Starting with the fundamentals, it is worthy to establish the variation of macro vs. micro. Macro and micro are defined as large and extremely small, respectively. The addition of nutrient on the tail-end essentially describes the amount needed within the diet – macronutrients are required in large volumes while micronutrients are needed in much smaller quantities. Although size is the primary micronutrient and macronutrient difference, the stories of each are told in much greater magnitude and divided in their own chapters. Balance by bistroMD is narrating what you need to know regarding the essential nutrients!
Micronutrients Vs. Macronutrients
What Are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients are the large dietary components required to supply the body with energy in the form of calories. The three macronutrients are recognized as carbohydrate, protein, and fat. Although all are required by the body for optimal functioning, each display separate physiological roles and can be obtained from various food sources.
Unfortunately, most Americans acquire their carb intake mostly from added sugars, mostly denoting carbohydrates their off-putting reputation largely related to weight gain. However, the allegations hold truth, but for significant reason, even beyond weight gain. But carbohydrates can also be misinterpreted, as they are mostly the body’s primary fuel source and assists in blood sugar regulation, keeping energy levels maintained throughout the day. While carbohydrates come in a wide variety of sources, dismissing refined products and embracing their natural form is encouraged. Carbohydrates are mostly found in plants, including nutritious whole grains, legumes, fruits, and veggies, while dairy milk and products offer carb content, too.
Like carbohydrate, fat tends to become the “bad guy” when it comes to weight loss. Previous years encouraged low-fat diets for weight management and to reduce the risk of heart disease. While reducing fat can offer value towards overall health, evolving research is shifting its gears towards the fat source rather than solely based on the quantity. Even more specifically, recommendations suggest swapping out trans and saturated fats with more healthful options such as unsaturated fats, including well-recognized omega-3 fatty acids.
Protein is continuously explored for weight loss and muscle maintenance. But sources of protein are variable, as they may also piggyback carbohydrate or fat content. For example, carb and fiber-containing beans are considered a plant-based protein source while protein-rich beef may also carry fat. Despite the dissimilarity in the sources, the protein content in each contributes to valuable roles in the body.
It goes without saying carbohydrate, fat, and protein supplies the body with nutritional needs, but in varying fashions and directions. Get to know more on your macronutrients here: carbohydrate, fat, and protein.
What Are Micronutrients?
Micronutrients are extremely small nutrients and include vitamins, minerals, trace elements, phytochemicals, and antioxidants, ultimately found within the macronutrients. Notwithstanding their size, micronutrients are absolutely critical for total body function, as they act as facilitators to chemical processes for proper growth and development. Food products even within the same macronutrient group offer variable nutrient contents, including carb-containing whole grains and refined products. The reason why whole grains are encouraged over refined products? Whole grains offer essential nutrients and fiber, whereas refined products are largely stripped away from them. Interestingly, too, foods from different macronutrient groups can both offer the same nutrient – while iron is more robust in protein-containing beef than carb-supplying spinach, each source supplies the valuable mineral. The vast supply of micronutrients in various sources is especially important in individuals cutting out food groups for medical or personal purposes. For example, vegetarians and vegans who dismiss animal products still have the opportunity to gain mostly protein-related micronutrients from other sources, further explained here.
Finding the Balance
Ultimately, eliminating food groups can cause both valuable macro- and micronutrients to became scarce and compromise critical body functions. A well-balanced diet filled with whole grains, fruits and veggies, milk and dairy products, lean proteins, and nuts and oils can naturally fill in nutritional holes and lessen the risk of deficiencies. If desiring assistance, Balance by bistroMD ensures meal-balance, guaranteeing all nutritional needs are met, while being diverse in flavors and options!