3 Macronutrients Every Diet Needs
You don’t have to look very far in order to find a diet that tries to completely cut out or severely restrict an entire category of food—usually one of the three macronutrients which are carbs, protein, and fat. While these may be very compelling because you think that all you have to do is not eat foods that fall under that guideline and your weight issue just disappears, the reality is that your body needs certain nutrients in order to function efficiently. Not wants, not prefers, not would really like, but needs. Let’s discuss why.
Out of the three macronutrients, carbs are the ones that have taken the most heat, and the reason is simple. There are actually two types of carbohydrates. There are the ones that are good for your body and the ones that aren’t so good, causing some people to not know the difference and just label them all as “bad,” swearing them off completely. Carbohydrates are necessary because they supply your body with glucose. This is the sugar that is in your blood, helping to give your cells the energy they need to sustain your life functions. They are generally beneficial to your body, unless you choose carbs that deliver high doses of sugar too quickly, causing it to spike and then drop, which affects your body’s insulin production and release. That is where the distinction is important to realize, so that you choose carbohydrates that benefit your health as opposed to hurting it. Healthy carbs are foods such as whole wheat, brown rice, fruit, and certain cereals and grains. Carbs that aren’t the greatest for your health include sugary drinks, cakes, candy, and alcohol. So, as you can see, it isn’t carbs that are bad for you. It is bad carbs that are bad for you.
Protein is beneficial to your body in that it helps build muscle mass and increase your energy—two keys to making your weight loss journey a success. It keeps you going through your exercise sessions thanks to the fuel that it supplies to your body, while also assisting with repairing your muscles after grueling workouts. The key is to get the best kinds of proteins in your diet, skipping the ones that aren’t as healthy and nutritious for you. The proteins that supply the most advantages to your body are lean meats, eggs, seafood, and beans. The proteins that aren’t the greatest for you include many of the “quick” proteins like shakes and bars. While these faster options may supply adequate doses of protein, you’re much better off choosing “real” foods than eating or drinking some sort of supplement.
Most people think that they need to cut fat completely out of their diet in order to lose weight, but this is not only not true, but it is also unhealthy. Your body needs a certain amount of fat to function as it helps with food digestion, hunger control, vitamin and mineral absorption, and other important bodily functions. Just as carbs and proteins have good and not-so-good options, the same is true for fat. For instance, using vegetable oil as opposed to animal fat is a great start. Also, it helps to trim any visible fat from your meat and limit your intake of butter, gravy, and other fatty condiments. Essentially, the key with fat is to get the right kinds in the right amounts. Excessive fat in your diet not only increases your waistline, but it also has the potential of clogging your arteries and putting you at risk of life-threatening diseases like heart disease and cancer.
As you can see, all three macronutrients are important for a healthy body. The key is to choose food items in each category that promote your health versus diminish it, and to engage in portion control so that you get enough of each, without taking in too much. If you’d like to learn more about how to include these macronutrients in your life to achieve better levels of nutrition and a healthier weight, feel free to pick up a copy of our new book, Fat-Me Not. In it, you will discover in detail the things you can do reach your health and fitness goals in the safest way possible. What foods do you eat to best promote your health? We’d love to know!