Eat This: What are Macronutrients and Why are They Important?

It isn’t complicated. This one you got. What are macronutrients? Literally, its the large nutrients in your food relationship. We don’t need to sort through an alphabetically list. We don’t need to go crossed eyed trying to figure out what food has which macronutrient. There’s three:

Carbohydrates. Protein. Fats.

This is it. Yet, these three nutrients cause the most controversy in the nutrition world and possibly your world. Much of this is due to diet culture and some healthnuts. We become confused, frustrated, and relate deeply to those diet memes. We are told to hold one macronutrient higher and completely cut another. This creates significant problems as we deprive our bodies from what it needs. It affects our organs, including our brain, heart, and gut. It creates this dangerous dieting cycle that can pile on pounds.

It doesn’t need to be this way.

How do you do this?

You don’t need to hate on carbs, fats, or protein. All three macronutrients play a vital role in your food relationship, your body, and your mind. It’s simply about balance and embracing them all. The best example of this is my goldfish addicted child. We have been working hard on trying new foods and balancing our plates. As in way less goldfish crackers. All of the sudden he started call his goldfish crackers unhealthy. It’s not. Only eating goldfish and bread is not the most nutritious. They aren’t unhealthy. They just need their nutrient partners. So we worked in more proteins and fats after much heated negotiation and food trials. Now we have a better macronutrient balance.

We got the spinach, strawberries, and yogurt (not pictured) in there.

While we need all three maconutrients, they don’t need to be equally present at each meal either. It isn’t a one third fraction game we need to play. It’s about balance for what you need at that moment in time.

Here’s what I mean.

Your mornings benefit greatly from those carbs to provide fuel. Carbs means grains, fruits, veggies, and starches. It’s wide open on how you fuel. Protein and fats should be there but not equally represented. Go ahead and carb your morning to keep going.

Photo by Uriel Mont on

On the flip side in the AM.

My fellow ADHDians and those with executive processing disorders could benefit greatly from a protein heavy breakfast. Nutrition and ADHD covers some basics on how nutrition could affect the ADHD brain, including the major benefits of a protein packed AM plate. You may want to eat more carbs and fats later in the day to make the most of your food relationship and brain.

Another time you may need to play with your macronutrients is with upset stomach. Fats and protein may contribute to an aggravated stomach as they are harder to digest. This may increase stomach acid. Your stomach needs to find its zen and I love carbs for that, especially starches. Eat this: Starches covers the incredible power starches have in the gut. Starches can absorb stomach acid while feeding your gut what it needs.

For those wanting to build muscle with more intention. More protein is it. For a short time period, you may want to build meals that have more protein than the other macronutrients. Carbs and fats should be there but maybe not the main player.

Photo by Eneida Nieves on

Going a prolonged amount of time without a macronutrient can put your body in a harmful place. Going a prolonged amount of time with one macronutrient dominate can put your body in a harmful place. Your meals can vary with amounts of macronutrients to meet your needs and goals. However, at the end of your day all macronutrients need to part of your food relationship. They’re there to fully support you. Eat your macros and simplify your plate.

Join my food relationship journey on Instagram and love your food relationship.

Published by JRiley

Certified holistic nutritionist, reiki master, and yogi who hates kale and loves tacos.

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