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Macronutrients

A healthy diet is made up of both macronutrients and micronutrients. The difference between them is that we need macronutrients in large quantities and micro nutrients in small amounts. Makes sense, doesn’t it?. Macronutrients are carbohydrates, protein and fat. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals. 

Of the 3 macronutrients, carbohydrates get a lot of negative attention. There have been many low or no carb diets. Recently, there seems to be a bit of a shift happening. Now there’s the 40/30/30 diet. Sounds like the combination to the lock I used on my high school locker. Actually, those numbers are the percentage of the macronutrients to be consumed in a day. It would be 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat. While it may sound like carbs are leading the way in this diet but they aren’t really. The Canada Food Guide recommends that our diet should consist of 45-65% carbohydrates. Keep in mind there are carbs in fruits and veggies as well as in bread, pasta and potatoes. 

If this sounds confusing to you know that you’re not alone. I’m confused too. While I was once someone who religiously tracked my calories I didn’t pay attention to the breakdown between the macronutrients. I found that by focusing on consuming mostly non-processed foods, especially vegetables and fruits, I either lost or managed my weight. Most importantly my body had the energy it needed to do everything I needed to do. Some people are quite scientific about their food consumption. This is important if you’re a competitive athlete or like to train for recreational events in a serious way. Some folks just like to experiment and learning the best combination of the macro nutrients can be a useful bit of knowledge if the process doesn’t become overwhelming. It’s those moments of frustration that can result in a stop at the convenience store for a bag of chips, a chocolate bar and a big bottle of pop.

Weight loss is about the calories in being less than the calories out. Weight management is about the calories consumed equally the calories expended. How you make up those calories in the way of carbs, proteins and fats can be as individual as our fingerprints. To complicate things, your body may need a different combination depending on your activity level on any given day. So, keep things simple. Eat well and don’t over eat. That may just be the best combination to follow.

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