Macronutrients and micronutrients are a category that dietician use to refer to your nutritional intake and dietary requirements. Macronutrients and micronutrients are essentially the same. What makes them different is when you break them down into their open categories.
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Understanding the difference between macronutrients and micronutrients will allow you to better understand what your dietary requirements are and what exactly the foods you consume are doing to your body. In this article, we will break down what macronutrients and micronutrients are, as well as how they affect our health.
Originating from the Greek word “macros” macronutrients cover the larger picture in terms of the nutrition categories. Macronutrients are categorized into three main components, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. In terms of your diet, macronutrients are measured in grams.
Macronutrients are useful in measuring a healthy diet as a balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Depending on your dietary requirements or personal health objectives, macronutrients can be manipulated and tailored specifically to what you need them to be.
Carbohydrates foods include:
- Bread, pastries, pasta
- Certain fruits
Fat foods include:
Protein foods include:
Micro derives from the Greek word “Mikros”, meaning small. Micronutrients, on the other hand, aim to break down all your foods as well as macronutrients into more detailed and specific categories of nutrition. Micronutrients aim to define nutrients such as specific vitamins, and minerals such as calcium, zinc, magnesium, and potassium, just to name a few.
Micronutrients may not be as easy to measure or to apply in your diet as it has far more categories that macronutrients, but they are still essential to understand, as the daily recommended intake of nutrients are mainly measured through macronutrients.
Popular Diet Methods
One of the main reasons why people try to develop a better understanding of macronutrients and micronutrients is to achieve ideal health and fitness objectives.
And when it comes to dieting, a thorough understanding of macronutrients and micronutrients are essential. Macro-based dieting methods include:
1. If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) diet
This type of diet means that you can eat whatever foods you like, as long as you don’t exceed the number of calories you allow for each category: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
This type of diet generally allows you to discard anything you know about micronutrients and to use base your food choice of the three main macronutrient categories.
2. The ketogenic Diet
This diet entails that you stay away from carbohydrates or reduce carbohydrate intake to around 5%-10%. This means your protein and fat intake will make up 90%-95% of your diet.
In theory, when your body no longer received glucose from carbohydrates, it will use the existing fat in your body as a source of energy to burn off, helping you lose fat weight in the process.
3. Paleo Diet
This diet means that you need to stay away from all refined and processed foods. On a paleo diet, you need to be eating fresh grown and whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, and meats. Refined ingredients including dairy foods are prohibited.
In terms of micronutrients, people don’t actually use it to diet. People tend to count micronutrients to reach their daily recommended intake of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. It’s important to keep track of micronutrients to keep you, your body, and the immune system in a healthy state and prevent malnutrition from occurring.
Macronutrients are most important when trying to diet, but it doesn’t necessarily determine what you should and shouldn’t eat. If you closely monitor your micronutrients, understand what you need, you’ll be able to have a specific diet that accounts for both and get you the results your body needs.
When to Speak to a Professional About Your Diet?
There are multiple different diet approaches available for you to try. They all will require you to have at least a basic understanding of macronutrients and micronutrients. Being able to successfully diet or maintain good health, in general, will require you to understand how exactly macronutrients and micronutrients affect your health.
However, for people with certain health conditions, for example, people with food allergies, or malnutrition, speak with your doctor or professional dietician is the best place to start. No matter how much you think you know about macronutrients and micronutrients for dieting, your doctor will be able to give you the best advice on what will be the most effective and safe diet for you.
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