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4 Reasons to Avoid Macronutrient Overdose

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The macronutrients are the three main nutrients that your body needs to survive. You need to consume relatively large quantities of carbohydrates, dietary fats and proteins to ensure that your body functions properly. However, there is a limit to how much you can safely consume and exceeding that limit can have a number of adverse effects.

In this article I will be expanding on this topic and discussing four of the negative side effects associated with macronutrient overdose.

macronutrients

1) DEHYDRATION

Eating too much protein has been linked with dehydration. A study from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology looked at five endurance athletes who consumed low (63g per day), moderate (123g per day) and high (246g per day) levels of protein over three periods of four weeks. They found that as protein consumption increased, hydration levels went down. Dehydration can have an adverse effect on your health and put you at risk of a number of heat related illnesses.

2) FLUCTUATING ENERGY LEVELS

Consuming too many carbohydrates causes your blood glucose levels to increase rapidly and then fall dramatically. Eating high levels of omega 3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) has also been linked with elevated blood glucose levels. Your body uses blood glucose for energy so any fluctuations can have a direct effect on your energy levels. One minute you may feel full of energy and then the next minute you will feel as though all the energy has been sucked from your body. This makes it extremely difficult to concentrate and function properly throughout the day.

3) INCREASED LOW DENSITY LIPOPROTEIN (LDL) CHOLESTEROL LEVELS

Eating high levels of saturated fat has been linked with increased LDL cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol builds up in your artery walls causing blockages. This restricts the flow of blood to your vital organs which can lead to both organ damage and heart disease.

4) WEIGHT GAIN

Weight gain is probably the most common symptom associated with macronutrient overdose. If you eat too many carbohydrates any that are not required for energy are stored as body fat. Consuming too much protein has exactly the same effect with any excess being converted into body fat. Overindulging on dietary fats can also lead to rapid weight gain as they contain more than twice the calories (nine calories per gram) of carbohydrates and proteins (four calories per gram).

Whilst the macronutrients are essential for life and good health you need to keep an eye on how much of each type you are consuming. To ensure that you are not eating too many macronutrients you first need to check that the daily amount of calories you consume is in line with the amount your body burns.

Then you need to ensure that no more than 70% of your daily calories come from a single macronutrient (so having 90% of your daily calories come from carbohydrates would be too much). If you stick to these rules you should be avoid the negative symptoms discussed in this article and enjoy all the benefits that the macronutrients can offer.

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5 Super Macronutrients Food Sources

The three macronutrients are required by your body in relatively large quantities and are essential for life. Without them you could not survive. Carbohydrates provide your body with energy, dietary fats support overall good health and protein helps build, maintain and repair your body’s cells.

But which foods can provide you with these three important nutrients? Keep reading for five super macronutrient foods.

 macronutrients

1) APPLES

Apples are a fantastic carbohydrate source making them a great energy food. They also contain high levels of antioxidants (which protect your body from oxygen related damage), fibre (which keeps your blood glucose levels stable and promotes good bowel health), flavonoids (which act in a similar way to antioxidants), phytonutrients (which also act in a similar way to antioxidants) and vitamin C (which helps your wounds heal and keeps your immune system strong).

2) ALMONDS

Almonds are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats and protein. On top of this they are a great source of vitamin B2 (which helps your body break down macronutrients for energy), vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant), copper (which assists in the production of many important substances), manganese (which activates a number of enzymes in the body) and potassium (which helps maintain proper muscle contractions and regular heartbeats).

3) BEEF

Despite the negative press, beef is actually a very nutritious food. It is a super source of monounsaturated fat, protein and saturated fat. Beef is also a fantastic source of vitamin B2, vitamin B3 (which helps convert blood glucose into energy), vitamin B6 (which helps break down protein), vitamin B12 (which assists in the production of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA)), selenium (an antioxidant) and zinc (which protects your blood vessels and promotes a strong immune system).

4) EGGS

Eggs are a quick, convenient, healthy food containing high levels of monounsaturated fat, protein and saturated fat. They are also rich in a number of vitamins and minerals such as iodine (which promotes thyroid health), tryptophan (a mood boosting amino acid), vitamin B2, vitamin B5 (which helps your body break down the three macronutrients), vitamin B12, vitamin D (which assists in the absorption of the bone strengthening nutrients calcium and phosphorus).

