know your macros
Have you been visiting our “Nutritious November” events this month and cashing in on your free smoothie and tank top? You still have a chance to check out the “Protein” event coming up 11/15/17 from 11-1 on Diversity Way to get your free Tupperware. But in case you’re not available at that time, let’s get the main points on what “Nutritious November” has been all about.
Know what “macros” are from your gym-loving friends? Macronutrients are the main molecules we need from food. They are what makes up all of the energy (calories) in our meal pattern. They include carbohydrates, protein, and fat. EACH of these is an important part of a balanced diet; and, many foods contain more than one macronutrient. Even though sometimes we refer to certain foods as one macronutrient, such as “carbs,” (think quinoa), this isn’t technically accurate. Consider how although quinoa does contain carbohydrates, it also contains all nine amino acids (protein building blocks) we need to get through food intake, and people often prepare quinoa using oil or butter, both of which provide the third macronutrient, fat.
So now that we have each of these molecules straight, let’s find out why they’re important:
Recommendations: reach for whole grains, whole fruits, whole vegetables, and low or non-fat dairy to get the majority of your carbohydrate intake.
Recommendations: Incorporate a variety of protein sources! This includes lean turkey and chicken, fish, lean meat (occasionally), and plant-based protein sources such as beans and tofu.
The main takeaway here is you need each of these three food groups in order to maintain a balanced, healthy meal pattern. Remember, these nutrients each help give your body energy; so without any one of them, you’re probably not going to feel too great. If your body doesn’t get enough carbohydrate or protein, specifically, it may start to breakdown muscle to free up some of these nutrients (ahh, you don’t want that!). And if your body doesn’t get enough fat—remember what those fat-soluble vitamins do?—you may start to have issues with your eyes, skin, blood, and bones. Fad diets may try to get you to believe you don’t need carbs or fat; but now since you understand the science, you won’t fall for their tricks. Happy Nutritious November!