Meet The Macros – All About Macronutrients

The food we eat is composed of:

1..Macronutrients, namely carbohydrates, protein, and fat;

2..Micronutrients, namely vitamins and minerals; and 

3..Water

Macronutrients are required in large quantities by the body and are measured in grams. Micronutrients are required in smaller quantities by the body and are measured in milligrams.

Most foods contain a mixture of the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fat). Depending on which macronutrient is dominant in the food, the food is classified as carbohydrate-rich, protein-rich, or fat-rich.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates (aka carbs) are the primary source of fuel required by the body. When carbohydrates get digested, they release sugar (glucose), which is the body’s preferred source of energy. 

Carbohydrates are further classified as simple carbs or complex carbs, depending on their chemical structure. 

Simple carbs are broken down quickly by the body, leading to a quick spike in energy before ending in a “sugar crash.” This rapid change in blood sugar in your body does not produce a healthy state for your body. There are a plethora of health conditions that can arise from eating too many simple carbs, with the most severe being Type II diabetes. 

Simple carbs consist of white bread, pasta, sweets, and sugary drinks. 

Complex carbs take longer to be broken down by the body, so energy is released over a longer period of time, providing more lasting and stable energy.

Complex carbohydrates are the healthier of the two types of carbs and consist of fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, beans, and nuts. 

Fat 

If you’ve feared fats, fear not. Your body needs fat, and taking in healthy fats in the right amount keeps you fit and at the ideal weight. Fats are necessary to absorb and store vitamins, produce hormones, and protect your organs. 

There are three types of fats: Unsaturated fats which are found in foods like salmon and olive oil; Saturated fats which are found in foods like eggs, meat, and dairy; and Trans fat which is found in deep-fried food, cakes, and other goods that contain “hydrogenated oils.”

While Unsaturated and Saturated fats are naturally occurring and are needed by your body in healthy servings, most Trans fat is man-made fat and extremely harmful to your body. 

Aim for getting healthy fats from foods like olive oil, fish, dairy, eggs, nuts, peanut butter, avocados, soy, and tofu. 

Proteins

Proteins are the building blocks of your body! 

Proteins help build and repair muscle and tissue. They also have other vital functions, like forming blood cells, hormones, hair, skin, nails, and much more. 

While protein is more densely found in animal products like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, protein is also found, in smaller amounts, in plant-based foods like nuts, beans, soy, and tofu.

Unlike carbs and fats, which each has “good” and “bad” types, there are no “good” or “bad” proteins. Proteins are actually a combination of 21 smaller building blocks called “amino acids.” 

The focus of protein consumption is to ensure you are getting adequate amounts of each “amino acid.” 

As long as you are consuming animal products like meat, fish, dairy, or eggs, this is not something you need to worry about. If however, you are a plant-based diet, you will need to careful plan to ensure you are getting a full coverage of all the essential amino acids. 

The Proper Ratios 

It is important to eat the proper ratios of each type of macronutrient. This is determined by calculating the percentage of total calories that come from each macronutrient. 

– Carbohydrates = 4 calories per gram
– Fat = 9
 calories per gram
– Protein = 4
 calories per gram

So for example: If an individual has 100g of protein in a day:

(100g x 4 cals) = 400 calories of protein. 

If that individual had 2000 total calories today, then their percentage of calories from protein = (400 calories / 2000 total calories) = 20% protein.

Different diets recommend different macronutrient ratios. 

This doesn’t necessarily mean that one diet is right and another is wrong. Throughout the years, there have been multiple diet types that have proven to be successful in helping people achieve healthier lives through improving nutrition.

Tari App will accurately report your macronutrient ratios regardless of which diet you are on

However, when asked for our opinion of the best macronutrient ratios, we offer the following calculation as general advice. For this equation, you would need to provide: 

1..Weight: Your current body weight 

2..Total Calories: Total amount of calories you want to eat per day 

3..Protein Amount: How much protein you want to eat per day
a. Moderate: .54g per pound
b. High: .77g per pound
c. Maximum: 1g per pound*

*Some athletes and individuals with specific conditions may require more than 1g per pound of protein.  

Fat Ratio %: First, we start with a fixed 30% fat ratio for our healthy fats. 

Protein Ratio %: Next, to determine our protein ratio we take: 

(Protein Amount X Weight x 4) / (Total Calories) 

For example, if we chose ‘High’ protein, weight 150 pounds, and we want to eat 2000 total calories per day:

(.77 x 150 x 4) / 2000) = 23% protein ratio (for this example)

Carb Ratio %: Last, to determine our carb ratio, we simply subtract the fat and protein ratio from 100%. 

(100%) – (30% fat ratio) – ( ____ protein ratio) = Carbohydrate ratio

In our example… 

(100%) – (30%) – (23%) = 47% carbohydrate ratio (for this example)

That’s all there is to it! 

Of course, we always recommend consulting with a licensed nutritionist or medical professional before beginning any new diet. 

Once you have decided on your proper macronutrient ratio, start tracking them in Tari App today! 

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