Nutrition Basics-Macronutrients

As many of us know, macronutrients provide us with the calories and energy to survive and function. They are needed in larger amounts than vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) since they each have specific roles and functions in the body. The three macronutrients are Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats. We should consume 45-65% of our calories from Carbohydrates, 5-35% of our calories from Protein and 15-20% of our calories from Fats. Now let’s look at each macronutrient individually:

Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. They consist of 4 calories per gram and are broken down easily by the digestive system. They are the body’s quickest source of energy. Carbohydrates are divided into two categories, simple carbohydrates, and complex. Simple carbohydrates include sugars, such as table sugar and whole fruit. Complex carbohydrates include starches, like fiber. You can find complex carbs in whole wheat pasta and oats.

Some Healthy carbs:

Banana
Apple
Oats
Melon
Quinoa
Wholegrain rice
Millet

Protein:

Proteins are the building blocks of many parts of the body, such as nails, skin, muscles, hair, and eyes. They help with repairing body tissues and cells. Protein is very important for transporting and creating various hormones and assist in digestion. They are broken down into peptides and amino acids. There are 22 amino acids and 9 are essential. Your body can not make the 9 essential amino acids, so it is important to consume them in your diet. Proteins contain 4 calories per gram.

Some healthy proteins:

Lean meat
Beans
Seeds
Nuts
Quinoa

Fats:

We are all scared of fat since it is portrayed as bad for our bodies. However, fat makes up and assists in cell membranes, steroids, cholesterol, brain function, and cellular production. It protects our organs and insulates our bodies in the cold. It also helps with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins. Fat contains 9 calories per gram. There are three types of fat, including saturated (comes from animals), unsaturated (comes from plants) and Trans (manufactured for longer shelf life).

Some Healthy fats:

Avocado
Almonds
Pumpkin seeds
Olives
Coconut

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3 responses to Nutrition Basics-Macronutrients

  1. Karen says:

    Great article! It’s nice to have a short lesson in topics that can be very overwhelming to understand.

    Like

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