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  • Wayne Hopkins

Macronutrients, what are they and why do we need them?

Our foods are made up of 3 macronutrients - Protein, Fats and Carbohydrates. Well actually truth be known, there are 4: the forgotten one is Water.


Depending on who you speak to, each and every one of them gets demonized at some point, depending on the “diet” fad of the moment.


Here is the good news: to achieve optimal health we, as humans, need all four. The quality, quantity & timing may vary, depending on activity levels, conditions, environment, body type, and several other factors but we definitely need them all. Leaving any of them out of our diet has consequences.


Where can you find these Macronutrients?

· Protein – Meat, fish, chicken, legumes, eggs, cheese, nuts and seeds

· Carbohydrates – (comprising Simple and Complex) fruits, vegetables, rice, pasta, whole grains

· Fats – (comprising Saturated, Unsaturated & Trans fats) Animal products, oily fish, nuts, oils, avocados

· Water – water is life.


Your body will burn the “fuel” you give it in the following order:

· Alcohol (the body always metabolises this first to expel the toxins in the body)

· Carbohydrates

· Fats

· Protein.


If optimal health is a desire of you or for someone you care about - do yourself a favour and complete a food diary for a minimum of 7 days. I recommend the MyFitnessPal app which has a great tool you could use. It will make you aware of your current macro levels and where you may need to make changes.


Just think of it like a nutritional budget, no different to what you do when you are looking to move forward with your finances, becoming aware is the first step.


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