For proper health, we need to consume high-quality macro-nutrients, noting that not all macro-nutrients are all the same and we will get into that later, as this post expands over time.
Macro-nutrients (n.) – a type of food (e.g., fat, protein, carbohydrate) required in large amounts in the human diet.
Calories per gram:
Macro-nutrients provide the body with more than just energy in the form of calories. They supply micro-nutrients, rebuild the body, protect the body, provide fuel for brain functioning, and provide the muscles with energy.
The USDA also includes fiber & water as macro-nutrients, but that is nonsensical. According to Health.gov¹, alcohol is a macronutrient – it is NOT! Alcohol is detrimental to health.
Alcohol is a neurotoxin and damages your brain & nerve cells².
Sources for MACRO-NUTRIENTS section:
PROTEIN & AMINO ACIDS [3/31/2018]
PROTEIN: Needed by every part of the body to develop, re-build and repair, and function properly.
Proteins are large biomolecules, or macromolecules, consisting of one or more long chains of amino acid residues.
Daily Protein Requirements:
Daily requirements of protein for most people is 0.8¹- 0.83² grams of protein per kilograms of ideal body weight (excess fat does not require protein to maintain itself). This amount is slightly greater for growing children & teenagers, pregnant women, & active athletes.
While insufficient amounts of protein can cause very serious health issues like Kwashiorkor, too much is not just unsafe, but can be deadly? I often see it written or stated as 0.8 grams per pound of body weight per day and claiming that this calculation is from the WHO and/or National Institutes of Medicine. It is not. Both sources state per kilogram not pound. A pound and a kilogram are NOT equivalent measures. A kilogram equals 2.2 pounds ... quite a difference. Thus, converting the weight to pounds from kilograms in the formula without adjusting the grams results in recommending/encouraging that adults consume an amount of protein 220% higher than what is needed and in amounts that are damaging to one’s health, as well as to animals and the environment.
Using a 150 pound person as an example:
150 pounds = 68 kilograms
68 kilograms * 0.8 gram/kilogram = 55 grams of protein per day.
Thus, about 55 grams of protein per day. This is just 220 calories from protein per day (one gram of protein has 4 calories). Hence, protein should only be about 10-15% of diet. High protein diets are deadly, as shall be shown. A diet high in protein generates a large amount of acid in body fluids, thereby disrupting the pH balance (no this is not going to be a post advocating for alkaline water & there will never be a post by me on that) causing kidney issues, bone loss, liver issues, gout, and even cancer.
Essential Amino Acids:
Sources for PROTEIN section:
¹ World Health Organization [WHO]. Page 242:
²National Institutes of Medicine. Page 589:
World Health Organization [WHO]. Nutrients – Micronutrients
Washington State University – MyNutrition – Nutrition Basics
USDA – Macronutrients
You may have heard about how low-carb diets will cause weight loss, because carbs make you fat. First off, carbs do not inherently make you fat, nor is there anything intrinsically fattening about fat itself either. Lack of exercise, stress, eating too much, endocrine functioning, hormone imbalances, drinking alcohol., taking certain pharmaceuticals, making poor food choices, etc. causes weight gain. Carbs are necessary for good health, as are quality proteins and healthy fats. Restricting any macro-nutrient will result in negative health outcomes. That said, there are foods that are high in carbs that are unhealthy like soda and refined sugars, but that does not mean that carbs are bad - just that junk food (food that is energy dense and nutrient void) are bad. Some of you may have heard of people having a chemical imbalance, well improper nutrition is a chemical imbalance. Start with high quality, whole foods to correct these issues not pills.
A carbohydrate (AKA saccharide) is a biomolecule consisting of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms, usually with a hydrogen–oxygen atom ratio of 2:1.
Less technically speaking, carbohydrates provide the body with glucose, which is converted to energy that is used to support physical activity and other bodily functions (including feeding your brain – neurons run on glucose and cannot burn fat, although your brain needs healthy fats as well).
One gram of carbohydrate contains approximately 4 calories.
Carbohydrates serve other functions beyond providing energy, including:
- Providing dietary fiber that helps with regularity,
- Feeding our gut flora,
- Supporting immune system,
- Combining with fats (lipids) and/or chains of amino acids to serve in scores of bodily functions, like cell formation and cell binding.
Carbohydrates can be categorized as sugars, starch, cellulose, etc.
Simple Carbohydrates: Sugars that consist of just one or two molecules (monosaccharides or disaccharides, respectively). Simple carbs provide a rapid source of energy. Simple Carbs: fruit juices, fruits, sugars, soda, honey, maple syrup, candies, many processed foods, etc. Go with fresh fruits, maple syrup, & honey!
Complex Carbohydrates: Typically starches that consist of long chains of sugar molecules (poly- saccharides). Complex carbs provide sustained energy and longer periods of feeling sated. Complex Carbs: potatoes, yams, vegetables, legumes (pulses), and whole (unrefined) grains, shellfish, animal livers, etc.
Carbohydrates are divided into four (chemical) groups:
1. Monosaccharides (sugars)
- One saccharide.
- Also called a simple sugar.
- Three dietary monosaccharides:
2. Disaccharides (sugars)
- Formed by the joining of two saccharides (monosaccharides).
- Also called a double sugar or biose.
- Fructo-oligosaccharides [FOS] AKA oligofructose
- Saccharide polymer (substance with a a molecular structure consisting chiefly or entirely of a large number of similar units bonded together, containing a small number (typically three to ten) of monosaccharides.
- Aids in cell recognition and cell binding.
- Bind with lipids (e.g., glycolipids are lipids with a carbohydrate attached) to serve other bodily functions like aiding in the immune response.
- Binds with compatible amino acid side chains in proteins to serve other bodily functions.
- Dietary fibers
Most dietary fibers are polysaccharides that our bodies do not digest.
Fiber can be soluble or insoluble. Plant-based foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, in varying amounts of each type, so don’t get too bogged down in this … just eat a wide variety of real food!
Soluble Filers: Dissolves in water to form a gel-like material that can be very soothing to the digestive tract and helps to lower excess cholesterol and regulate glucose levels. Sources: oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley, etc.
Insoluble Fibers: Promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases stool bulk. Sources: nuts, seeds, beans, (sprouted) whole grains, vegetables, fruits, etc.
An interesting type of soluble fiber ...
- Type of insoluble fiber found oats, barley, seaweeds, and “medicinal” mushrooms, such as reishi, shiitake, chaga, and maitake.
- Source of soluble, fermentable fiber (aka prebiotic fiber) that “feeds” microbiota within the large intestine.
- Increases fecal bulk and producing short-chain fatty acids as byproducts with wide-ranging physiological activities, like boosting immune system.
Glycemic Index (GI)
High glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates quickly enter the bloodstream as glucose, which is inherently neither good nor bad.
Someone who ate wrong for way too long.
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