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Macronutrients – Everything You Need Know

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Overview of Macro-Nutrients

Macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats) are nutrients that provide calories or energy and are required in large amounts to take care of body functions, body development, and perform the activities of lifestyle.

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There are three essential macronutrients we need to consume to keep our body functioning.

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  1. PROTEIN 
  2. CARBOHYDRATES
  3. FATS

No 1. MacronutrientsPROTEIN: 

Protein is the most essential macronutrient in all three macronutrients. Because they are the building blocks of your body. All protein has 4 calories per gram.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF PROTEIN IN OUR BODY?

  • For antibody production
  • Making hormones and enzymes 
  • Digestion and absorption of food
  • Transport of oxygen to tissue 
  • Structure for muscles, tendons, organs, and bones

90% of the protein is broken down into amino acids. The amino acid pool is used to build or repair damaged tissue. Amino acids have no direct form of storage in the body.

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WHAT ARE AMINO ACIDS?

Amino acids are the primary building blocks of protein. They are necessary to support muscle growth. There are some essential amino acids that our human body cannot produce and there are some non-essential amino acids that the human body can produce amino acids by reconfiguring other amino acids.

HOW MUCH PROTEIN YOU SHOULD CONSUME DAILY 

To live a healthy life 0.5 -0.7 per pound of body weight. 

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To live a healthy life 1 gram per KG of body weight.

To build muscle 0.8-1 gram per pound of body weight

To build muscle 1.4-2.2 gram per KG of body weight

To lose fat 0.8 -1 gram per pound of body weight 

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To lose fat 1.4-2 gram per KG of body weight

I have seen many people struggling to reach their daily protein intake. If you want to reach your daily protein intake you can take the help of a supplement (whey protein) to reach your daily protein intake.

Whey protein is a very good option whether you are building muscle or losing weight. 1 scoop of whey protein will give you 25 grams of protein. Even I take whey protein to make my day easy. If you want you can buy them from the below link.

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No 2. Macronutrients CARBOHYDRATES: 

Carbohydrates are the union of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen(CHO). Carbohydrates are considered a semi-essential macronutrient because you can live with a very little amount of carbs as low as less than 40 grams a day.1gram of carb has 4 calories. Think carb as one or more sugar molecule that is bond together to fuel your body to do work.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF CARBOHYDRATES IN OUR BODY?

  • Your body breaks high carb foods into glucose. Glucose is transported throughout the body to provide energy, fuel important reactions and maintain your sugar level
  • During high-intensity activities, our body uses glycogen and converts it back to glucose for new fuel
  • Refiling glycogen stores
  • Secreting insulin
  • Additional benefits – supplying the nervous system with its fuel

There are three types of carbohydrates 

  1. Monosaccharides– One sugar molecule – SIMPLE ( Example-Fructose) 
  2. Disaccharide – Two sugar molecule -SIMPLE ( Example-Table sugar)
  3. Polysaccharide – Several sugar molecules – COMPLEX ( Example-Potato)

*Simple carbs gets absorb easily in the blood.

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 example – Fruits 

*Complex carbs take more time to absorb in blood than simple carbs because of the structure of their complex molecules.

Example – Potato 

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*NOTE –  Carbs that raise your blood sugar level rapidly are referred to as bad carbs or unhealthy carbs. 

     Carbs that are slowly absorbed in the blood considered as good carbs or healthy carbs.

HOW TO KNOW WHICH FOOD CAUSES YOUR BLOOD SUGER LEVEL RAPIDLY AND WHICH DO NOT 

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To find this out we need to understand the Glycemic Index. 

WHAT IS GLYCEMIC INDEX? (Range is 0-100)

The Glycemic index measures the speed with which carbs are converted to glucose. Food that digests quickly is high on the glycemic index and foods that digest slowly are low on the glycemic index.

Some examples of Low Glycemic Index(55 or less) – Oatmeal,sweet-potato, most fruits, and non-starchy vegetables.

