What Are Macros?

Macros is short for the word macronutrients

What does each one do?

Protein is arguably the king of macronutrients and tends to be low in regular sweet bakes and foods. It is essential for your body’s repair, growth, brain functioning and digestion. It is also the macronutrient that often makes the most notable difference for people when they increase their intake of it.

This can be attributed to improved dietary adherence and body composition as a result of optimal protein intake. Reasons for this include the fact that of all the macronutrients, protein is the most satiating (filling) and has the highest thermic effect (energy expenditure above BMR due to processing of food, i.e. calories burnt just digesting and absorbing food).

People often make the mistake of thinking it is only needed by active people. This is a misconception! It is especially important for those who are aging or not resistance training. With aging comes decreased protein absorption efficiency and with lack of training, it provides an important anabolic stimulus.

Fats are crucial for nutrient absorption, healthy hormones and cell growth. There are several types, with saturated and unsaturated being the main two. We should aim to limit our saturated fat intake and focus on getting the majority of our fats from monounsaturated fat sources like seeds, nuts, avocados etc.

Carbohydrates are a major source of energy for your body. Unrefined carbohydrates are also often a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Digestible carbohydrates fuel your daily activities, and the non-digestible ones are basically fiber, which feed your gut bacteria and assist bowel movement, essentially keeping your gut healthy.

Of course they all have a host of other functions, but these are just a few of them.

What proportions of them should you eat?

Science has shown us that once diets are matched for calories and protein, exactly how you split your remaining calories between carbohydrates and fats is pretty insignificant. For example, if you compare a (healthy) low fat diet to a (healthy) high fat diet, and these diets are matched for protein and calories, they yield pretty similar results with regards to body composition.

This is great news! It means that we have the flexibility and freedom to eat in a way that suits our lifestyle and preferences, and is thus sustainable.

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