What Are MACRONUTRIENTS? 🤔
Updated: Jan 5, 2020
Let’s take a quick look at macronutrients for those of you who many not know. This is a very basic explanation of what they are and what they do. Notice I don't talk about amounts required as this is something that can be looked at in greater detail as everyone is different.
I just wanted to do a quick bit of basic nutrition info, so here we go....
MACROnutrients (or macros for short) are the main things the body needs (to consume) for growth, energy and other important functions such tissue repair, temperature control and organ function.
MICROnutrients are vitamins and minerals and are required in a lesser amount.
The body requires macronutrients in larger amounts as they give us the energy needed to keep the body functioning and carry out day to day activities.
They are split into three categories: carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
In general, the average healthy person needs carbohydrates (as starches - not fast sugars) in the largest amounts. So this would be from potatoes, rice, oats and pasta/wraps in smaller amounts.
When consumed and broken down in the body carbs provide a major source of energy to fuel our daily lives.
When eaten, some of these carbs are converted into a type of starch known as glycogen, which is stored in the liver and muscles for later use as an energy source. Once storages are full, excess glucose will be converted and stored as adipose tissue (body fat).
1g of carbohydrate contains 4 calories.
When we eat protein the body breaks it down in the gut into amino acids to use in the following ways:
▪️‘Building blocks’ for growth and repair of tissues, making essential hormones and enzymes and supporting immune function.
▪️As starting materials for making other compounds the body requires.
▪️As an energy source.
Proteins in the body are made up of up to 20 different amino acids and although all of them are important for health and growth, only 9 are described as ‘essential amino acids' (EAAs) so we must get these from food we eat. The other amino acids can be synthesised by the liver if not provided by the diet.
Protein in the diet that comes from animal sources (meat, eggs, fish) contain all of the essential amino acids needed, whereas plant sources of protein do not....apart from the super grain quinoa.
If you are a vegetarian/vegan it is important that you consume a variety of legumes/pulses/grains to get a full EAA complex in your diet...this is where adding a protein supplement can be particularly helpful.
1g protein contains 4 calories.
Fats have received a bad rep often being blamed for heart disease and weight gain. Whereas yes a diet high in bad fats is unhealthy, some fat in the diet is essential for health and wellbeing.
▪️Most healthy fats are a great and readily available energy source.
▪️Help absorb fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K.... remember it as a word and you'll never forget)
▪️Gives us essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 that we need which our bodies can't make.
▪️They give food flavour!
Dietary fats are of 3 main types:
Unsaturated fat: These are the healthiest type and can be found in foods like olive oil, avocados, coconut oil and nuts....plant sources. These provide a great source of energy and can even help with fat loss if consumed in the right amounts in a healthy diet.
Saturated fat: These should be consumed in a lesser amount to unsaturated fats. They can be found in meat, butter, cream, cheese....animal sources.
Trans fats: These are the worst type and can be found in commercially produced baked goods, snack foods, fast foods and some margarines. These are more likely to store as unwanted body fat and if consumed regularly in large amounts, will store fat around the organs.
A diet lower in trans and saturated fats is found to be healthier and can decrease the risk of heart disease, obesity and other problems.
1g of fat contains 9 calories....Now this is where people need to be careful, although we say
unsaturated fats are good for us... fats contain more than twice as many calories as carbs/protein.
So that big handful of nuts you consume thinking you're being good could be adding lots of
additional calories that might not be getting burned off and will store as fat. 🧐
That concludes today's quick lesson and hopefully a few of you have learned something this
morning....we believe that the key to people leading a healthier lifestyle is education 🙌🏾
Members of MuscleFactory feel free to ask Chris or myself any questions you may have at any point.
Remember all MuscleFactory members get free diet plans to suit your goals: fat loss, muscle gain or strength...come and learn from the best.
See you soon!