If you’ve ever looked up information on nutrition online, you’ve probably come across the term ‘macros.’ Though it might sound complicated and sciencey, it’s not.
Today, we'll go over what macronutrients are and why it’s good to know about them.
When most people think about nutrition, they imagine different foods - meat, rice, olive oil, etc. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But macronutrients are the components that primarily make up these foods.
For example, meat is a food source that mainly contains protein. Rice is a food source that contains primarily carbohydrates. Olive oil is a food source that is almost exclusively made up of fat.
Each of these macronutrients has an energetic value. Carbs and protein both have four calories per gram and fats have nine. When you stack enough grams of each macronutrient, you get a hefty dose of calories.
In other words, if the amount of calories you consume represents the ‘volume’ of your diet, then macronutrients represent the composition of it. Both are important.
All three macronutrients serve specific roles in the body and following a balanced diet is essential for long-term health.
Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the body and provide the brain with the much-needed glucose it needs to function. Carbs also replenish our liver and muscle glycogen, which is energy the body stores for later use.
Protein provides the body with the building blocks (amino acids) it needs to repair and grow itself. Protein is also essential for muscle repair and growth.
Fats are critical for the normal function of the brain and other organs, hormonal balance, immune system function, cell production, and more.