Are carbs, protein, or fats most important for the body? in recent years, low-carb diets have been trending and before that low-fat diets were most important. Which macronutrient is vital for every function of the body? Each of these macro-nutrients works in different ways. For example, carbs are the body’s first choice for an energy source. Protein helps to build muscle mass and maintain healthy hair/skin. Healthy fat is needed for heart/brain health. All of these macros are important for proper function of the brain/body. A big question is whether any of them is most critical than the others for good health.
The human body has 11 organ systems. Some like the heart and lungs are better known than others but each system is critical for the body to function properly. This is why it’s critical to make sure you’re getting all the macro/micronutrients you need. This will help to make sure everything is working like a finely oiled machine. On the other hand, if you aren’t getting enough carbs, protein, or fats it can cause problems. For example, when you go on a low-carb diet, there’s a good chance you’ll experience something called “Keto flu.” This is due to the body preferring carbs over fat for energy.
What Exactly Are Macronutrients?
if someone walks up to you at the gym and asks “What are your macros?” what would you say? it’s a key question because when you’re working out, losing weight, or just trying to maintain good health, it’s all about the percentage of carbohydrates, protein, and fat you’re consuming. This is a key issue because it’s related to the amount of each “macro” you’re getting.
Back in the day, the main feature of “dieting” was calorie-counting. this is certainly important because consuming too many calories will cause issues like fat/weight gain can wreck your diet. So even if your diet doesn’t focus on calorie-counting it’s something you should probably do anyway even if it’s done informally.
One of the main problems with calorie counting is that it doesn’t take into account the quality of the food you’re eating. That’s why it’s a good idea to count carbs, protein, and fat. There are different approaches in terms of the macros allowed for various diets. What matters is that you’re tracking all three macros.
Does this mean that 100% of your diet’s focus should be on macronutrients? It’s important to also track other things like micronutrients and calories. However, if you start with a foundation of macro-counting. Then you can track related issues like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Macronutrients are part of the body’s different systems that help the body to work effectively. They provide several benefits that help to body in different areas like:
Macronutrients include the main ones of carbs, protein, and fat. Water could be considered an official fourth one. For example, some superfoods like apples are high-carb and high-water. Others like avocados are high-fat and high-water.
In fact, it’s important to monitor how much water is in certain foods. For example, if you consume tomatoes, cucumbers, and apples during the day you’ll need to drink less water to get 2 to 3 liters of needed daily water.
Which Macronutrient Is Vital for Every Function of the Body?
Certain foods are classified by the main macro they contain. For example, apples are 95% arbs so they’re considered a carb. Meat is classified as a protein, and avocados are known as fats. These different foods have other macros but the majority of each one is one of the three.
Some foods lack certain macros. For example, a glass of water, beefsteak, and shot of whiskey all have 0g of carbs. This doesn’t mean they’re unhealthy.
There’s some debate about the particular macro split/ratio people should follow. For example, the first low-carb diet known as the Stillman Diet hit the market in 1967 and was interestingly high-protein and low-fat.
Since then several low-carb markets have hit the market. They take a different approach to carb splits. Atkins and South Beach are multiple phases and Phase 1 only allows 20g of carbs. Meanwhile, Atkins allows unlimited protein and fat while Keto puts protein at about 20% and fat at about 70%.
There’s no question going low-carb can help you lose weight. However, there’s some debate about how long you should stay on a low-carb/high-fat (LCHF) diet. Even many of the supporters of low-carb diets suggest that people only stay on the short-term. This is due to some health issues like the body preferring carbs over fat for energy.
The main takeaway from these issues is each of the three macronutrients is important. It’s similar to the situation when people ditch entire food groups like grains. It’s one thing to cut carbs and quite another thing to say carbs are unhealthy. A better approach is one like the Mediterranean Diet. It’s lower-carb instead of low-carb and focuses on “good” carbs, protein, and fats.
Tips for Easier Macro-Counting
1. Think outside the box
One helpful method is to bring containers with you that contain different ingredients. This allows you to make new and exciting combos including ones you might not normally make. Doing some experimentation help you to follow your macro ratio yet also invent new recipes.
2. Prepare more home-cooked meals
Here’s why. When you buy store-bought prepared foods or dine out it’s tougher to know the macro counts. In some cases, it’s almost impossible without knowing all the ingredients of the dishes you order at a restaurant, for example.
The situation is much different when you prepare your own meals/snacks. That’s because you’ll know exactly what’s going into the dishes. This will make it easier to count macros and stick to whatever macro ratio you’re following.
3. Learn about your favorite foods
This doesn’t mean you should ditch your go-to foods for meals or snacks. However, what it does mean you should know the carbs/protein/fat in your comfort foods, for example. This will make it easier to track macros and do meal planning. Sometimes we know we like certain foods but aren’t really sure if we should eat them based on their macronutrients.
4. Try different macro splits
One of the best options to take is to change your daily macros. This can help with different goals like weight loss. Variety is the spice of life. Following different macro splits can keep your daily dining fresh.
5. There’s an app for that
You can install one of the various mobile apps available for tracking macros. If you have a smartphone/tablet then this can make the process easier. Some of these apps like My Fitness Pal has a database of 5+ million foods and a barcode scanner. This makes it much easier to track your daily totals for carbs, protein, and fat and figure out which macronutrient is vital for every function of the body.