Put simply, macronutrients are considered the nutrients the human body needs for proper energy. In a nutshell; balanced health. The body absorbs these nutrients for proper bodily function, metabolism, and are required for growth & development. Macro is defined as large-scale and/or overall. Therefore, macro nutrients are nutrients that are needed in a large-scale amount. On a fundamental level there are three components that make up macro nutrients:
i.e. Starches (Breads, Pastas, Potatoes, Rice) Beans, Fruits, and Veggies
i.e. Fish, Poultry, Meat, Eggs, and Nuts
i.e. Avocados, Virgin Oils, Nuts & Seeds
Understanding how many calories each component of macro nutrients provide is essential to calculate your macros. Carbohydrates provides approximately four calories per gram consumed. Proteins provides approximately four calories per gram consumed. Fats provides approximately nine calories per gram consumed.
4 – Calories Per Gram (Carbohydrate)
4 – Calories Per Gram (Protein)
9 – Calories Per Gram (Fats)
Understanding the Importance of Protein, Fat, and Carbs
This means that if you looked at the Nutrition Facts label of a product and it said 24 grams of carbohydrate, 4 grams of fat, and 7 grams of protein per serving, you would know that this food has about 160 calories per serving (24 grams carbohydrate X 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate = 96 cal) + (4 grams of fat X 9 calories per gram of fat = 36 cal) + (7 grams of protein X 4 calories per gram = 28 cal).
Why do we need carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are the macronutrients that the human body needs in the largest amounts. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA, “Forty-five to sixty-five percent of a person’s caloric intake should consist of carbohydrates.” Carbohydrates are mainly found in starchy foods (like grain and potatoes), fruits, milk, and yogurt. Other foods like vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and cottage cheese contain carbohydrates, but in lesser amounts.
Here is a list of benefits of carbohydrates:
- Carbs are considered the body’s main source of energy.
- Carbs transform into glucose which provides energy to the body’s tissue and cells
- Carbs are known to assist the central nervous system, brain, heart, and other vital organs to function properly
- The body can store carbohydrates in the liver and muscles for later use
- Essential to bodily waste management
- Another type of carbohydrate is known as fiber. Fiber is a carbohydrate that the body does not digest, therefore, fiber passes through the digestive tract assisting the body in waste removal. refers to certain types of carbohydrates that our body cannot digest. These carbohydrates pass through the intestinal tract intact and help to move waste out of the body.
Diets that are low in fiber have been shown to cause problems such as constipation and hemorrhoids and to increase the risk for certain types of cancers such as colon cancer; whereas a nutritional diet that is high in fiber decreases said risks, plus decrease the risks of obesity, heart disease
Why do we need protein?
Protein is a core component to what makes up macronutrients. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA, “Ten to thirty-five percent of your macro nutrients should come from protein.”
Although most people hit the recommended protein caloric intake amount, it can often be poor quality protein. There are many debates whether or not plant based or animal based proteins are better etc. We say whatever you are into, as long as you achieve your macro numbers consistently. Protein is found in meats, poultry, fish, meat substitutes, cheese, milk, nuts, legumes, and in smaller quantities in starchy foods and vegetables.Macronutrients and meal prep containers
Here is a list (not in any particular order of priority) of reasons why protein is important:
- Human growth (especially important for children, teens, and pregnant women)
- Tissue recovery and/or repair
- Efficient immune functionality
- Promotion of essential hormones and enzymes production
- Substitute of energy when carbohydrates are depleted
- Preservation of lean muscle mass
- Here is some basic #science for you to marinate on (I am not a doctor or anything, but I am smart AF)….
When protein is consumed, the human body breaks down the proteins into their building blocks known as amino acids. Essential amino acids are absorbed by the body while nonessential amino acids are discarded.
One of the more popular debates of whether or not to consume animal or plant based proteins is based around which type of protein contains essential amino acids the human body requires.
If you are totally against animal protein, there are essential amino acid supplements for those hard core vegans out there.
Why do we need fat?
Fats are often confused by the masses as a ‘sin’ in the dieting world. However if you think about it, who are the people who say fat is bad? Don’t worry it’s not a trick question. The large conglomerate companies send the message that ‘fat free’ is the path to a slim waistline. They will say anything to sell their product.
The good news is the general population is spending more time learning and less time taking their word for it. Fats are an essential macronutrient. According to the USDA, fat should represent “twenty to thirty-five percent of your daily caloric intake.”
There are three primary types of fat:
- Trans Fat – Often found in ‘boxed goods’ such as bakery foods, snack goods, and fried foods etc.
- Saturated Fat – Often found in animal meat, cream and/or dairy, and butter.
- Unsaturated Fat – Often found in foods such as nuts, virgin oils, and avocados etc.
- The trick is to first grasp the concept that unsaturated fats are considered good for you, then begin to replace trans and saturated fats with unsaturated fat products. Macronutrients and meal prep containers
Here is a list (not in any particular order of priority) of reasons why fat is important:
- Essential for body development and growth
- Fat is highly considered a concentrated source of energy
- Assists the body in absorbing certain vitamins such as: Vitamins A, D, E, & K
- Promotes natural cushioning for vital organs and bones
- Assists the body to maintain cell membranes
- Providing taste, consistency, and stability to foods
Achieving a healthy lifestyle does not require any special skill set. Just a desire to make a change and the appropriate combination of steps to take. Meal prep is one main component to achieving the results you are looking for and MacroStacks™ meal prep containers are designed specifically to assist you in achieving your goals. Thanks for visiting our Meal Prep Blog.