what are macronutrients

What are Macronutrients? Starting a Healthy Diet

Do you want to start a healthy diet but still don’t know how? Today, we’ll explain in a simple way why you should change your eating habits, what macronutrients are, and how to break them down to maximize your results and start eating healthy.

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Why you should start a healthy diet

If you already exercise regularly, you must understand that your diet directly affects your earning potential. A balanced diet ensures that your body absorbs all the nutrients it needs to work at high performance.

In addition, a healthy diet boosts your immunity and helps prevent serious health problems such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and overweight, among others. Also, what you eat affects your energy levels and can interfere with your rest, mood and even memory.

In short, your nutrition is directly responsible for your performance throughout your life. Eating poorly has several implications, and it can affect your body, mental health, and even your performance at work or in your personal life.

Macronutrients: What are macros, and why they are important

The first step in starting a healthy diet is understanding the concept of macronutrients. Macronutrients are divided into three types (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) and are essential for your body to function correctly:

Carbohydrates (carbs)

When digested, carbohydrates turn into glucose (a type of sugar), the primary energy source for your body. That’s why you feel weak and unwell when you go on crazy zero-carb diets.

Your body can still produce glucose by ingesting protein, but we won’t go too far to simplify the matter. Some foods rich in glucose are bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, vegetables, fruits and sugars as a whole.

Fibre is another essential carbohydrate for regulating your body, cleaning your organism and keeping your intestine healthy. It’s important to say that fibre does not turn into glucose, so foods rich in fibre alone will not bring you energy. Some fibre sources are beans, peas, grains, whole grain bread, and cereals.


Proteins are made up of amino acids and allow your body to build and repair muscle tissue and protect your muscle mass. This means that by eating too little protein, you will not only sabotage any chance of building more muscle, but you might also lose what your body has already built up.

Some animal protein sources are meat, chicken, fish, milk, and cheese. If you are vegetarian or vegan, there are still several ways to ingest plant-based protein: beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and soybeans, among others.


You are wrong if you think that fat is harmful to the body. Healthy fat allows your body to store energy, produce some hormones, and absorb some vitamins. Therefore, you should keep an eye on what kind of fat you are consuming:

Trans fat

Here’s our bad guy. Simply avoid it. Trans fat can be found in margarine, baked goods, doughs and fried foods. Always look at the label of the products you normally consume, and if you find trans fat, try to check if there are other options to replace it.

In short, trans fat raises your “bad cholesterol” (LDL) and lowers your “good cholesterol” (HDL) at the same time.

Saturated fat

Saturated fats increase your cholesterol levels and, consequently, your risk of developing heart disease. Saturated fat is found in animal proteins such as beef, lamb, pork, butter, and cheese.

According to the American Heart Association, only 5% of your daily calories should be saturated fat. If you need 2000 calories a day, you should only consume 13 grams of saturated fat daily.

Unsaturated fat

Unsaturated fat is considered healthy as it can reduce the risk of heart disease. It can be found in plant sources such as avocado, nuts, seeds, olives and oils. You can also find them in fish, like salmon, sardines, and tuna.

Calculating your macros: How to Start counting macronutrients

According to The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institutes of Medicine (IOM), the distribution of your macronutrients should be done as follows:

  • Carbs: 45-65% of your daily calories
  • Protein: 10-35% of your daily calories
  • Fat: 20-35% of your daily calories

We know this can all be a little overwhelming, so if you don’t know how many calories you should eat daily, use this calculator. As always, we strongly recommend that you see a nutritionist. We can help you plan your diet, but nothing will be as effective as a professional look.

4 tips to start a healthy diet: Boost your life!

Changing your habits is not an easy task, but understanding the concept of macronutrients makes it a little easier to know how you should balance your diet. Starting a healthy diet can be overwhelming, so here are some extra tips that will help you get started:

  1. Avoid ready-to-eat meals and junk food: Try reducing all kinds of processed foods, like refined carbs (bread, bagels, waffles, pizza, and foods that contain white flour). If you can, avoid chocolates and foods with added sugar. It’s a good idea to replace those foods with fruits and vegetables, which are rich in vitamins and sources of fibre, giving you more satiety.
  2. Hydrate properly: Drink more water and, if possible, try to eliminate alcohol consumption. Alcohol promotes inflammation, disrupts your metabolism, and leads to a series of illnesses that can affect your life.
  3. Start reading the nutritional table of the products: Many foods considered healthy can be highly caloric, fatty, or full of sugar. Understanding what your average caloric expenditure is and how to divide your macronutrients – as you’ve learned in this article – makes it much easier to understand what you should and shouldn’t eat.
  4. Allow yourself to make mistakes: It’s okay to eat a pizza once in a while, as long as you don’t overdo it. Remember that your health is a long-term project, and you are entirely responsible for your choices. Work hard to control your impulses and try eating unhealthy food only when you have no other option.

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