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Understanding Macronutrients, the Building Blocks of a Healthy Balanced Diet

Understanding Macronutrients, the Building Blocks of a Healthy Balanced Diet

November 23, 2022

Macronutrients are nutrients that our body requires in large (hence, macro) amounts to obtain the energy that sustains its functions and structure.

Carbs, proteins and fat are the three main macronutrients (or macros, for short), and they're also considered essential nutrients, since our body cannot produce them or cannot produce enough of them by itself.

Even though all foods provide our bodies with energy (in the form of calories), not every single food affects our energy levels the same.

During digestion, these macros are broken down into smaller parts and that's why it's important to understand what's their role and how they work in different bodily functions.

CARBS

These are mainly found in grains, beans, fruits and starchy vegetables. Once they're broken down into glucose or sugar molecules, carbs become a source of energy for the brain, the liver and the muscles.

There's also dietary fiber that passes through our bodies undigested and promotes healthy bowel movements. Fiber also is one of those foods that can make you feel fuller for longer.

You can find carbs in:

  • Whole grains: brown rices, barley, oats
  • Beans: lentils, black beans
  • Fruits: bananas, apples, figs
  • Vegetables: potatoes, corn

PROTEINS

When digested, proteins become amino acids, which have the primary function of providing structure to our body's cells and organs, and also repair tissues and muscles. There are 20 amino acids with key functions in our bodies, 9 of which we can only obtain through food.

Amino acids help us keep our pH balanced while creating new proteins, enzymes and hormones in our body.

You can find proteins in:

  • Animal produce: chicken, turkey, eggs, beef, pork, salmon, shrimp
  • Dairy: cheese, yogurt, milk
  • Vegetables: fava beans, lentils, quinoa, green peas, almonds, broccoli, chickpeas

FATS

These are simply broken down into fatty acids, and they make up cell membranes and insulate organs. In emergency scenarios, fats become an energy reserve until calorie intake is restored.

Fats, as neurotransmitters, are also responsible for information exchange among cells. Some vitamins like A, D, and E are fat-soluble, and wouldn't be absorbed without them.

You can find fats in:

  • Fruits: avocado, coconut
  • Fish: herring, salmon
  • Nuts & Seeds: almonds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts, pistachios

Keeping a good balance among these three big macros is essential for our health, but the specific amount of each one should be determined personally according to your age, lifestyle, sex, clinical history and other factors. Make sure you consult a professional before making any dietary changes.

If you want to power-up your nutrition and give it a boost, try our Extrasis supplement, a perfectly balanced formula that will help you increase your energy and improve muscle endurance. You can also try BTBasics, our multivitamin gummies that will fuel you with a daily dose of essential nutrients.




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