Macronutrient Series

Macronutrients or Macros are all the craze right now. So for the next three blog posts I will be explaining what these macros are and how they function in our bodies.
 
 
What is a Macro?
  •  Carbohydrate

  •  Protein

  •  Fat

Definition of Macronutrient: A type of food required in large amounts in the diet”
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Let’s start with my favorite macronutrient… Carbohydrates!
 
In the world of low carb, carnivore diet, “fruits a carb?!”, Keto diet craze it can seem like we shouldn’t have carbohydrates! This statement could not be farther from the truth. Our bodies need carbohydrates to provide us with the energy required to move and live. Each person has a different carbohydrate need, but eliminating carbohydrates completely can be dangerous and can result in an over consumption of carbohydrates when we restrict.
 

What is a Carbohydrate?

There are two groups: Simple and Complex. Simple include sweets, some fruits, and milk. Simple provide our bodies with a quick source of energy and little satiety. Complex include grains such as whole grain breads, cereals, some fruits, starchy vegetables (peas, corn, potatoes) and beans. Complex provide us with fiber (keep reading to find out more about fiber!)

Why do we need Carbohydrates?

In the most basic way when we consume carbohydrates the digestive system changes these carbohydrates into glucose (have you heard of blood sugar?!). Our body likes this sugar and will use it to provide energy for our cells, tissues, brain and other organs. If we have any “extra glucose” it will be stored in our muscles and liver for when it is needed (through the night when we are sleeping, if we are exercising, etc.)
 
 
Carbohydrates also provide us with something other macronutrients do not provide us with, fiber! Fiber is a type of carbohydrate which we are not able to digest, but is needed to add bulk to our diet, make us feel fuller faster and can aid in weight loss or maintenance. The American Heart Association recommends eating 25-30 grams of fiber a day from food, most Americans only consume around 15 grams a day!
 

Meal ideas with Carbohydrates

½ cup pasta + 2-3 turkey meatballs + ½ cup green beans
2 slices of bread + a few slices of turkey + sweet peppers and crisp lettuce
 

How many Carbohydrates should I eat?

Everyone is different! If you are interested I recommend meeting with a Registered Dietitian to determine the best amount for you. If you are not interested in a specific number a good visual is the plate method…
         
 
½ of our plate non-starch veggies | ¼ plate protein | ¼ plate carbohydrate or starch
 
Have a healthy day!
Elizabeth Beil RD, LD is a registered and licensed dietitian. She is the owner of Elizabeth Beil Nutrition and the dietitian for Picnk. She specializes in individual nutrition counseling with a mindful approach to help develop positive food relationships through non-judgemental practice. If you are interested in learning more please visit beilnutrition.com and her social media handle @beilnutrition.