Proteins, fats and carbohydrates make up the
group of Macronutrients that provide us energy (measured in calories) needed by
our bodies for growth, metabolism and other functions. The prefix “macro” means large;
macronutrients are needed in large quantities in contrast to micronutrients
(vitamins and minerals).
Let us a briefly look at each of these
Calories: A calorie is
a unit of energy. When you hear something contains 100 calories, it's a
way of describing how much energy your body could get from eating or drinking
Carbohydrates: These are
a major source of energy for our bodies and are stored in our muscles and liver.
Foods that contain large amounts of
carbohydrates include fruits, grains (rice, oats, barley, etc) and roots
(potatoes, yams, carrots, etc).
Carbohydrates provide 4 Calories of
energy per gram.
bodies use proteins to grow tissue and muscle, repair organs and to create
hormones and enzymes; proteins are also used for energy when carbohydrates are
Foods that contain high levels of
protein include poultry, fish, beans, diary, nuts and legumes.
4 Calories of energy per gram.
order to absorb vitamins, our bodies need fats.
Foods that contain a high percentage of fat
include cooking oils, butter, nuts and cheese. Ff the three macronutrients, fats contain the
highest number of calories per gram.
Fats provide 9 Calories of energy