Basics on Macronutrients
Have you ever heard the word ‘calories’ being thrown around when people are speaking about nutrition. If you have, you’ve probably also come across the word ‘macros’ or in full, ‘Macronutrients’. It’s safe to say once you know what they are, you have a better understanding of the foods you choose to eat as well as reading that Nutritional Value label at the back of all food packets.
Macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories or energy. There are three Macronutrients:
Carbohydrates are the Macronutrient that we need in the largest amounts. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA, 45% – 65% of calories should come from carbohydrate. Some of the reasons why we need this intake is because: carbohydrates are the bodies main source of fuel, it’s easily used by the body for energy, it can be stored in your muscles and liver and later used for energy. Carbohydrates can mainly be found in foods like breads, pastas, potatoes and vegetables.
Protein is an essential Macronutrient for growth. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA 10% – 35% of calories should come from protein. We need Protein: Tissue Repair, immune function, making essential hormones and enzymes and preserving lean muscle mass. Protein can mainly be found in meats, poultry, fish, milk and nuts.
Although fats have received a bad reputation for causing weight gain, some fat is essential for survival. Our bodies need these essential fats for: normal growth and development, energy, absorbing certain vitamins and maintaining cell membranes. Fats are mainly found in meats, nuts, butters, oils and avocados.
Getting to know the Macronutrients of the foods you consume can give you a great advantage when developing a strategy or plan for both weight loss, and gain.