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Some examples of Medium Glycemic Index(56-69)– Whole wheat, rice, and rye.

Some examples of High Glycemic Index(70 or more ) – White bread, corn flacks, puffed rice, and popcorn.

HOW MUCH CARBOHYDRATES YOU SHOULD CONSUME DAILY?

In theory, there is no true minimum from the perspective of general health. However, for athletes, low carb intake will lead to poor workout, poor muscle growth, and more fatigue.

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IDEAL CARBOHYDRATE INTAKE:

  • For Light workout: 1-1.25 grams per pound of body weight.
  • For Moderate workout: 1.25-1.5 grams per pound of body weight.
  • For Hard workout: 1.5-.175 grams per pound of body weight

No 3. Macronutrients FATS

Fats are one of the essential macronutrients because our body needs fatty acids to survive. 1 gram of fat has 9 calories.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF FAT IN OUR BODY?

  • Fat regulates hormone production in your body.
  • Fat keeps our skin and hair healthy.
  • Fat helps in the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K. These are fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Fat cells insulate your body and help to keep you warm.
  • Fat is very important for our brain to function properly.

There are many types of fat but which fat you should include in your diet to get most of the benefits from fat? The following are types of fat.

TYPES OF FAT

  1. Saturated FatsSaturated fats are are fats that are tightly packed with a single bond between the fatty acids are called saturated fats. Saturated fats were long believed to raise LDL(Long Density Lipoprotion) bad cholesterol levels, however, a recent study suggests its less problematic. Saturated fats can be found in cheese, milk butter, and tropical oils.
  2. Unsaturated fatsUnsaturated fats are fats in which there is at least one double bond within the fatty acid chain. Unsaturated fats lower your LDL cholesterol level. Unsaturated fats can be further divided into two parts.
  • Monounsaturated Fats: Monounsaturated fats can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and overall mortality. In your diet favor 60% monounsaturated fats. Olive oil, avocados, most nuts, and most seeds contain monounsaturated fat.  
  • Polyunsaturated Fats: Our body needs polyunsaturated fats to do various body functions. They help with blood clotting and your body cannot produce polyunsaturated fat therefore you have to get it from your diet.  Example – sunflower, corn, and soy oil.

   3.Trans FatsTrans fats are mostly unhealthy fats. They come in both natural and artificial forms. Natural trans fats occur in meat and dairy. Meat and dairy eater needn’t be concerned. The Moderate amount of intake of these fats does not harm your body.

However, artificial trans fats also known as industrial trans fats are hazardous to your health. These fats occur when vegetable oil is infused with hydrogen. Avoid eating artificial trans fats. Some examples of trans fats are biscuits and rolls, frozen pizza, fried foods including french fries and doughnuts.  

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HOW MUCH FAT YOU SHOULD CONSUME DAILY?

  • About 15-40% of your daily calorie intake.
  • Favor Mono&Polyunsaturated fats.
  • Limit Saturated fats.
  • Avoid trans fats. 

BEST PROTEIN, CARBS AND FAT RATIO FOR MUSCLE BUILDING

PROTEIN25-35%
CARBOHYDRATES40-60%
FAT15-25%

BEST PROTEIN, CARBS AND FAT RATIO FOR FAT LOSS

PROTEIN40-50%
CARBOHYDRATES10-30%
FAT30-40%

The above two ratios for muscle gain and fat loss are a little difficult for beginners to follow because of the high intake of carbohydrates in muscle gain and high intake of protein in fat loss. Alone they can give about 50-60% result, for rest 40-50% you have to do exercise to shape your body just like you want.

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If found helpful, please share and comment down below. Thank you for reading this article. If you wish to read health-related articles just click here https://getfitwithaman.com/category/health/.

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Aman Pawar
Aman Pawar is Certified Diet and Nutrition Expert. Also he is Certified Fitness Trainer. He also writes on Quora and his answers has generated more than 15k plus views in less than 6 months! For more info visit About Us page.
Articles: 88

18 Comments

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