Nutrition 101: What am I even eating?
Updated: Sep 12, 2021
Every food and drink (besides water and alcohol) is made up of at least one of the three nutrients that we call macronutrients (commonly referred to as macros): carbohydrate, fat, and protein. Each macronutrient has their own important functions in the body, so yes, you do need to eat all three!
Carbohydrate: Despite their bad reputation lately, carbohydrates are ESSENTIAL. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy, fueling our brain and muscles, and supporting many other every-day functions in the body. For this reason, they are needed in the greatest quantity when compared to fats and protein- especially for people who are physically active. Carbohydrates should make up roughly half of your daily intake of food. Remember to focus on the healthy sources of carbohydrates.
Fat: Yet another macronutrient that gets a bad reputation but is also essential. Fats play an important role in the body protecting our vital organs, allowing for absorption of vitamins from the foods we eat, producing hormones to keep our body functioning best, and the best part- they are what make some food taste so good and promote a feeling of satiety after eating. Fat provides the most energy, aka calories, out of the macronutrients. For this reason, moderate consumption of the *good* fats are going to be best for nutrition success.
Protein: Also known as our body’s building blocks. Not only for muscle but our brain, hair, skin, nails, and blood. While protein is heavily pushed in today’s health and fitness world, most Americans consume enough protein to meet their needs, especially when eating higher amounts of any sort of food that comes from an animal (think milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, and meat). Protein, along with fats, provide a greater sense of satiety than carbohydrates due to their slow digestion in our GI tract. Focus on the lean protein sources; the ones lower in fat and cholesterol.