If you’ve encountered this article in the wild, you probably Googled “how to count macros for weight loss” or “what are macronutrients?”. Well look no further because this easy-to-read guide will explain what fitness professionals mean when they discuss ‘counting macros’, as well as answer your most calorie-burning questions. (Pun intended)
What Are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients, or macros, are more than just a buzzword. The term macros is used to describe the three main nutrients your body consumes the most of. This includes carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Here’s a breakdown of each macronutrient:
Carbs are your primary source of fuel. This macronutrient provides your body with the long-lasting energy it will need throughout the day. While everyone is different, roughly 45%–65% of your daily caloric intake should come from carbohydrates.
Examples of Carbohydrates
The most common carbohydrates include bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. However, lentils, beans, fruit and vegetables are also considered carbohydrates. These alternative carbohydrates are important because they are also loaded with micronutrients such as b vitamins.
Protein is essential to healthy development and maintenance of your body. This macronutrient provides structure to the tissue within your body, including muscles, organs, bones, and even your blood. Recommended protein intake will vary from person-to-person, but it is important to consume an adequate amount to ensure your body is functioning smoothly.
Examples of Proteins
Chicken, beef and pork are the most common sources of protein in North America. Unfortunately, most animal proteins are high in saturated fats. Healthier options can include fish, shellfish, tofu, egg whites, nuts & seeds, dairy products, lentils and beans.
Fat is stored in the body for insulating vital organs, absorbing vitamins, and to use as energy-reserves. ”Healthy fat” is not to be confused with trans fats. While everyone is different, roughly 20%–30% of your daily caloric intake should come from fat, and less than 10% should come from saturated fats.
Examples of Fats
Healthy sources of fat can include certain vegetable and nut oils, fatty fish, avocados, nuts, seeds, and even some dairy products such as cottage cheese.
Macros & DNA Tests
Now that you understand the difference between each macronutrient and which food contains them, we can touch on a more complex topic: macro genetics.
Macro genetics is a phrase used to describe how the human body’s genetic makeup interacts with macronutrients. For example, our nutrition DNA tests can reveal whether a high-protein diet may aid in your weight loss journey. Our DNA analysis will even go a step further and recommend specific sources of protein best suited to you. If you’d like to learn more about the connection between nutrition and genetics, read our in-depth article Can a DNA Test Really Tell You What to Eat?
Ready to start your personalized nutrition journey? Order one of our at-home DNA tests today.