Macronutrients Made Simple*

Thursday, 8 March 2018, By Wayland Jones

Here at Vision, we try and keep things simple and speak in terms that everybody can understand. Being healthy shouldn't need to be complicated! However, we admit there are times when we may use words that not everybody will understand. Today we're going to touch briefly on one of those words: macronutrients.

What are macronutrients?

Quite simply, macronutrients or macros for short, are nutrients that we need in large amounts. The three macros are protein, carbohydrates and fat. The energy contained in each macro differs, with 4 calories per gram in protein and carbohydrates, and 9 calories per gram in fat. On Australian labels, this is measured in kilojoules, with 16.7 kilojoules per gram in protein and carbohydrates, and 37.7 kilojoules per gram in fat.

Now why is this important? Can't we just count calories?

A phrase you've probably heard by now explains this: not all calories are created equal. Each macro has a different function in your body and contributes to your overall health differently. While people can lose weight through counting calories alone, not eating the proper macro your body needs can lead to dangerous consequences like a loss in muscle mass instead of fat.

Let me give you a quick rundown of each macro.

Protein is crucial for growth and repair. Think of it as the building block of life. Almost every function in your body requires protein, whether protecting your body against bacteria or transporting important molecules throughout the body. Your body can't store protein like it does with carbohydrates and fat, so it's important to ensure you're getting enough protein through the day. Great sources of protein include lean meats, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, eggs, beans, whole grains and legumes.

Carbohydrates are your body's primary source of fuel. Even though your body uses all three macros for energy, carbohydrates are the most efficient to process and store. They help fuel your brain, kidneys, muscles, heart and central nervous system. For sustained energy throughout the day, try to limit simple carbohydrates like sugar, confectionary and soft drinks which are digested and absorbed by the body quickly. Instead, replace them with complex carbohydrates high in fibre such as green vegetables, whole grains, starchy vegetables and legumes.

'Good' fats are used for health and wellbeing, while 'bad' fats can lead to a number of health risks. The two types of fats to avoid are saturated and trans-fats. Instead, look for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in nuts, seeds, avocados, cold-water fish and olives. These good fats help your body store and absorb essential vitamins A, D, E and K.

How much should you be eating of each macronutrient?

The recommended amount will vary depending on your body type and goal. At Vision we understand this and tailor our nutrition programs to you. Your Personal Trainer will design a nutrition plan that will help you achieve your goals in a safe and healthy way.

 

 

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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