Macronutrients are the nutrients which are required in large amounts by the body, for it to carry out its daily functions. They consist of Carbohydrates, Protein and Fats, each having its own different types which affect the body in different but beneficial ways in certain circumstances.
Carbohydrates are the main energy source of the body, they are broken down into simple sugars that are absorbed into the bloodstream. When sugar levels rise, the pancreas secretes insulin which is needed to transport the sugar from the blood into the cells, where the sugar can be used as an energy source, the amount of energy that they supply is 4 kcal per gram.
There are two types of carbohydrates namely simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are broken down quickly by the body to be used as energy. These are found in fruits, milk products, white bread, white rice and table sugar, syrups etc. Complex carbohydrates are the whole grain and whole wheat products which break down slowly in the body because of their low processed texture and content. The complex carbohydrates are the ones which need to be eaten more because of this, as their energy releasing is prolonged as they break down slowly into simple carbs.
Proteins are the main building blocks of body and muscle tissue, they are broken down into amino acids and other macromolecules by the protease enzymes. Just like Carbohydrates they contain 4 kcal of energy per gram. Protease enzymes increase the breakdown of proteins into smaller molecules which is called proteolysis – smaller molecules being polypeptides and amino acids.
There 3 types of proteins are fibrous, globular and membrane which I won’t elaborate more on them because of their many functions and examples, but proteins can be found in animal and plant-based products. In animals they can be found in beef, chicken, lamb and in general, all animal meat. In plant products they can be found in nuts, lentils and chickpeas etc. and obviously there are protein supplements out there being whey protein isolate, concentrate and hydrolysate.
Fats are the highest energy carrying macro having 9 kcal per gram, there are saturated (animal fats), unsaturated (plant and fish fats) and trans fats (artificially in some fast food). You should aim to eat more unsaturated fats, moderated saturated fats and minimal or no trans fats.
They’re broken down in fatty acids and glycerol by lipase enzyme to be easily absorbed as droplets. Fat is part of our lives but should be eaten in balance with all macros. There’s been a rise in the keto diet which I don’t know much about, but it revolves around ketosis which is a process by which the body consumes energy from fat stored when it doesn’t have enough glucose (from carbs), it’s definitely something I’ll do more research on!
This was to assist in getting an understanding on macronutrients and of the great sources you can obtain and have a healthy balance of them with your cheat meals. To achieve your desired physique, you should learn to discipline yourself in eating according to your fitness goals, ways of achieving this can be through knowing what your calorie intake should be or counting macros.
I will do a post on how to count your macros next because it’s a lot more detailed than calories and takes its own understanding and research for me and for you.