods are found at the top of the Thrive Diet pyramid: they are part of the diet, but their role, in terms of quantity, is modest.
From the food we eat, the body converts protein into amino acids for use; it cannot utilize protein directly. We can help our body speed the regeneration process and be more efficient in the fabrication of new cells by eating foods rich in amino acid – one-step foods. This way, the body does not have to expend energy to convert protein into amino acids. Greens have the highest percentage of amino acids per ounce of any food. However, since greens do not weigh much, they need to be eaten daily to reap the full benefits that their amino acid profile offers.
Dietary fat is necessary for the lubrication of joints and for the activation of fat-soluble vitamins. It is also drawn on as an energy source when the body’s carbohydrate supply is low. As with carbohydrate and protein, dietary fat must be broken down into a form the body can utilize. The body breaks fat into fatty acids – nutrients it can assimilate and put to work. Consuming fat sources that are directly made up of fatty acids is advantageous since the body will be able to make instant use of them.
(…) When the body is engaged in a low-intensity activity, fat is its primary source of energy. (carbohydrates takes over once intensity increases.) Fat ensures that fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K are delivered and utilized in the body. Fat-soluble vitamins pay a major role in overall health; dietary fat helps activate and transport them.