Intro to Macronutrients and Fat
Do you have a friend who is obsessed with their Macros? Were you not really sure what they were talking about, but didn’t want to ask them as they seemed cranky?
With so much confusion about Nutrition, and what the heck we can eat this week, let’s start with the Basics.
Macronutrients or Macros are the ingredients the body needs in large amounts to provide the body with energy aka calories. They are basic components of every diet.
There are three primary macronutrients: carbohydrate, protein, and fats. When these are balanced, we feel good, when they are not terms such as high blood sugar and diabetes can start to come up in conversation with the health care provider.
Many health minded folks monitor their macros to a tee.
I have general guidelines and my breakdown is 40/40/20 and I feel my best when I eat this way.
I use an app to do it as I can not eye ball things to a macro level. Calories, absolutely! Macros this measurements that actually matter?? Not so much.
Macros are a better indicator of what we are actually eating because they will show what TYPE of food we are consuming versus the caloric count.
For example, 1500 calories of donuts would be a as large number of carbohydrates and fat, with next to nothing in terms of protein.
While 1500 calories of vegetables, high quality animal protein, fats, and low glycemic fruit will show a different macro breakdown for the same caloric number. Take into consideration how I would feel after a day of doughnuts compared to a day of real food.
Let’s start by cleaning up the confusion between body fat and dietary fat. Body fat does have a purpose, which we will get to in a few weeks.
Dietary fat found in ordinary items such as butter or almonds is a macronutrient. So as to not confuse you even more, when I use the term Fat over the next couple of days, it is Dietary Fat.
Fat serves a few different purposes in our bodies
1) It is a natural energy reserve. Remember we are designed to be able to go long periods of time between meals, if needed. Dietary Fat helps with this process.
2) Essential Fatty Acids – Fats are essential for cell function and development, and our body cannot make them.
3) Nutrient Absorption – Fat is the only way certain fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K can be assimilated by our bodies.
Tomorrow, where to find quality sources of dietary fat and how much do we need.