Every food that we eat, whether it’s a cheeseburger or green smoothie, contains a proportion of different macronutrients. It’s common for the highest percentage of macronutrients found in the food to be how we classify or refer to the food — for example, calling grains and potatoes “carbs” and meat or fish “proteins.”
By definition, macronutrients are “energy providing chemicals” or “substances required in relatively large amounts by living organisms.” The calories we consume from the foods in our diets are categorized into different macronutrients depending on how they’re metabolized and the purposes they serve once digested.
In the human diet, there are three primary macronutrients that found in all types of foods: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
Some people do well on lower carbohydrate, higher fat diets while others on higher carb, lower fat diets. Creating (and hitting) macronutrient targets allows you to determine which works best for you, then stick to that type of food without needing to vilify and eliminate either fat or carbohydrates.
The Three Main Macronutrients:
Protein is mostly associated with building muscle and primarily found in foods like meat and dairy. However, its uses extend beyond muscle: it’s the core component of organs, bones, hair, enzymes, and pretty much all other types of tissue in your body. Proteins are made of amino acids, many of which the body can cause itself. However, there are nine amino acids that are strictly required for normal body function that your body can’t biosynthesize. These are called essential amino acids, and the full nine can be found from all meat sources. Unfortunately for vegetarians and vegans, it’s rare to see the whole nine in legumes and grains, so you need to make sure you eat a large variety to get all of them.
For non-vegetarians and vegans, I highly recommend clean meats, fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds. Careful with bacon as is low in protein and most of the cases highly process and also process meat like sausages, processed burger, lunch meat because of the chemicals, especially nitrites that increase the risk of cancer.
For flexible vegetarian, raw organic cheese, some eggs, and fish can help or for both vegan and vegetarian, to consume combinations of power protein with hemp, brown rice, almond, and others in the. VEGA is a company that is very good about it vegetarian protein.
Carbohydrates are technically the only macronutrient your body can survive without, doing so would be no fun. Carbs are your body’s most easily accessible source of energy and are broken up into glycogen (used by muscles and your liver) and glucose (used by the brain).
Carbs are primarily divided into simple and complex carbohydrates. The two classifications refer to the length of the carbohydrate molecules. The shorter the molecule chain is, the easier it is for your body to break down, so it’s “simpler” they’re sugars. On the other hand, larger molecules, like starch, are “complex” because it takes longer for your body to break it down into usable components.
Concentrate on clean, full fiber carbs like sweet potatoes, Yam, Cassava, and the great variety of colorful vegetable. A limit the number of pure carbs like sugar (including honey and brown sugar), grains (loaves of bread and pasta) and more whole grains (in moderation too)
Fats are a vital component of essential dietary supplements like Cakes, bacon and peanut butter. In all seriousness, though, fat often gets a bad rap because it's the most calorie-dense nutrient out there. But they’re critical to normal body functions, acting as the backbone of essential hormones, insulation for nerves, skin and hair health, and so on.
There are a bunch of different types of fats, from saturated to monounsaturated to polyunsaturated fats. Out of all of them, the main three you should be concerned about are trans fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and omega-6 fatty acids.
Trans fats, colloquially known as “Franken fats,” have been consistently shown to increase the risk of coronary heart disease, and should be avoided. They’re usually found in packaged foods and various brands of margarine.
The latter two, however, is what’s known as essential fatty acids. Similar to essential amino acids, your body can’t produce them by itself, so you have to obtain them through your diet. Omega-3’s can be found in fatty fish, flax, and walnuts (note that they’re more easily absorbed from animal sources), and omega-6’s from pretty much all kinds of vegetable oil.
I more concerned about the consumption of the right fats and that while I always recommend the almost daily use of Coconut oil, Avocados, fatty fish like wild caught salmon, organic meats, Grass-fed butter, nuts, and seeds.
The goal is to eat this macronutrient in a very responsible way, the delicate balance of carbohydrates, protein, and Fats. The more natural organic as possible is the better.
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