A Simple Guide to Macros: How Much Protein, Fat, and Carbs Should You Be Eating?

food macrosNutrition can be obtained via micronutrients and macronutrients. The latter, which are commonly called “macros,” is made up of three primary macros: fats, carbohydrates, and protein. When you eat those three in the right ratios, you can lose weight and improve your overall health and wellbeing. But how much protein, fat, and carbs should you be eating? Read on to find out.

Getting the Right Ratio of Macros

According to the official Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the macros of protein, fat, and carbs should, in general, be eaten by adults in the following ratios:

  • Carbohydrates: 45% to 65%.
  • Protein: 10% to 35%.
  • Fat: 20% to 35%.

However, if you are actively trying to lose weight, you can adjust those ratios as follows:

  • Carbohydrates: 10% to 30%.
  • Protein: 40% to 50%.
  • Fat: 30% to 40%.

Calculate Your Ideal Macros

The above ratios are great standards to use. However, if you want to find out what the ideal ratio of macros is for your exact body and individual needs, it is best to use a free macro calculator. When you count macronutrients, although it is similar to counting calories, you specifically consider where the calories come from. By using a macro calculator, an advanced algorithm is used that computes your specific calorie and macro ratio based on things like your personal information, your lifestyle habits, and any specific diet you are on.

Foods That Contain Macros

Now you know how to make calculations to work out what ratio of protein, fat, and carbs you should be eating, you need to learn more about those three macros so you can ensure you eat the right foods for your individual goals.

Carbohydrates

Carbs are crucial for gaining energy for your body’s systems. However, some carbohydrates are healthier than others. The healthiest ones are unprocessed starches such as fruits and vegetables like beans, potatoes, and yams. They contain a host of important nutrients and deliver your body with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Avoid unhealthy carbohydrate foods like sodas, pastries, and pasta because they can cause weight gain, hormone imbalance, and even more serious issues like heart disease and diabetes.

Protein

Protein is primarily found in foods like eggs and meats. It helps you to build muscle and the different amino acids of high-protein foods assist the building blocks for organs, hair, bones, enzymes, and virtually all of your body’s tissues. Protein-rich foods help you to lose weight and maintain your optimum weight. They also help your body to stabilize your blood sugar levels, boost your energy levels, and even improve your ability to coordinate and learn. The best protein foods to eat are organic lean meats like wild fish, grass-fed beef, and free-range chicken, and beans, nuts, and seeds.

Fat

While fats are the most calorie-dense nutrients, they are also important for normal body functions. Fats act as insulation for your nerves, skin, and hair, and they help your hormones. There are lots of different types of fats in foods. Make sure you eat foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids and avoid foods that contain trans fats. The latter has consistently been shown to increase the risk of heart disease. The omega fats are known as essential fatty acids. That means your body cannot produce them alone and needs to obtain them through your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are the most common ones found in foods. You can gain them by eating things like avocados, walnuts, and fatty fish like salmon. Omega-6 fatty acids can be obtained by digesting things like sunflower seeds, pine nuts, grapeseed oil, flaxseed oil, and vegetable oil.

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