What can you include on the list of macronutrients and micronutrients? If we ignore the need, pleasure and social aspects of eating; the food is simply any (edible) organic compound which the body uses as energy to operate.
It serves as a building material for growth and tissue regeneration processes, and as necessary elements to support metabolism. Each food is comprised of various nutrients. There are about 40 nutrients, but for easier understanding, we can say that they are divided into those that are needed in small quantities, and the rest that we need more.
First are micronutrients (i.e., vitamins and minerals), and others are macronutrients. We will discuss about these two groups of nutrients and their purpose. We hear of them a lot but we should also know more about them. Macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
In addition to micronutrients, which act as supporting elements of metabolism, and macronutrients, which are a source of energy and building blocks, the body also requires water and fiber. Fiber fall within the group of carbohydrates, but are not macronutrients because the body can’t digest them. Micronutrients play an important role in ensuring the normal functioning of the digestive system.
Each food is made from all nutrients; the only difference is in the ratio of these elements in the specific food. Unfortunately we have many foods in the store that have too little of these important elements.
List Of Macronutrients And Micronutrients
If you are watching on your weight and want to stay healthy and fit; you should know the list of macronutrients and micronutrients. Knowing which food is a macronutrient, and which is the micronutrient can help you to prepare balanced plates of food.
Are you ready to educate? In a matter of minutes you will learn everything of macronutrients and micronutrients.
Carbohydrates – A Favorite Source of Energy
When we say that carbohydrates are a favorite source of energy, we don’t mean people who love sweets of course. We mean that our body gets the energy for jumping, running, hugging, thinking, joy, sadness, and all other activities from the carbohydrates. The brain, for example, can’t live without them, nor a many other important body processes.
They have one disadvantage; carbohydrates can easily convert into body fat. It happens because we eat too many carbohydrates, and the body stores them for the bad times.
There are good and bad carbohydrates. Both are stored in body fat deposits, if you enjoy them more than you need. Good carbohydrates play an important role in digestion, regulate blood sugar levels, and also affect on how the body will use the remaining food.
You will recognize bad carbohydrates from the buying location, or their packaging. You practically can’t avoid them in restaurants and delicatessen departments. They will be extremely colorful and have attractive packaging on the store shelves.
If you love your body; choose mainly complex carbohydrates, which are in the food of plant origin (cereals, flakes, vegetables …). You should avoid simple carbs or sugars that are mostly in processed foods (white bread, pastries, pizzas, desserts, also in instant ready food …).
Sources of Carbohydrates in Foods
- sugar: fruit, kitchen sugar, honey, chocolate, jam, biscuits, candies, pastries
- starch: cereals, bread, pasta, potatoes, legumes (bean, broad bean, peas, lentils, soya beans)
- dietary fiber (cellulose): vegetables (lettuce, turnips, cabbage, legumes, sprouts), fruits, bran, and black bread
Fats – Don’t Avoid the Good Ones
People still think that we get overweight because we eat too much of fat. If we want to lose weight, we need to stop eating oily food… This is not true! We gain weight because we consume too much of energy. Usually this is the case when we eat too many carbohydrates and too much fat (fries, cookies, muffins, pizzas, etc.)
The fat is also the source of energy. However, it is essential to know that there are so-called good, and so-called bad fat. Both are high-energy food, but the difference is that good fats assist in the important processes of metabolism, and the composition of cells, and poor fats only harm us and our body.
Unfortunately, it seems that a modern man somewhat exaggerate in the understanding of how fats are necessary for the normal functioning of body, and eats fat whenever it is possible. Above all, we eat too many bad fats every day (chocolate, pastry, biscuits, cakes, hamburgers, french fries, pasta, mayonnaise, spreads, cream, oil, salami, roast …).
Good fats (olive oil, fish, various nuts and hazelnuts) are necessary for proper cell function, maintaining of body temperature, and healthy skin and hair. There are studies that prove that lack of fat in the nutrition can lead to serious mental disorders such as depression.
- animal fat
- chicken skin
- fish oil
- flax oil
- pumpkin oil
- corn oil
- other vegetable oils
Proteins – Gives the Energy
Proteins also fits on our list of macronutrients and micronutrients. Proteins are actively involved in almost all the molecular processes in the body.
They are helpful in metabolism, are an integral part of the authorities, regulate the cellular activity, manage the molecules activity (such as hormones), appear as antibodies in the immune system, etc.
If we put it simpler, the proteins are a building material. Mammals (which also include people) are not able to produce 9 amino acids (components of protein) on their own, so they must necessarily consume them with food.
The food should be as diverse as possible (also among protein sources). We recommend that you consume low-fat white meat as poultry, fish, eggs and lean cottage cheese. However, avoid greasy red meat and processed meat products, as they also contain plenty of fat, and it is the worst kind of fat possible.
