Macronutrients refers to the three main components of food; fat, protein and carbohydrates. Along with alcohol (which is not essential nutritionally), the macronutrients are our sources of energy. We derive approximately 4 calories per gram of protein or carbohydrate, while fat yields approximately 9 calories per gram.
Fats can be found as a variety of lipids. Among these we find:
- Saturated fat
- Unsaturated fat
- Trans fat
...and many others.
Proteins are used to build many structures in the body, as well as taking part in many different processes. 10-35% of our calories should come from proteins; this can usually be easily achieved by eating a normal, balanced diet.
Carbohydrates are our main source of fuel. Up to 45-65% of the calories we consume may be carbohydrates.
- "Macronutrients: The importance of Carbohydrate, Protein and Fat". University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Feb. 4th, 2014. http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/handouts/macronutrients.htm. Retrieved Feb. 8th, 2016.