Essential Guide to Macro-nutrients
Macronutrients are nutrients that provide energy to the body and are required in large amounts. There are three types of macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. In this blog, I will discuss each macronutrient, its functions in the body, and its dietary sources.
What are Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are the body's primary source of energy. They are broken down into glucose, which is used by the body for fuel. Carbohydrates also play a role in the immune system and can help with bowel regularity. The two types of carbohydrates are simple and complex.
Simple carbohydrates are found in foods such as candy, soda, and other sugary drinks. They are digested quickly, leading to a spike in blood sugar levels. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, are found in foods such as whole grains, vegetables, and legumes. They take longer to digest, leading to a more gradual increase in blood sugar levels.
Recommended daily intake: Carbohydrates should make up 45-65% of daily caloric intake.
Sources: Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and dairy products.
What are Proteins
Proteins are essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. They also play a role in hormone and enzyme production, and they help maintain fluid balance. The body can make some amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, but others must be obtained through the diet.
Recommended daily intake: Protein should make up 10-35% of daily caloric intake.
Sources: Meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, eggs, legumes, and nuts, grass fed whey protein
What are Fats
Fats play a role in energy storage, insulation, and hormone production. There are three types of fats: saturated, unsaturated, and trans fats.
Saturated fats are typically solid at room temperature and are found in foods such as butter, cheese, and red meat. They can raise cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease. Unsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature and are found in foods such as nuts, seeds, and fatty fish. They can help reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease. Trans fats are found in processed foods and should be avoided.
Recommended daily intake: Fats should make up 20-35% of daily caloric intake.
Sources: Avocado, nuts, seeds, fatty fish, olive oil, and coconut oil.
In conclusion, macronutrients are essential for maintaining a healthy body. By including a variety of whole foods in your diet, you can ensure that you are getting enough carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. As always, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best dietary plan for you.
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Carbohydrates. Retrieved from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/
Mayo Clinic. Dietary fats: Know which types to choose. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fat/art-20045550
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. All About Protein. Retrieved from https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/dietary-guidelines-and-myplate/all-about-protein