5) SPINACH

Spinach is an excellent carbohydrate source. It is also a great source of calcium, iron (which supports the production of haemoglobin), magnesium (which helps your muscles and nerves function properly), vitamin A (which promotes healthy vision) and vitamin K (which helps your blood clot).

As you can see there are plenty of foods out there that can help you get your daily intake of macronutrients. Most of them will also provide you with a healthy dose of important vitamins and minerals. I hope this list helps you find some good macronutrient food sources but if none of them are to your liking remember the most important rule is to stick with natural, unprocessed foods such as fresh meat, fruits and vegetables. A varied diet that is low in processed foods will very often provide the balance of macronutrients that your body needs.

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Six Wonderful Macronutrient Benefits

The macronutrients are the three main nutrients your body needs to survive. They include carbohydrates, dietary fats and protein. But what exactly do they do for your body?

Read on for six of the fantastic benefits they can provide.

macronutrients

1) DISEASE PROTECTION

Dietary fats can protect you from a number of diseases. They reduce your heart disease risk by lowering blood pressure, lowering blood triglyceride levels and reducing the presence of lipoprotein (a) (a strong risk factor for heart disease) in your blood. Dietary fats have also been shown to protect you from breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer. Finally, they keep your immune system strong which further enhances your ability to fight disease.

2) ENERGY

Carbohydrates provide your body with a quick, convenient source of energy. This enables all the cells in your body to function properly. Whilst your body can break down dietary fats and protein for energy it is a much less efficient process.

3) FIBRE, PHYTONUTRIENTS AND VITAMINS

Carbohydrates provide your body with a number of important nutrients. Fibre is an indigestible carbohydrate that keeps your blood glucose levels stable and promotes good bowel health. Phytonutrients are naturally occurring chemicals found in plants that protect your body from damage and disease. Vitamins are essential nutrients that protect you from disease, keep your immune system strong, support healthy growth and much more.

4) HEALTHY CELLS

The primary function of protein is to build, maintain and repair your body’s cells. When you are growing your body uses protein to build strong bones, muscles and more. When you are fully grown your body uses protein to keep these cells strong and repair any that become damaged. Dietary fats also support your cells by assisting in the production of healthy skin cells and keeping the cell walls strong.

5) HEALTHY ORGANS

Dietary fats play a key role in organ health. They keep your brain healthy by promoting the production of cell membranes and signal pathways. They also support heart health by providing palmitic acid and stearic acid (two types of saturated fat that the heart uses for fuel when stressed). On top of this they protect your liver from harmful substances and have been shown to reverse liver damage. Finally, they reduce surface tension in the lungs by supporting the production of lung surfactant.

6) WEIGHT LOSS

Research suggests that dietary fats can both burn and prevent the build up of body fat. Protein can also help you lose weight in two ways. First, a meal high in protein can burn up to 25% more calories during digestion than a meal high in carbohydrates. Secondly, protein (and in particular the amino acid leucine) has been shown to act as an appetite suppressant.

I hope this article has given you a better insight into the macronutrients and how they benefit your health. As you can see they do almost everything your body requires. They give you energy, protect you from damage and disease, support healthy growth and even help you lose weight. So if you want to enjoy all these benefits make sure your diet contains sufficient levels of all three macronutrients.

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The Basic Facts About Nutrients, Macronutrients and Micronutrients

In the complex, elegant system called the human body, the nutrients that are ingested and absorbed are essential for the growth, maintenance, repair, and replacement of the trillions of cells of the organs and tissues that do the body’s work. These nutrients are the substances in the foods and beverages we ingest.

Nutrition is the sum total of the interaction between the foods we eat-our diets-and the ways in which our bodies process, use, and are nourished by the nutrients in those foods. Although human bodies are incredibly adaptable and may maintain themselves for a long time when nutrition is inadequate or improper, optimum health is dependent on optimum nutrition. When proper amounts of nutrients are lacking or out of balance, or when nutrients are not adequately processed, dysfunction, ill health, and disease are inevitable.

