Macronutrients vs Micronutrients. What are they? We all hear about them, but do we really know what they are? Today’s post is on the subject of macronutrients.
Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram, Protein has 4 calories per gram, and Fats have 9 calories per gram. Ever wonder how they figure out how many calories should be listed in the nutrition label? This is how! So for example, if something has 15g of carbs it carries over to 70 calories. Easy peezy. 🙂
Macros are incredibly simple to understand. They are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Let me start with carbohydrates. So many misconceptions about whether they are good for you. I LOVE carbs! They’re my best friend when I lack energy before a workout and for repairing my muscles after a workout. I do of course, consume the good carbs. The USDA recommends that 45-65% (depends on activity level) of total caloric intake to come from carbohydrates. Carbs are converted into the body’s primary fuel source and they help certain amino acids synthesize (hint hint to all of my athletes). When the body has carbohydrates to pull from it can use the other macros (fats and proteins) for their intended jobs (we will get to them in a bit). They also aid in metabolizing fats, in other words, eat fats and carbs together (healthy ones of course). Fiber is another type of carbohydrate and even though your body cannot digest fiber it is essential in overall digestive health.
The next kind of macronutrients are proteins. The USDA recommends that 10-35% of your total intake should come from protein. The average America however, consumes WAY TOO much protein. Our cells are mainly composed of proteins that actually define our behavior and physical appearance. How cool is that? Proteins are also used for basic bodily maintenance like growth and tissue repair. When carbs are not readily available to your body, your body takes its energy from protein. Your digestive and immune system enzymes are made up of proteins. Your body also uses protein for hormone regulation.
The third kind of macronutrients are fats. 20-35% of your daily intake according to the USDA should come from fats. Fat is essential for your bodies growth and development and has the highest concentration of energy. Fats are used to absorb vitamins A, D, E, K and Carotenoids for example and also serve as cushions to your organs. Fats are also used to maintain the cell membrane.
In quick summary, depriving your body of any macronutrients is definitely something I do not recommend because as can be seen from the aforementioned, each macro plays an integral role in your body. On Wednesday I will be posting about micronutrients. Lastly, I apologize in advance for any typos. Everything I have gone over in this post has come from class notes or my head (yes I pay attention in class)
Any further questions? Please do not hesitate to ask!
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