Good Sources of Macronutrients For the Balanced Diet
The word food can have two different meanings. In the first, food is any material eaten to give nutrition to an organism. In the second, food is generally of animal, plant or even fungi origin, and has various important nutrients, including vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins, sugars, or other nutrients which may be required by the organism in later stages of life.
Plants are the primary source of food, and their products, including sugars and carbohydrates, provide the bulk of the dietary intake. Animal material is used for the digestion of plant material. Fungi are part of the diet because they provide enzymes that are useful in breaking down plant material. Fruits and vegetables provide a large part of the total calories. Milk and dairy foods and meats provide some protein. Meats are particularly high in fat and cholesterol, but they provide carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, in addition to fat.
Different food types provide different types of nutrients. Animal food is generally high in protein, fats, sugars and other nutrients that are important for supporting the growth of an organism. Cereals, breads, crackers, pastries, cookies, potato chips, processed foods, hot dogs and other meat products provide carbohydrates. Vegetables and fruits provide a wide variety of carbohydrates. Oatmeal, rice, pasta and cereal bread provide a variety of vitamins and minerals as well as protein.
Fibre makes up a large part of many of the nutrients that an organism gets from food. Food that is high in fibre has a much higher concentration of nutrients than does food that is not high in fibre. This means that a person who eats a lot of fibrous food will get more of the vitamins and minerals that he or she needs than a person who eats mainly fatty acids and carbohydrates. Food that is high in fibre makes the digestive process easier and faster. This means that more nutrients are absorbed into the body.
What exactly are macronutrients? Macronutrients are food components that have a macrobiotic value, that is, they are needed in larger quantities than other macro nutrients. A macro nutrient is any nutrient found in whole food that is necessary for the growth and health of an organism. The human body requires a wide range of different macronutrients, including amino acids, fatty acids, glucose, fibre, vitamins and minerals. The foods that provide the most complete ranges of these essential nutrients include cereals, breads, vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grain breads. Even though we all need a wide range of macronutrients, it is important to eat a varied amount of these foods, rather than eating them all at the same time.
There are many good sources of macronutrients. In addition to fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grain breads, individuals should also include nuts, grains, seeds, beans, pasta, rice and other whole grains in their regular diet. For those unable to get enough of one particular macronutrient, it is possible to increase the amount of other foods that provide this important nutrient. It may also be helpful to take a multi-nutritional supplement to ensure a balanced diet.