Foods which contain more Protein
- all foods of animal origin, except honey: milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, meat, fish and seafood …
- legumes: beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas, beans, …
- nuts: peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, macadamia …
Fiber for a Good Digestive System
In recent years, fibers became very important topic in the weight loss world. Although fibers fall into the group of carbohydrates due to its composition, they are something special, because they don’t provide energy, but are excreted undigested.
We get fiber exclusively in plant food (especially in the harder parts, such peel, roots and stems), which have a number of beneficial effects. They provide a sense of satiety, and speed up the digestive system.
They also help indirectly to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. People who consume at least two portions of vegetables, is likely to consume enough fiber (daily around 20 to 40 grams), while others should consume especially green vegetables, bran, flakes, cereal grains, legumes and others.
Commercial products (which are based on the flakes and bran) have relatively low amounts of fiber, especially such products that have many sugar (milk flakes slices, mixes for breakfast). Enjoy fiber in the most raw and unprocessed form, and carefully read the nutritional composition on the prepared and processed foods labels.
Fiber in Cereals:
- whole grain cereal products
- whole grains such as barley, corn and brown rice
- whole grain pasta
- whole wheat flakes
Fiber in Fruit:
- dried fruits such as apricots, dates, prunes and raisins
- berries such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries
- oranges, apples, pears with peel
Fiber in Vegetables:
- broccoli, spinach, Swiss chard, artichokes, carrots, cabbage, peas
- dried peas and beans, chickpeas and lentils
- nuts and seeds such as almonds, flax seeds, peanuts and roasted soybeans
Vitamins – Fight Free Radicals
Vitamins are involved in many body processes, often appearing as cofactors in various enzyme reactions. They engage in renewing the skin, care for the proper functioning of the nerve, brain, and the immune system. Some vitamins protect cells against free radicals.
Our bodies can’t synthesize the most of them, so we should consume them with food. There is a different need for different vitamins in different stages of life. Smokers, pregnant women, and patients need some vitamins more than the majority of people. Vitamins have important role in the list of macronutrients and micronutrients.
Vitamins can be divided into two groups. One can be soluble in fat (A, D, E and K), and the others can be soluble in water (B and C). The fat-soluble vitamins can accumulate in the body, which may lead to poisoning at a higher intake.
There is much smaller poisoning possibility in the case of water-soluble vitamins, since the excess amount is excreted with the urine. Since the vitamin B and C can’t accumulate in the tissues, the possibility of the lack of these vitamins is slightly greater than that of vitamin A, D, E and K, which our body can store.
Different Kinds of Vitamins are in:
Citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, green and leafy vegetables, tomatoes, melons, peanuts, oil, maize germ, whole grain cereals, green leafy vegetables, legumes, egg yolks, liver, kidney, egg yolks, in the yeast, etc.
It is vital that you eat diverse and balanced food, so that you will get the vitamins from different groups.
Minerals – Vital Substances for the Body
Minerals are also vital substances that the body urgently needs, even in very small quantities. Minerals are inorganic substances, which are divided into macroelements- sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chlorine, phosphorus and sulfur, and the microelements- iron, iodine, copper, zinc, cobalt, chromium, selenium, fluoride, manganese, and molybdenum.
Lack of individual elements in humans is usually rare, because plant and animal foods contain enough of these substances. The deficiency however can occur with prolonged monotone nutrition or too much intake of fiber, which can bind certain minerals. Mineral intake also increases with prolonged diarrhea, in pregnancy, breastfeeding and certain diseases.
Minerals can be found in:
meat, liver, seafood, yeast, wheat germ, eggs, pumpkin seeds, onion, halogen, milk and dairy products, cheeses, soybeans, sardines, salmon, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, beans, broccoli, cabbage, green vegetables, mineral water, etc.
Eat Diverse Food and Stay Healthy and Fit
Now that you know the list of macronutrients and micronutrients, you can choose the food regarding your needs. If you regularly lift weights, you shouldn’t forget on proteins that build and regenerate muscles. If you are a runner, don’t forget on carbohydrates, etc.
Nevertheless if you are active or not, you should take care of balanced nutrition that contains a lot of fresh prepared food as fruits, vegetables and grains. Proteins should be included in every meal as other macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals).
Choose quality fat and don’t avoid them. Avoid fat that is hidden in red meat and some vegetable oils (sunflower oil). If you are trying to lose weight; replace carbohydrates from pasta for fresh vegetables. You can prepare yourself a healthy salad with tuna, eggs and a healthy fat such as olive oil or pumpkin oil. Just enjoy in preparing new diverse dishes and you will be on the right way!