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Nutrition Thoughts Part 3: No Evil Macros

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It is so easy to vilify food. To point your finger at a something, sugar or fat usually and say “Yep! That is the problem!”  It is usually not that simple.

Lets start off just with naming what macronutrients are. Macronutrients are the large components of food where most of our calories come from. They come in the form of carbohydrates, fats and protein.  There are also micronutrients which are things like vitamins and minerals in our foods. While those are important too, they are not the focus of this post.

Protein

Examples: meat, beans, cheese, yogurt, tofu

Protein is a pretty important macros especially for those who are physically active and consciously work on building muscle and strength. It helps us build and maintain our muscle mass. Plus it provides good saitation for our meals – helps us to feel satisfied and full.  No one really calls protein evil but there is debate on how much is needed.

Fat

Examples: Butter, avocado, nuts, oils

Fat is not evil.  We need some in our diet.  With super low fat diets, meals won’t feel as satisfying, you might get hungry more often and you will necessarily have to make up those calories with additional carbs or protein.  Fat helps in so many processes in the body. It helps make food taste better. It has more calories than the other macros so it will also help you feel more satisfied and full with each meal.  Of course, like anything that is delicious depending on the source it can be easy to over do and eat too much but it is not a macro that needs to be avoided.

Carbs

Examples: rice, potatoes, oatmeal, fruit, most processed foods

Carbs are not evil. The more active you are the more you are going to need. Carbs provide the energy that our body needs to burn for fuel for activities  in side and outside the gym.  For most people, portion control is also an issue with carbs. We are biologically wired to want sweet, awesome tasting foods.  The amount you need each day may vary depending on activity level and goals.  For active people, carbs are needed, not evil.

A balance of each one of the macros at each meal for most people will feel great. I encourage you to be your own experiment in figuring out how much of each macro you need.  You will know when you hit that right spot when you look good, feel good and perform well.   Bon appetite!