Science

Dr Brian talks to us about Micro vs. Macro Nutrients

19.01.2022 1 minute read

Have you heard of anyone “Counting their Macros”? - Ever wondered what the difference is between micronutrients and macronutrients, and how you balance these nutrients to help ensure you’re living a healthy lifestyle? Help is here…

What are macronutrients?

"Macro means big," Dr. Brian says. “Macronutrients are the cornerstones of your diet, they’re big nutrients you use in the largest amounts, such as fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals within our diet. They are essential for growth and development required by the body in lesser amounts than the larger nutrient groups."

Macronutrients provide the calories within food, and a calorie is the term we use to describe a unit of energy within food.

  • Fat provides 9 calories per gram
  • Protein provides 4 calories per gram
  • Carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram

When you are “counting your macros”, you will be tracking how many of each macronutrient one is consuming to fit in their nutritional goal.

Different goals require different macros, this is a very personal and unique measurement and no 2 people will have the exact same requirements. It takes some trial and error to find what suits you best but as a general rule:

  • To gain muscle you may be aiming to get closer to 30% of their calories from protein
  • Aiming to lose weight you may aim to get about 45% of their calories from carbohydrates.

Top tip from Dr Brian – “Always read labels and trial out using a calorie tracking app to keep track of your intake.” Seek help from a dietitian to help determine your individual calorie goal and determine how much of each macronutrient component you should be consuming to keep you healthy and reach your goals safely!

Alongside your macronutrients, ensuring you get the correct micronutrient intake is really important too. Some examples of micronutrients include sodium, potassium, zinc, calcium, and vitamin C, and vitamin D.

Eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fortified foods can help increase your consumption of these micronutrients to upkeep the recommended levels to achieve optimum health.