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Misinformation About Macros

Updated: Jun 24

What are macronutrients? Macronutrients are the nutrients we need in larger quantities that provide us with energy: in other words, fat, protein, and carbohydrates. The number of macros each individual needs is specific to their body. The only way to know exactly what number of fats, protein, and carbohydrates your body needs is to take a resting metabolic rate test also known as an RMR test. This test takes about 10-20 minutes and not only tells you the number of calories your body burns at rest but also which fuel source your body uses for energy, fat, or carbohydrates.

What Are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are sugar molecules. Along with fat and protein, carbohydrates are one of three main nutrients found in foods and drinks. There are 3 main types of carbohydrates or carbs: sugar, starches, and fiber.

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate. Simple carbs are easily and quickly utilized for energy by the body because of their simple chemical structure. These simple carbohydrates are broken down quickly by the body to be used as energy. Simple carbohydrates are found naturally in foods such as fruits, milk, and milk products. They are also found in processed and refined sugars such as candy, table sugar, syrups, and soft drinks. While all these sugars may come from plants, they have been processed in some way to create a simple, sweet form. The most common are high-fructose corn syrup, cane sugar, cane juice, rice syrup, molasses, caramel, and most ingredients ending in -ose, such as glucose, maltose, or dextrose.

Starch is a carbohydrate commonly found in nature and one of the primary sources of food energy for human beings. It is regularly eaten in the form of wheat, rice, potatoes, and other staple foods cultivated throughout the world. Unlike simple carbohydrates, starches are considered complex carbohydrates because they are slowly digested and used for energy.

Fiber is the third type of carbohydrate. Fiber is important for health, digestion, and preventing diseases. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel during digestion. This slows digestion. Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables. It is also found in psyllium, a common fiber supplement. Some types of soluble fiber may help lower the risk of heart disease. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in fluids. Instead, it absorbs them and sticks to other materials to form stool. This process leads to softer, bulkier, and more regular stools.

When trying to lose weight, a low carb diet is best. Carbs do provide health benefits. However, eating more carbohydrates than your body needs will cause weight gain. Those extra carbs will store as fat in the body. If you are a carb burner, you certainly don’t want to add extra carbs to your diet. Carb burners have an abundance of sugar in their blood to begin with and need to burn those calories first before their bodies ever look to stored body fat as a fuel source. The only way to know if you are a carb burner or fat burner is by taking a resting metabolic rate test. The results of an RMR test will tell how your body uses its fuel sources.

What Is Protein?

Protein is another macronutrient needed by the body. Proteins are large, complex molecules that play many critical roles in the body. They do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body's tissues and organs.

Proteins are made up of hundreds or thousands of smaller units called amino acids, which are attached to one another in long chains. There are 20 different types of amino acids that can be combined to make a protein. Amino acids are classified into three groups: essential amino acids, nonessential amino acids, and conditionally essential amino acids.

There are 9 essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body. As a result, they must come from food. Foods that contain all nine essential amino acids are called complete proteins. These foods include beef, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, soy, quinoa, and buckwheat. Foods that contain some but not all the essential amino acids are called incomplete proteins. Nonessential amino acids can be made by the body. Finally, conditionally essential amino acids are usually not essential, except in times of illness and stress. An example of a condition when an amino acid becomes essential is the disease phenylketonuria (PKU) or cardiovascular disease.

Protein is important to any diet; especially when trying to lose weight. Protein fills you up so that you eat less. Lean protein is best and has very little carbs and/or fat. Protein does not store in the body as body fat. Only the results of a resting metabolic rate test or RMR test will include a diet that will tell you how many grams of protein to consume daily. Because the body can only absorb between 25-35 grams of protein every 90 minutes, it is best to space your protein throughout the day.

What Are Fats?

Fat is the third macronutrient. Dietary fats are essential to give your body energy and to support cell function. They also help protect your organs and help keep your body warm. Fats help your body absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones.

Dietary fats are divided into 3 categories: saturated fats, unsaturated fats, and trans-fat. Saturated fat is one of the unhealthy fats. Saturated fats are found in animal-based foods like beef, pork, poultry, full-fat dairy products and eggs and tropical oils like coconut, and palm. Because they are typically solid at room temperature, they are sometimes called “solid fats.” Eating a diet high in saturated fat is associated with raised levels of non-HDL (bad) cholesterol. This is linked to an increased risk of heart and circulatory disease.

There are two kinds of unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. The difference is merely in the number of double bonds they have in their structure. Unsaturated fats are healthy fats, as they may reduce your risk of heart disease, especially when substituted for saturated fats. These fats must be obtained from food since the body cannot make them. Some foods with healthy fat are salmon, olive oil, pecans, peanuts, almonds, and avocados.

Trans-fat is the unhealthiest fat of all. Most trans fats are formed through an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil, which causes the oil to become solid at room temperature. This partially hydrogenated oil is inexpensive and less likely to spoil, so foods made with it have a longer shelf life. Trans fats can be found in fried foods like doughnuts, and baked goods including cakes, pie crusts, biscuits, frozen pizza, cookies, crackers, and stick margarines and other spreads.

When trying to lose weight, your diet should include healthful monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Some of the best sources of these fatty acids include avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish. Saturated fats in the diet should be limited. Only the results of a resting metabolic rate test will tell you how your body uses fats as a fuel source. These results will guide the daily amount of fat that should be include in your diet.

Understanding Macros

When trying to lose weight, understanding what macros are and how they fit into your daily consumption can be simplified by taking a resting metabolic rate test or RMR test. This test takes less than 20 and tells you exactly how many calories your body burns at rest and how your body uses fats and carbs as a fuel source. The test results allow a caloric deficit with the exact number of carbs, protein, and fat to be established so that you lose weight and still get all the macros your body requires. Schedule your RMR test today.

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