All about Macronutrients and their ratio
Macronutrients are in principle the form in which calories enter our bodies and provide us with energy.
There are also micronutrients like vitamin and minerals that are essential but we get our energy mostly from the macro type.
As macronutrients go there are 3 types: fats, protein and carbohidrates and they are all needed for a well functioning body.
As i said before, macronutrients are a form of energy so they have their own number of calories depending on what type of macro it is.If you are confused about calories and don’t know how many to consume please visit my complete calorie guide
- A gram of protein has 4 Kcal
- A gram of carbs has also 4 Kcal
- A gram of fat has about 9 Kcal
Misconceptions about fats
So, you can clearly see that fat gives you more energy than the other two, that is why we crave it so much.But remember that you should limit it’s consumption to a certain percentage and don’t abuse it because it makes it easier to gain unwanted weight.
Even so, you should know that fats in your diet are essential for survival and maintaining your normal body functions.They promote normal growth and development, cushioning for organs, maintaining cell membranes and also allow your body to absorb different vitamins like A, D, E, K and carotenoids.
This being said you have to know that not all fats are the same, as there are good and bad fats. The saturated and trans fats are usually detrimental to your health and need to be avoided as much as possible.Even so, there are exceptions like coconut oil, that is a very healthy saturated fat.
The healthy fats that you want to consume most are to be found in olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds and fish for the essential Omega 3 fatty acids.
It is recommended to get between 20% and 35% of your daily calories from fat.
Why is protein needed for?
Mostly, protein is needed for tissue repair and is an indispensable material when it comes to building muscle and growth in general.
Protein is also the building block for the essential hormones and enzymes and a good source of energy in case carbohydrates are not available.There is a difference however between animal protein and protein from plants.There are exceptions however, like quinoa, chia and soy but most of the times protein coming from meat, eggs and dairy products have all the 20 aminoacids needed for a complete protein.
By consuming good quality protein you will promote the developement of lean muscle and therefore decrease bodyfat percentages.
It is recommended to get between 10% and 35% of your calories from protein.
If you want to build muscle mass you need to find the required amount of protein per day
- Consume 1g of Protein per Pound of Body Weight
So if you weigh 160 lbs then you need to get 160 grams of protein per day.
Even so, if you want to be stricter about this you should use the following formula:
- Lean Mass Weight (Kg) x 2.75 = grams of protein consumed in a day
(to transform from pounds to kg or the opposite please use this tool )
Carbohydrates are essential
This is the macronutrient that we need to consume the most.
The recommended consumption for an individual is from 45% to 65% from your total calories.
Carbohydrates are not only your main source of fuel but also contribute to other functions like gastrointestinal health and fuction as well.
They are used for energy in all the parts of your body, from the nervous system to the liver or each and every cell and tissue inside of you.
There are 2 types of carbs, simple carbs and complex ones.The difference is in the chemical structure that decides how fast a sugar is digested and absorbed in your body.
Things like candy, sodas and normal sugar are simple carbs that are unhealthy if consumed in large quantities.There are healthy forms of simple carbs too, like those you find in fruits, mainly because they also contain lots of additional vitamins and minerals.
However, complex carbs are what you want in your diet mainly.They can be found in brown rice, whole bread and some starchy vegetables.I would recommend you eating organic oatmeal and sweet potatoes, as they are a super healthy source of slow acting carbs. Slow digesting carbohydrates also contain fibre most of the times that will aid digestion and nutrient absorption.