What are macronutrients?

Macronutrients (macros) are nutrients that provide calories or energy. There are three macros that provide different functions (purpose) for the body:

  • Protein
  • Carbohydrate
  • Fat

PROTEIN:

  • One gram = 4 calories
  • Primarily builds and repairs body tissues/muscle
  • Can be used for energy when diet is lacking calories or carbohydrates
  • 15 – 30% of total caloric intake
  • 1 – 2.0 g/kg depending on goal, activity level and total caloric intake
  • Can be found in meats, fish, eggs & dairy, legumes,  etc

CARBOHYDRATES:

  • One gram = 4 calories
  • Body’s main source of fuel and preferred form of energy
  • Spares PROTEIN for building muscle
  • Needed for central nervous system to function properly (kidneys, brain, heart)
  • 50 – 75% of total caloric intake
  • 25g should include fiber
  • Provides bulk to diet aiding in fullness by keeping glycogen stores full
  • Maintaining proper blood sugar levels
  • Can be found in fruits, whole grains, starchy foods like sweet potatoes or rice, and vegetables

FAT:

  • One gram = 9 calories
  • Important for normal growth and developments and provides cushion for organs
  • Fat is the most concentrated form of energy
  • Provides TASTE
  • Act as carriers for vitamins ADEK
  • 10 – 30% of total caloric intake
  • Can be found in nuts, nut butters, oils, avocado, etc

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