Macronutrients – why are they important

What you eat is as important as how much, macro-nutrients (macros), are the building blocks of our daily diet. There are three types – carbohydrate, protein and fat. Of course there are so many variations on each – some better than others, lets just concentrate on the basics.

Carbohydrates are required for energy (see Food is Fuel), they are split into groups – we just really want to concentrate on the ones we need –  fruit & veg mainly but also oats, wholegrain rice/pasta/bread. We need enough to help the body function. Protein, not only helps build and repair muscles, it also keeps us fuller for longer, think lean meats/fish. Fats cause the most confusion – the ones we want are as natural as possible found in things like nuts and oily fish.

Too much of any one macro-nutrient is bad (yes, too much of even the good stuff is bad). If we put in more then we need to use – it leads to weight gain as the body has to store it until it might get used – and that’s where problems arise – stored food becomes fat – too much fat doesn’t just make you feel uncomfortable in your clothes – it could also be hanging around your internal organs. And that can happen whatever your shape or size. A little of each should be the basis of your meals (once you have mastered portion control this becomes easier), but focus on protein as snacks with a veg/fruit – eg a few nuts and an apple.