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What Are Macronutrients?

A Simple Guide To Nutrition

Macronutrients are nutrients that our body needs in large amounts to maintain body functions and carry out daily life activities: Carbohydrate, Protein, Fat. It's important to know how they operate in order to achieve your health and fitness goals effectively.

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What are macronutrients

Carbohydrate (4 kcal / gram)

Your body’s main source of energy. They are the sugars, starches and fibers found in various foods. They’re needed to provide fuel for the central nervous system and energy for your muscles. Not all carbs are created equal.

Simple Carbs

Simple carbs are broken down quickly by the body to be used as energy. They tend to raise your blood sugar levels quickly, which can promote fat storage if they're not used.

Examples of simple carbs:

  • White bread
  • Corn
  • Basmati rice
  • Cereals
  • Dried fruits
  • ...

Complex Carbs

They contain carbohydrates along with higher fiber, protein, vitamin and minerals. They take more time to digest. It makes them more filling, which means they're a good option for weight control.

Examples of complex carbs:

  • Veggies
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Oats
  • Brown rice
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • ...

Protein (4 kcal / gram)

The building block of the body. They’re needed for bones, skin, cartilage and blood. They also help you build and repair muscle tissue.

Examples of high protein foods:

  • Meat,
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Poultry
  • Dairy
  • Fish
  • ...

Fat (9 kcal / gram)

Bad fats (trans fats and saturated fats) should be consumed in limitation.

Examples of bad fat foods:

  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Milk ...

Good fats (monounsaturated fats polyunsaturated fats: e.g. omega-3) can help lower your blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart diseases, improve your cholesterol levels and much more.

Examples of good fat foods:

  • Fatty fish
  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Olive oil ...

In Summary

  • The three macronutrients are: carbohydrate, protein and fat.
  • Carbohydrate is the primary source of energy. Consume more complex carbs and less simple carbs.
  • Protein is the building block of your body. It's found in cartilage, bone, muscle, blood...
  • Good fats (monounsaturated/polyunsaturated) such as omega-3s should be consumed more than bad fats (trans/saturated).
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