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Understanding Macronutrients

Updated: Nov 19, 2022

You may have heard of the term "macros", short for macronutrients.

The increase in popularity of macro counting is great for ensuring your physical goals are achieved.

Macronutrients are made up of 3 main suppliers, protein, carbs and fats, which is where you get the energy content (calories) of your diet.


Carbohydrates: These bad boys are the most important providers of energy in terms of mental and physical activity. When consuming carbs, remember it is important the source of carb is from healthy source whole grains such as whole wheat bread, rye, barley and quinoa are better choices than refined white bread or potatoes.

Carbohydrates are divided into four types

  • Monosaccharides: simple sugars: glucose (corn sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), galactose (milk sugar)

  • Disaccharides: simple sugars soluble in waters: sucrose, lactose

  • Oligosaccharides: simple sugars: melitose

  • Polysaccharides: reacts with water: (aka complex carbohydrates): glycogen (animal starch) starch, inulin

How are carbs stored in the body

Not sure if we mentioned, carbohydrates are the preferred source of energy and when you eat carbohydrates, they are broken down into small sugar molecules, which are then converted into glucose to make a usable form of energy for the brain and muscles. Essentially, carbohydrates are stored in the body in the form of glucose or glycogen. However, exceeding the amount required, will convert the excess carbs into glucose and release it into the bloodstream, any insulin released from the pancreas will signal your fat cells to take up excess glucose and store it for future use.


Protein: Proteins are made up of building blocks commonly found in plants and animals, known as amino acids. There are 20 commonly used types of amino acids and the sequence of amino acids determines each protein’s unique 3-dimensional structure and its specific function. Amino acids are classified in two different categories, essential and non-essential. There are nine essential amino acids that cannot be produced by the body and therefore come from our diet. Whereas, non-essential amino acids can be produced by the body.

Functions of proteins

Some of the functions of proteins include their roles as antibodies, enzymes, messengers and in transport/storage and structural capacities.

  • Antibodies bind to specific foreign particles, such as viruses and bacteria, to help protect the body

  • Enzymes carry out almost all of the thousands of chemical reactions that take place in cells

  • Messenger proteins, such as some types of hormones, transmit signals to coordinate biological processes between different cells, tissues, and organs

  • Transport/storage proteins bind and carry atoms and small molecules within cells and throughout the body

Why we need protein

Protein is needed for the growth and repair of body tissue and is especially important for healthy muscles, bones and supporting muscle contraction and movement.

Food high in protein

  • Eggs

  • Tofu

  • Fish

  • Seitan

  • Edamame

  • Chicken

  • Lentils

  • Milk

  • Nuts

  • Kidney beans


Fats and why we need them: The dreaded word that some know as the devil, however fats are a nutrient found in food that the body needs. Fats have a very important functions, however too much fat can lead to health issues such as high cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart disease. Fat is a source of essential fatty acids, which the body cannot make itself. Fat helps the body absorb vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin E. These vitamins are fat-soluble, which means they can only be absorbed with the help of fats.

Types of fat:

Unsaturated. This is the healthy kind that we want, and there are two types: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fats are found in foods like avocados, peanut butter; and seeds, such as pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds. Polyunsaturated fats include omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids which can be found in fish

Fats that we need to avoid are saturated fat and trans fat, these are ‘unhealthy’ fats and can be found in:

  • Fried foods (Chips, chicken wings, doughnuts)

  • Margarine

  • Baked foods (Cookies, pastries, cakes

  • Processed foods (Microwave foods)


It's fair to say that macronutrients all have a vital role to play in ensuring our bodies stay healthy. Before you consider eliminating any supplier, reach out to our coaches via the app for advice.


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