Macronutrients: the basis of our diet!

Macronutrients: plate of delicious food




If you are into nutrition, sooner or later you will come across the concept of macronutrients. We'll show you what's behind it.

Macronutrients: what is it anyway?

Macronutrients, also called "macros" for short, are the basic building blocks of our diet. Everything you eat is made up of one or more of these nutrients.
  • Carbohydrates (4 kcal / g)
  • Proteins (4 kcal / g)
  • Fats (9 kcal / g)
The macronutrients provide our body with the energy (calories ) it needs every day. If you add too many or too few calories or energy to your body, you will gain or lose weight accordingly.

Macronutrients: The carbohydrates

Carbohydrates also called "carbs", are the most important building block that supplies our body with energy. They are composed of different elements:
  • Simple sugars (monosaccharides): fructose, glucose (grape sugar), galactose
  • Double sugar (disaccharide): sucrose ( table sugar ), lactose
  • Multiple sugars (oligosaccharides): raffinose
  • Complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides): amylopectin (vegetable starch), glycogen (animal starch), inulin
Carbohydrates are sometimes wrongly demonized by many people. Because carbohydrates fill up your glycogen storesOne-third of the glycogen is stored in the liver and two thirds in the muscles.

Macronutrients: the protein

Proteins, also called protein, are the essential substances for our musclesHowever, they also support our immune system and also benefit our hair, nails and skin.
There is a continuous build-up and breakdown of cells in our bodyWe cannot store protein in the long term, so our muscles, the largest source of protein storage, lose mass after a period of time without protein intake. Your body then uses the protein in the muscles for the more important processes of cell renewal.

Macronutrients: the fats

Fats, also called lipids, are the flavour carriers in our diet. With 9 calories per gram, they're also the best source of energyWhen we absorb more fat than our body can store, it stores it in fat reserves.
Fats also have important functions as building materials:
  • Production of hormones
  • Intake of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K)
  • Protection of organs
Fats are made up of fatty acids. There are three different types.

1. Saturated fatty acids:

  • Mostly found in animal products (cheese, butter) and vegetable fats (coconut oil).
  • Saturated fat is often classified as unhealthy. However, they also take on important functions as building materials.
  • If you are on an animal diet, you are probably already consuming more than enough saturated fat. As a  vegetarian or vegan, you can use nuts, seeds, avocados, chia seeds or coconut oil.

2. Unsaturated fatty acids:

  • Mostly found in vegetable oils as well as nuts, avocados and fatty fish.
  • Unsaturated fatty acids are considered to be extremely beneficial for health, especially in protecting the brain and in preventing injuryThese fatty acids are also beneficial for the heart.

3. Trans fats:

  • The "bad" fats are found in ready meals that are heavily processed or deep-fried.
  • Trans fats are produced industrially. They worsen your cholesterol and promote disease.
  • Look for hydrogenated oils in the nutritional information.

Omega 3 vs. Omega 6

The omega fatty acids are essential and therefore, like the essential amino acids, must be taken in through the diet. They belong to the group of polyunsaturated fatty acids and fulfil important functions, such as supporting the metabolism or increasing blood circulation.
Omega 3, in particular, increases the "good" cholesterol (HDL) and protects the cardiovascular system.
In the ideal case, the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 would be balanced. In the western world, we are closer to the values ​​of 15: 1 and higher. Therefore a division of 5: 1 is already a worthwhile goal.
Some omega 3 sources:
  • salmon
  • tuna
  • Trout
  • Oils
  • nuts
Some omega 6 sources:
  • Sunflower oil
  • olive oil
  • beef
  • Corn oil
  • Soybean oil
Would you like to know how you can create a nutrition plan from the macronutrientsWith our tips, you will eat healthy and varied. You will also get recommendations on how to break down the macronutrients in a diet plan.
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