What’s a Macro?

It’s all the hype these days, right? “I have to watch my macros …” If you were lucky in school they required you to take a nutrition course, and you may remember learning about macronutrients, commonly referred to these days as “macros”. If not, here’s your simple and basic lesson.

Your body needs fuel to live on, just like a car needs gas, a plant needs water, nutrients, and sunshine. The human body fuels itself on three nutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. We call them “macro” nutrients because we need them in large amounts to sustain our energy, as opposed to “micro” nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, which we only need very small amounts to prevent disease and be healthy.

Each of the macros contributes calories which provide the body energy, but also have unique characteristics as well:

Protein – includes growth and maintenance of tissue, regulation of body functions (through enzymes made from protein), communication (through hormones made of protein)

Fat – includes absorption of specific micronutrients, structure in cells, storage of energy, communication (through hormones made of fat)

Carbohydrates – includes storage of energy, helping to preserve muscle, promote digestive and cardiovascular health

Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap as of late and tend to be a bit more complicated to understand. Saying that they are all unhealthy is doing a disservice to them and your health, so check out my post on carbs to get the skinny on how they can be vital for your health!

And if you have more questions, please feel free to reach out to your friendly dietitian nutritionist, and contact me!