Frank Salvatore
Health and Lifestyle

Macro and Micro Nutrients

November 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Have you ever heard the phrase “you are what you eat”? Well, this is actually true. Your body breaks down everything you eat and takes the nutrients from the food and turns it into your own body’s cells. It changes food into its chemical parts and reassembles them into your cells, whether you are eating pizza, chips, fruit, or vegetables. This gives you the energy you use all day.

But, there is a catch. Your body can only be as amazing as the food you supply it to work with. Your food choices and the nutrients that they have (or lack) make a huge impact on your overall health. Each food has macronutrients and micronutrients that are able to keep you healthy.

Macronutrients are structural components of a food that are able to provide your body with energy and the calories that it needs. This includes protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Here is why each of those is important:

Proteins: These are the “building blocks of life, as they make up the basic components of your body. Proteins are made of amino acids, which your body needs to replenish its cells. Some great source of protein include fish, poultry, beef, nuts, seeds, eggs, chia, beets, and avocado. Many people eat too much protein, so limit your protein intake to a maximum of 1 gram per kilogram of lean body mass each day.

Carbohydrates: These are found in all foods in some way. They are made of sugar or starches, which give the body energy. However, excess carbohydrates are converted into fat and stored in the body that way. Limit the amount of net carbs you eat each day (total carbs minus fiber) to 30 or 40 grams. You can eat as many vegetables that are high in fiber as you want. While these are carbs, they are low in net carbs because they are high in fiber.

Fats: These are stored for your body to use in the future. While some people believe they should be avoided, it is actually important to realize that there is a difference between good fats and bad fats, and you actually need good fats in order for your body to properly function.

Good fat sources are almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, olives, grass-fed meats, avocados, organically pastured egg yolks, fatty fish such as sardines and anchovies, and coconut oil.

Micronutrients, on the other hand, refer to the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, trace elements, and phytochemicals that are essential to keeping your body in good health.

The quantity and quality of each type of these nutrients vary in everything you eat, depending on what you choose to eat and even the quality of that particular food. For example, processed foods like chips and pizza have more macronutrients than natural foods like kale and apples. However, they have fewer micronutrients. This is because processing food takes away a lot of the natural vitamins and minerals that are naturally in a food in order to give it a longer shelf life.

This also applies to foods such as cereal grains, candy, breads, sweets, and dairy products. While these foods give you a lot of calories, they don’t give you vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, trace elements, and phytochemicals that are your body needs.

This type of eating leads to many of the diseases that Americans are suffering from today due to a poor diet. While our ancestors ate a diet rich in micronutrients due to their hunter-gatherer lifestyle, with the convenience of foods today, it is easy to forgo the foods that contain these vital nutrients.

So, it is important to keep in mind that it is best to eat high-quality, natural foods that come directly from the earth. Pass on foods that come in packages that sit in your pantry for months without going bad. Eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and meat instead.

Optimal nutrition, including a balanced ratio of macronutrients and micronutrients, makes a big difference for your health. Aside from making necessary lifestyle changes like quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption, exercising, and getting enough sleep, changing your diet can improve your health in a small period of time.

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Frank Salvatore