What are macronutrients and what do you need to know about them to achieve your health goals?

Nutrition label

Your body needs nutrients to stay alive, grow, and recover. Most of what we consume contains macronutrients and micronutrients. There are three types of macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Other essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, are known as micronutrients.

What Are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of fuel. Carbs as a macronutrient group can be further broken down into simple and complex carbs. They are also referred to as simple sugars and starches. Simple and complex carbohydrates have different chemical structures. Also, you absorb them into your bloodstream at different rates.

You will get simple carbs in foods such as fruits, white bread, doughnuts, and potatoes. These may give you a quick burst of energy because they are absorbed quickly by the bloodstream. However, sugars contain no nutritional value aside from energy. As a result, people looking to lose weight benefit from eliminating sources of added sugars from their diet.

Complex carbohydrates take longer for your body to break down. That’s why they provide a slower release of energy over time. Sources of complex carbohydrates include whole-wheat pasta, sweet potatoes, and oats. Complex carbs contain fibre, vitamins, and minerals, in addition to energy. Fibre is a form of carbohydrate abundant in fruit, vegetables, and nuts. While fibre cannot be digested by your body for energy, it is still vital to keep your insides in good condition.

An optimal diet get more energy from complex carbohydrates due to the additional nutrients they provide and for the slower release of energy.

What Is Protein?

Protein is an important component of every cell in your body. Your body requires protein to both build and repair tissues. Also, proteins are key building blocks not only of muscles, but also bones, cartilage, skin, blood, hormones, and numerous other chemicals in the body. You will get lots of protein in meat and animal products. Additionally, it is in plant sources such as quinoa, legumes, and nuts.

What Are Fats?

Fats are essential for general health and well-being. You don’t have to be afraid of them! They are an energy source, protect your organs, and keep your body warm. Additionally, fats also help your body absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones. You’ll find fat in large quantities in foods like meat and dairy.

What You Need to Know About Macronutrients

Understanding macronutrients will help you hit your fitness goals. You need energy from carbohydrates to exercise and protein to build muscle. If you are consuming too much or too little of one macronutrient category, this can impede your progress.

Oftentimes, you hear people insisting that they are following a low-fat or low-carb diet because eating fat or carbs makes you fat. This isn’t exactly true. Yes, eating too much fat or carbs can make you put on weight. However, avoiding them can also backfire. You’ll be missing out on getting vital nutrients.

Your diet should be mostly of carbs, then protein, and a smaller amount of fat. The amount of each macronutrient you need varies a lot depending on your goals. It’s something you can talk about with one of our Delta Fitness personal trainers.

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