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What are macronutrients and why are they important?

By 6 December 2018 No Comments
Programme Alimentaire

Do you want more energy and stamina?

Looking to improve your health and stay away from diseases?

If this is the case, make sure your diet provides optimal levels of macronutrients.

Protein, carbohydrates and fats are the main source of fuel for the body. Since they are needed in large quantities, they are called “macronutrients” or “macros”. The amount you need depends on your age, weight, and fitness goals.

Let’s see what are “macros” and why they are so important!

The proteins
Proteins promote muscle growth, recovery and cellular regeneration. They also play a key role in energy metabolism and immune function. This macronutrient is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of every cell and every tissue. Your body uses amino acids to build DNA and produce hormones, enzymes, and other cell membranes.

One gram of protein contains four calories.

This nutrient is found in foods of animal origin, such as meat, eggs and dairy products, as well as in nuts, seeds, seafood and vegetables. Even though most plant foods do not contain one or more amino acids, they can be combined to obtain a complete protein.

Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for your body. These nutrients help muscle growth and repair, metabolism, digestion and other functions. Whole and natural foods contain “good” carbohydrates that provide consistent energy and contribute to overall health. Junk food, on the other hand, is loaded with “bad” carbohydrates and should be avoided or minimized.

When ingested, your body turns carbohydrates into glucose, used as energy. Excess is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen.

Each gram of carbohydrate provides four calories.

Some types of carbohydrates, also contain fiber, and can not be broken down into energy. They cross the intestine and absorb water, which helps maintain healthy digestion and slow down the absorption of sugar into your system.

Fats
Most people are afraid of dietary fat. Yet this nutrient plays a crucial role in health and well-being. In fact, your brain contains about 60% fat. Omega-3, omega-6 and other “good” fats support the development and functioning of the brain, promote cell growth and isolate your tissues and cells. Dietary fats help maintain a normal body temperature and serve as a source of energy.

The key is to choose healthy fats, such as those found in nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut and unrefined vegetable oils. Saturated fats, found in meat and dairy products, must be consumed in moderation. Junk food contains trans fat, which clogs arteries and affects cardiovascular function.

Each gram of lipid provides nine calories.

Now that you know what macronutrients are, plan your diet accordingly. Keep a high protein intake at all times, pay attention to fats and adjust your carbohydrates according to your weight goals.

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