Macro, meaning “large,” alludes to the fact that these nutrients are needed in larger quantities. The human body and all of its impressive mechanisms are quite complex, meaning that it requires a variety of nutrients in order to function optimally. What we eat is essential for meeting these needs. Macronutrients help us grow, develop, repair, give us energy, and make us feel good. They each have their own role and functions in the body.
Carbs are made up of chains of starch and sugar that the body breaks down into glucose. These are the body’s main source of energy and the brain’s primary source. Good sources of carbohydrates: whole grains such as brown rice, vegetables, legumes and fruits.
Protein provides amino acids, which are the building blocks of cell and muscle structure. Protein in the body is used beyond just muscle — it is the core component of organs, bones, hair, enzymes, and all tissue. Protein also helps support a healthy immune system. Good sources of protein: fish and seafood, poultry, lean red meat, eggs, dairy and tofu.
Fats are needed for brain development, making hormones and aiding in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. They have the highest calorie count per gram, meaning that they require more energy to burn, but at the same time, are helpful for increasing feelings of satiety, meaning they will keep you fuller for longer. Good sources of fat: avocado and avocado, nuts, seeds, oily fish.
One of the main problems with traditional dieting is that calorie counting doesn’t take into account what you’re eating. Macros can be a key player here, helping us quantify how much we eat as well as what we eat. Thinking about macros instead of calories helps shift you into a healthier, more well-rounded way of eating.
There is no ideal macronutrient ratio that suits everyone and your needs will change according to different factors in your life. Some people may do better on a lower carbohydrate diet, while someone else may feel more energized on a higher fat diet. In general, aim to have more carbs on the days that you’re more active and if you’re sedentary, you may see better results on a higher protein meal plan.