Food Scoring Guide: Macronutrients

Macronutrients are nutrients that contain calories. There are only macronutrients—fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Macronutrients give us the calories we need for energy and growth. All natural foods contain a mixture of fat, carbohydrates, and protein, although some (primarily animal products) contain only two of the three. For example, a banana is mostly carbohydrate (93%), but it does contain some fat (3%) and protein (4%). Spinach, like all dark leafy green vegetables, contain approximately equal amounts of carbohydrates (40%) and protein (43%), along with a lesser amount of fat (7%). Sirloin steak is all fat (44%) and protein (56%) and contains no carbohydrate.

With Americans gaining weight at such a fast pace, there seems to be an endless stream of diet books that focus on manipulating the amounts and the percentages of the macronutrients—carbohydrate, fat, and protein—that we eat. But fiddling around macronutrient percentages is not the way to lose weigh or improve health. In fact, the only way to slow the tidal wave of increased chronic disease and obesity is for people to eat less of all three macronutrients.

It is a simple equation. Macronutrients are where all of the calories come from. If you overconsume macronutrients (regardless of the percentages of each), you will get too many calories. If you consume too many calories, you will experience excess weight gain, various chronic diseases, and premature death.

To lose weight and improve health, forget about the macronutrients percentages, and focus on providing yourself with the highest quality diet. Nutritional excellence is achieved by eating foods that have the highest levels of micronutrients.
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Comments (2) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
nick - October 19, 2011 10:50 AM

this was very useful to our class

Bailey Johnson - October 19, 2011 10:53 AM

This was very helpful to our class

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