What are Macronutrients?

Updated: Feb 28

Nutrients can be subdivided into macronutrients and micronutrients. So, what are macronutrients? Macronutrients are the nutritional compounds that we need the most of, versus micronutrients that we need small amounts of (more on these in another blog post). They help support everything our bodies do and provide us with an energy-yielding metabolism. The three main macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Micronutrients are divided into energy-providing or non-energy nutrients. Let's start with the energy-providing macronutrients.

Carbohydrates include glucose, fructose, galactose, monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides. Examples of good carbohydrates are apples, bananas, cauliflower, carrots, oats, brown rice, quinoa, chickpeas, and kidney beans.

Proteins repair and regenerate the body tissue and cells. Proteins help keep the immune system healthy and are important for manufacturing hormones. Examples of good proteins are beans, legumes, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, unsalted nuts, quinoa, avocado, beets, kale, and spinach.

Fats lubricate joints, help organs, are important in the production of hormones, aid in the absorption of certain vitamins, reduce inflammation and preserve brain health. Examples of good fats are almonds, walnuts, pumpkins seeds, chia seeds, olives, and avocados.

Non-energy providing macronutrients are fiber and water. Water is 70% of our body and is necessary for many of our bodily functions. Staying hydrated and consuming enough water daily should be a top priority. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be broken down and instead it passes through the body undigested. Fiber helps regulate the body's use of sugars, it helps to keep hunger and blood sugar in check.