Macronutrients are defined as, “A type of food required in large amounts in the diet.”
Typically, these have been limited to three basic components that make up our diets. They include:
For decades it has been taught that these three components make up all the nutrients we need to survive. In recent years, however, it has been found that we need much more. Breaking nutritional macos down to these three nutrients over-simplifies the real picture.
The common approach to macronutrients is flawed as it Does NOT include dietary fiber.
There always seems to be one nutrient that gets a bad rap. For a while it was fat, then we decided fats were OK so now an entire trend is focused on a fat focused diet.
Some think protein is what kills us, so they limit the amount they get which wreaks havoc on your ability to build muscle, have energy, and stay full.
The most common, however, has been the carbohydrate. There was an entire movement around the idea that carbohydrates are what make us “fat”. Many forget what types of foods and nutrients fall into each category and this is especially true with the carbohydrate.
Carbohydrates include foods like bananas, berries, spinach, potatoes, sweets, starches, and many many others. In all actuality, this is just the surface of what can be considered a carbohydrate. Plant based diet programs consist of many of these nutrient dense and dietary fiber abundance whole foods.
If we limit all types of carbohydrates then we limit our ability to get a well rounded, nutrient dense diet.
The reality is, we need to balance each macronutrient.
The truth is, we shouldn’t limit any macronutrient. Especially when it comes to carbs. Limiting your carbs can cause great harm to your body, your energy levels, and will limit your results.
What we need to do is start looking at carbs in a different way. We need to change the approach that we take with food – especially carbohydrates.
Carbs should be broken down into two separate categories.
Carbohydrates should be broken down into two separate categories. Instead of looking at “Total Carbohydrate” intake, and seeing them all under the same umbrella, look at them as “General Carbs” and “Dietary Fiber”.
General carbs should be considered your foods that are processed, sugary, and not very nutrient dense. This would include foods such as fries, soft pretzels, candy, and others that are dense in carbohydrates from sugar and starches with little other nutritional value.
On the other hand, foods that may have a “high” carbohydrate content but are also healthy and high in fiber include vegetables, fruits, and grains. Consider the sweet potato. One cup has 6.6g of fiber, about 4 grams of protein, and other nutrients such as vitamin B-6, vitamin C, iron, and magnesium.
If we solely focus on carbohydrates, you’re losing the ability to see the health benefits of what a food can hold. Don’t discriminate against foods that seem dense in carbs. You have to look deeper.
Learn to read the food labels to see the whole food source
When you’re in the store or online and doing your research, read the entire label or list of nutrients. This is an important step in the education process. Understanding the difference between looking for “Total Carbohydrates” alone and looking at what that number is composed of are two different things.
As you can see here, most labels show: Total Carbohydrates, Sugars, and Fiber. If you have a low sugar content and a high content of fiber, you shouldn’t be as concerned with the “Total Carbohydrates” in the item you’re looking at.
On the other hand, if the sugar content is high you will want to be more careful. This is especially true if there is little or no fiber.
Focusing on fiber will impact your ability to thrive!
There are many foods that are full of fiber, a form of carbohydrate, that is healthy and taste great! Foods such as raspberries, jicama, almonds, brown rice, and many others are full of fiber and many other nutrients that will help you thrive!
Thrive in health. Thrive in your workouts. Thrive in your goals!
Eat dietary fiber for better performance, health, and a faster metabolism.
Eating more fiber and focusing on this macronutrient as being the foundation of your overall diet can lead to improved performance, health, and faster metabolism. Fiber has multiple impacts that can improve your overall health and especially your digestive health.
Eating more fiber will impact:
- The volume, or amount, of food you need to eat to be and stay full (satiety).
- Your overall digestion. True health starts in the gut. Your ability to properly digest your food not only allows you to absorb more nutrients, but it also leads to improved overall health and well-being.
- Provides you more energy for longer periods of time. It takes your body longer to burn fiber-based foods than foods that are made from simple sugars. Plant based diet plans set you up for getting the recommended amounts of dietary fiber.
Fiber – the newest macronutrient!
Since we were all children we were taught about the food pyramid. We were taught how to make a plate and build our daily diet based on a pyramid that was vague. We need to change the pyramid.
Today, I believe this pyramid should look something like this ( insert new pyramid)
As you can see, the new pyramid shows fiber-based foods as the base of our diet. It shows examples of foods that we should be utilizing as the foundation of each meal we make for ourselves and our families.
Next, you see the protein sources that are available to build strong muscles and to help provide energy for our day, our workouts, and all of the activities we love to do.
Then, you can see where we need fats in our diet. Healthy fats such as avocado, extra virgin olive oil, and fish which all provide multiple health benefits and nutrients to our bodies.
Lastly, we can see at the top where we make room for the items that we should consume in moderation. These are items such as your favorite desserts, alcohol, soda, and other foods that aren’t very nutrient dense.
If you look at the new pyramid, you will notice that there are many items that could go in multiple boxes. Fish is a protein but a great source of fat. Black beans can be considered a starch for a great source of fiber and one coupled with rice can be a complete source of protein.
No longer should we be looking to eliminate a nutrient but find ways to get the most out of the foods we love.
M3 is here to help you find greater success and improve your understanding of the new macronutrient.
As we learn and grow and begin to build a better understanding of what a diet should look like, we all need a little help. Guidance to fully understand the right way to build habits that support our goals and our lifestyles.
Mind muscle memory is here to help! We offer virtual training to individuals who are ready to take the next step in their health journey. Individuals like you are ready to take the results to the next level.
Contact us today to learn more about how one of our team coaches can help you take the next steps towards your next victory!