(44) Insight Into Macronutrients — Know The Worth Of Your Food Before You Eat It

Photo on Unsplash by Brooke Lark

Does it ring a bell? Do we really know what macronutrients define? How good are they for us, and what happens when we don’t take in the required amount?


Macronutrients define the building block of nutrition. In its simplest definitions, it is essential to carry out the physiological activities of the body on a day to day basis.

Rather than focusing too much on the definition itself, you and I will take a closer look at some of the major macronutrients and what goes wrong if they are in imbalance.

Without stretching it any further, here they are:

Macronutrients

  1. Proteins

One of the most important and vital nutrients that are made up of blocks of amino acids. Proteins are broken down into these amino acids and used in several physiological adaptations, such as growth and repair of tissues, bone formation, enzyme production and hormones.

The deficiency results in:

Kwashiorkor which is a condition that leads to delayed growth development and muscle wastage in the individual. The individual usually has an appearance as that of a frailed and weak body.

The excess results in:

An exceeding energy intake level that further leads to

  • an increase in load on the kidneys (causing dehydration),
  • increased intake of cholesterol and fats,
  • amino acids imbalances that lead to toxicity in the body and
  • the risk of osteoporosis that comes as a result of urinary calcium loss.

2. Fats

Fats are a crucial component of the macronutrient trio; they are engines of energy production and are essential in the absorption of several vitamins, as well as insulate the body.

The deficiency results in:

  • insufficient fat-soluble vitamins reduced HDL cholesterol
  • insufficient fatty acids can worsen inflammatory diseases

The excess results in:

  • An elevated risk of obesity, CVD and cancers
  • Undoubtedly, an increase in blood cholesterol

3. Carbohydrates

Found in the majority of our foods and providing the body with the ability to carry forth its day to day tasks, carbs are the component that are converted to sugar in our bodies and used as a source of energy fuel.

The deficiency results in:

  • Research show statistics that <50–100g a day can cause ketosis
  • Further, a breakdown of amino acids in muscles and organs leads to the production of glucose (this way, the body compensates for a low carb intake).
  • A common one amongst many; lack of fibre that leads to constipation which consequently is a contributing factor to obesity.

The excess results in:

  • weight gain
  • dental caries, hyperlipidemia (increased cholesterol levels), and increased blood glucose
  • reduces Iron and Zinc absorption which form part of vital vitamins.

It’s not often we go reading the back labels of food packaging, however it is good to make a mental note of which brands contain higher fats, salts, carbs and so on.

Micronutrients are extremely important however, in excess they can be hazardous to the body (as seen above) but of course, the changes they cause are not sudden and so we tend to ignore them.

I hope this article was informative and gave you a quick glimpse of how the macronutrient cycle works, keep sure to keep them in balance.

Stay healthy and stay happy!

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