Macronutrients, or “macros,” are also known as proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Our bodies need large amounts of these building blocks of nutrients for our body to function optimally. It is important to consume a certain amount of each macro daily for ideal health. A general range that the World Health Organization recommends is 10 to 35 percent protein, 45 to 65 percent carbohydrates and 25 to 35 percent healthy fats. Depending on your lifestyle and what kind of diet you have, you can eat a variety of foods that fit your needs. You should strive to have a balanced diet and stick to a healthy eating plan that includes
There are benefits to each of the macros. For example, proteins are the building block of the body that is necessary for the repair of muscles, organs, skin, hormones, and blood. This is important since approximately 19 percent of our body weight is from protein. Protein doesn’t only come from meat sources. You can get plenty of protein from plant-based foods, such as soy. Having a good variety of protein sources in your diet is ideal, which include foods such as poultry, meat, fish, dairy eggs, tofu, and legumes.
Another macronutrient, carbohydrates, are the fuel and energy sources for your brain and body found in grains, fruits, and vegetables, legumes, and dairy. Be aware though – too many carbohydrates can lead to weight gain. The type of carbohydrate you eat matters. Stay away from white bread and white pasta or products filled with sugar, and opt for healthier whole grains, beans, and fiber-rich veggies.
The last of the macros are fats which are important for a variety of reasons, including protection of internal organs and bones, insulation, energy and for development of the brain. Fats are also essential for vitamin and mineral absorption, blood clotting and muscle movement. Healthy, fatty foods include salmon, sardines, avocado, nuts, and olive oil. These healthy fats will balance your blood sugar and decrease your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Try to stay away from unhealthy, fatty foods such as processed foods, fried foods, butter, and high-fat meats and full-fat dairy products.