Achieving fitness on the pillars of a well-structured workout routine alone is not enough. You also need a proper diet plan to reach your fitness goals. And no, simply cutting calories is not counted as a healthy diet. It is more than that, like satisfying your hunger with the right nutrients.
Every fitness enthusiast needs to understand that focusing on improving your diet is better than counting calories. Incorporate the correct food and get rid of the bad eating habits. This is where macronutrients come into play. They are a group of nutrients that provide your body energy to maintain its structure and functions. Continue reading to understand what primary macronutrients are required to make a healthy diet plan and where can you find them.
What are the Three Primary Macronutrients?
The three primary macronutrients are carbohydrates, protein, and fats. They all play a specific role in making your body function properly. Let us explore in detail about them:
Carbohydrates, also known as carbs, serve as the main energy source. They are small, simple chains of sugar broken down into glucose and used by vital body organs like the brain to function properly by entering your bloodstream.
Once you consume carbs, they are broken down immediately and used to produce instant energy. These types of carbs are called simple carbs. They have one or two sugar molecules, and you can find them in food items like honey, milk, fruit, yoghurt, table sugar, and agave nectar. Fruits also contain a natural sugar called fructose, minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals, and fibre. But fibre is not easily digested, increasing the time required to break down simple carbs.
On the other hand, there are complex carbs that take more time to break down. They are long strands of sugar molecules found in foods such as grains and starches – rice, starchy vegetables (potatoes, corn), pasta, and bread. They contain fibre unless they are not processed, like stripping bran off grains which gives us white rice and white bread. Since they don’t have fibre, they are easier to digest.
Protein is necessary for your body to repair, grow, and build tissues while protecting lean body mass. Once you consume and digest protein, they leave behind amino acids. There are two types of amino acids: essential and non-essential. Nine of the 20 amino acids are essential, while others are not.
Protein-rich food containing essential amino acids are meat, milk, fish, eggs, cheese, and other types of animal by-products. Plant-produced essential amino acids containing protein-rich foods are lentils, beans, seeds, sattu, nuts, and soy.
Fats hold a bad reputation among people who do not possess complete knowledge about them. They are presumed to be the culprit behind rising obesity. However, that is not completely true.
Fats need to make it to your diet to provide your body with energy and space to store all that energy. They help vitamins A, D, E, and K to flow through your bloodstream and absorb into the body. Moreover, they get stored in your adipose tissue to regulate your body temperature. The list of benefits is endless, which is why your diet should consist of at least 20% fat. The trick to eating healthy with a good number of macronutrients is to include good fats in your diet.
How do you differentiate the good from the bad? Well, begin by trying to avoid trans and saturated fats altogether. You can find trans-fat in processed, fried, and baked food where the vegetable oil is hardened. Saturated fats are found in fatty beef, lamb, butter, full-fat cheese, pork, cream, lard, and dairy products. The good ones include unsaturated fats and fatty acids like omega 6 and omega 3 found in fish, olive oil, avocados, nuts, etc. They lower your risk of heart disease.
Ultimately, focus on consuming the correct type of fat and watch out for the amount you consume.
Where Can You Find the Necessary Macronutrients?
The three primary macros are necessary for maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. Here is a list of the food where you can find them.
- For Carbohydrates
- Sweet Potato
- Whole Wheat Bread
- For Protein
- Lean Meat
- Whey Powder
- For Fats
- Peanut Butter
Macronutrients make up most of your diet and are an absolute necessity! However, a nutritious diet is also about balancing the essentials. So, ensure you are consuming the essential vitamins and minerals along with the macros. Besides that, as long as you stay away from processed food and incorporate the primary macronutrients in your diet by eating healthy, you are on the right route to get fit and healthy!
Kunal Tambe is part of the content marketing team at Two Brothers Organic Farms. With his team, he works tirelessly to create awareness about organic farming, food sovereignty, sustainable practices, nutrition, climate change and a myriad of issues that surround these topics. His content offers value to farmers, the agriculture industry and to end consumers. Besides writing and developing content strategies, he loves adventure sports and listening to classical music.