What are Macronutrients??
Have you ever heard someone in the gym talk about counting their macros and thought, 'what are they talking about?'. Well in this blog we will teach you just that!
Macros is short for “macronutrients” – or the nutrients in our food that contribute energy in the form of calories. The three macros in food are carbohydrates, fats and proteins. There are also micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals which are important for health but don’t provide any calories of their own.
When people are counting their macros, they are keeping track of the grams of carbs, proteins and fats in their diet. Many foods have a combination of all three macros in their nutrient composition, in varying levels. Alcohol also provides calories but is not considered a macro.
Carbohydrates – “Carbs”
Carbs are typically the greatest source of calories in our diets and are broken down by the body to be used as energy or stored as fat when we obtain more total calories than we need. Carbs are primarily sugars or starches and can be classified as simple or complex, based on their chemical structure. Foods that are made up primarily of carbs include grains, starchy vegetables, fruits, cereals, and pastas. Carbs contain 4 calories per gram.
Proteins are the second of the macronutrients made up of chains of amino acids. Proteins are used to rebuild our muscles after exercise and are crucial for growth and healing of all our body tissues. Protein can be broken down for energy when carbs are not readily available. Protein digests more slowly than carbs making us feel more satiated after eating them. Foods that are high in protein include meats, fish, soy beans, milk, eggs, nuts and seeds. Protein also contains 4 calories per grams.
Fats are the third macronutrient and are key structural components in all our bodies cells, as well as many of the body’s functions. Fats can be classified by their chemical structure as either saturated or unsaturated fats; unsaturated fats can be broken down further into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (like omega 3). There are both animal and plant-based sources of fats like butter, ghee, lard, olive oil, or avocado oil. Fats digest very slowly, making it very satiating and good at limiting hunger. Fats can be broken down for energy when carbs are not readily available and contain 9 calories per gram.
I hope you found this intro into macronutrients useful and that this gives you more of an insight behind how to eat for a healthy active lifestyle. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to comment below 👍