Nutrition

Nutrients for Life

Scientists and researchers are still learning to define optimal nutrition and understand how nutrients affect health and disease. So far, more than 40 nutrients have been identified as substances that are essential to life. They are grouped into six categories or classes. These classes are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water.

Carbohydrates, fats, proteins, some minerals, and water are considered to be macronutrients, because the body needs them in large quantities. Vitamins and most minerals (often called trace minerals) are needed in relatively small amounts and are referred to as micronutrients. They are essential because they enable the body to use its macronutrients. No single food contains all essential nutrients, but most foods are a source of one or more in varying degrees. People must ingest a variety of foods in order to nourish their bodies.

Energy And Fuel

One of the most important functions of nutrients is to provide the fuel that powers the body’s functions. Glucose is the sugar from carbohydrates that provides the major source of fuel for the body, its organs, and its cells, but fats are another important source. When necessary, proteins can also be used as fuel. These macronutrients provide the body with 100% of its energy. Energy is measured in calories. Some foods, such as cheeseburgers, are calorie dense, while others, such as celery, provide few calories.

How much food is required to provide enough energy depends on the kinds of foods a person eats, as well as a person’s activity level, age, and size. In other words, how much energy is used up and how quickly it is used depends on individual factors and is never standard for all people at all times in their lives.

Because of the energy supplied by these macronutrients, muscles move, lungs breathe, and hearts beat. Bodies use the energy to maintain the correct temperature. Cells build the proteins that do the work in the body. With too few calories, cell activity and organ function falter. A complete lack of energy (meaning zero calories consumed) would lead to cell death and organ failure from starvation within about 8 to 12 weeks.

If too many calories are taken, the body stores the excess as fat, in case extra energy is needed in the future. Every healthy person needs to have some fat stores for emergencies, but an excess amount leads to unhealthy body weight and stress on organs, which also can lead to disease.

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The Macronutrients of Nutrition

Nutrition can be a confusing subject for the ordinary person. Of course we have all heard about vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and fiber, complex carbohydrates and sugars but how does it all fit together?

Well to start with, our bodies require certain amounts of macronutrients to survive. There are a few people who focus on one nutrient over another and they consume more of one and less of the others but in general we all need some of these nutrients and a healthy diet consists of a good balance of the all three macronutrients.

macronutrients

The macronutrients are protein, fat and carbohydrates. Protein and carbohydrates both provide 4 calories per gram, while the more dense fat contains 9 calories per gram. A calorie is at its most basic description the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of 1g of water 1 degree Celsius. While that is a rather confusing definition for most of us it is easier for us to just know that a calorie is just a measurement that we use to determine the energy content of food.

Due to this discrepancy of 5 additional calories per gram, it was believed for a few years that the fat in our diet was the main cause of the fat on our bodies. It has since been proven that this all too simple explanation is not quite true. The fat on our bodies is caused by a number of different factors including the eating of too many calories altogether be they from fat, protein or carbohydrates.

Protein is the building blocks of the tissues in our bodies and it is essential to all of the processes within our cells. Protein can be found in animal tissue, dairy products and eggs but also vegetarian sources such a beans, legumes and especially soybeans.

Carbohydrates are the main energy source of our bodies. A simplistic explanation of carbohydrates is that they convert to sugar in our bodies, which in turn provides the energy that we need. Carbohydrates can be further broken down into simple carbohydrates, which include sugar, candy, white flour and more and complex carbohydrates, which include whole grains and vegetables. Simple carbohydrates break down in our bodies at a very rapid level, causing energy swings and increased hunger while complex carbohydrates break down slowly which gives us sustained longer-term energy.

Fat was long misaligned as being bad for our health but that is not completely true. The saturated fats and trans fats are destructive to our bodies but there are also essential fats that we need to maintain good health. Those would include the monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats such as olive oil, peanut oil and canola oil and the fats found in nuts and seeds, avocados, olives and the acai berry. The bad fats are the saturated fats such as the fat found in animal products and the “fake” fats or trans fats that are created by hydrogenation.

The macronutrients of protein, carbohydrates and fat are the building blocks of nutrition and all of the rest of the positive nutritional factors, like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and more are found within one of these three macronutrients.