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Understanding Macronutrients

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

Have you ever heard the term "hitting your macros" or "counting calories", but had no idea what the hell people were talking about? Or have you ever been curious what food is REALLY made up of? Or have you ever been curious about how much protein you should ACTUALLY be eating?


I've been there too - but fear not! In today's article, I'll help breakdown why macronutrients are important when trying to understand nutrition, along with different ways to look at them in particular diets.


As human beings, we need a balanced diet to live a healthy and productive life. The food we consume provides us with the necessary nutrients to maintain a healthy body and mind. Macronutrients are one of the essential types of nutrients that we need in our diet. In this blog post, we'll provide a breakdown of macronutrients and their importance in our diet.

What are macronutrients?


Macronutrients are the primary nutrients that we require in large quantities to maintain our bodily functions. There are three types of macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Each of these macronutrients has a unique role to play in our body.


Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for our body. When we consume carbohydrates, they get broken down into glucose, which is used by our body as fuel. Carbohydrates are present in different types of food, such as bread, pasta, rice, fruits, and vegetables. However, not all carbohydrates are created equal. Some are healthy, while others are not.


There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are found in foods like sugar, honey, and fruits. They get digested quickly and provide a quick burst of energy, but they can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates are found in foods like whole grains, beans, and vegetables. They take longer to digest, providing sustained energy, and they do not cause a spike in blood sugar levels.


Proteins

Proteins are the building blocks of our body. They are essential for the growth and repair of our muscles, bones, and organs. Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are joined together in a chain. There are twenty different types of amino acids, and our body needs all of them to function correctly.


Proteins are found in different types of food, such as meat, fish, eggs, beans, and nuts. Animal proteins are considered to be complete because they contain all the essential amino acids. On the other hand, plant proteins are incomplete because they lack one or more essential amino acids. However, by consuming a variety of plant-based proteins, you can get all the necessary amino acids.


Fats

Fats are often viewed as unhealthy, but they are essential for our body. Fats provide insulation to our body, protecting us from the cold. They also help to cushion our organs and serve as a secondary source of energy. Fats are present in different types of food, such as butter, cheese, meat, and nuts.


There are three types of fats: saturated, unsaturated, and trans. Saturated fats are found in animal products, such as meat and dairy. They can increase the levels of LDL cholesterol in our body, which can lead to heart disease. Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, are considered to be healthy. They are found in foods like olive oil, avocado, and nuts. Finally, trans fats are considered to be unhealthy. They are often found in processed foods, such as cakes and cookies.


Why are macronutrients important?

Macronutrients are essential for our body to function correctly. They provide us with energy, help us to build and repair our muscles and organs, and keep our body protected from the cold. Each of the macronutrients plays a unique role in our body, and we need all of them in the right amounts to maintain good health.


A balanced diet that contains the right amount of macronutrients can help to prevent various health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.


Final Thoughts

Macronutrient ratios are an essential aspect of maintaining a healthy diet. Understanding which macronutrient ratio works best for your lifestyle and goals can help to promote optimal health. When planning your meals, it's essential to ensure that you are consuming a balanced ratio of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, while also considering the quality of the foods you are consuming.

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