Macro, Micro, What-o? Think of my body like car?
What are macronutrients?
If we were on jeopardy, we would answer the question to:
“the food group that provides us with energy?”
– What are macronutrients? CORRECT!
Calories come from three main groups, Macronutrients, or Macros for short. There are three types of macronutrients that give us calories, or energy. Carbohydrates, protein and fat. Each one provides us with a level of energy per gram.
- Carbohydrates provide 4 kcals per gram
- Protein provide 4 kcals per gram
- Fat provides 9 calories per gram
To paint a visual for you, calories are to living things as fuel is to a car.
If our body was a car, we would go to the gas tank and select one of three fuel types. Maybe we would select (1) mid-grade, (2) premium or (3) diesel. With food you can select (1) carbohydrates, (2) protein or (3)fat. These macronutrients are the only thing that will keep your car moving forward. Your body and your car need a lot more than just fuel though. Your car also needs motor oil, windshield wiper fluid, a good vacuum or a car wash from time to time. Your body needs this too, your body needs vitamins and minerals, known as micronutrients, and even fiber (the clean out just like your car) that you get in fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
If you put too much fuel in your car, you have to store it somewhere, like your trunk of the car or the bed of a truck. Calories are similar, if we consume more than our body needs we store it. We store excess fuel as fat. There is a sweet spot we have to find based on what our needs are.
To learn what your individual needs are, speak to Molly or another Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to learn more.