“Macros” are macronutrients, or the main food groups in which you should be eating and regulating to maintain a healthy body. The three macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
Protein: essential for growth, tissue repair, energy, lean muscle mass
- 4 calories/gram of protein
- Found in meat, poultry, dairy, nuts, legumes, some vegetables
- Protein from meat (and eggs) contain all of the essential amino acids (“building blocks” of proteins that the body does not produce)
Carbohydrates: essential for energy, central nervous system, kidneys, brain, muscles, and heart function
- 4 calories/gram of carbohydrate
- Found in starchy foods (grains, potatoes, bread), fruit, dairy, vegetables
- Sugar–sugars in any form (except sugar alcohols) are carbohydrates. These are the most damaging to your body and waistline so limit your intake–including FRUIT!
- Fiber–fiber is also a type of carbohydrate that the body does not digest. It is beneficial for digestion and keeping you full. Make sure to eat plenty of vegetables, whole grains, and even fruits (limited) to meet the daily fiber intake.
- Bonus: if the food contains fiber, you can subtract the amount of fiber from total carbohydrates (decreasing the total amount of carbs you intake)
Fats: Don’t fear the fats! Believe it or not, the right type and amount of fat can aide in weight loss. Fats are essential for growth, cell function, energy, vitamin absorption.
- 9 calories/gram of fat
- Saturated– found in animal products (meats, dairy, etc), coconut products
- Monounsaturated– found in avocados, nuts, olive oil
- Polyunsaturated– found in fish, flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil
- Trans– a type of fat produced as the result of processing foods to make their shelf life longer- AVOID this type of fat!