Macronutrients

Macronutrients

Macronutrients are large molecules in plant (and animal) structures which can be digested, absorbed, and utilized by another organism. Therefore, they are the basic energy sources energy sources and also works as a substrate for synthesis of the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which in turn are required to maintain cell and system integrity.

  • Fat is an important component of dietand serves a number of functions in the body. Fats are concentrated sources of energy and provides twice as much energy as protein and carbohydrates.  Since fats and oils in excess can cause diseases in the absence of adequate physical exercise, their intake needs to be regulated to 20-25% of the daily calorie requirement.More about Fats >>
  • Proteins are important building blocks of body tissues like muscles, bone and blood. Proteins are made up of smaller units called amino acids. Out of 20, there are 9 essential (cannot be synthesized by the human body) and 11 non essential amino acids (can be synthesized by the human body). Though proteins can be obtained from both plant and animal sources, the animal proteins have all the essential amino acids (hence have a high biological value) and are better utilized by the body. In contrast, plant proteins may not contain all the essential amino acids and therefore vegetarians are advised to use a combination of protein rich foods. Average daily requirement of protein is equivalent to 1gm/kg body weight /day.  A growing child or a pregnant women may need more proteins. More about Proteins >>
  • Carbohydrates, the most abundant organic compounds in nature are the chief source of energy . Carbohydrates are formed in plants from carbon dioxide and water by photosynthesis using the energy of sun.   Carbohydrates account for about 50-60% of our daily calorie needs. In its absence (e.g. during starvation or fasting) the body is forced to burn stored fats or proteins for energy needs. Obviously, the latter is wastage of a precious resource. Hence, even a diabetic has to rely on carbohydrates to meet the daily energy requirements. More about Carbohydrates >>