What’s nutrient? It’s what our bodies use for growth, metabolism and other body functions. What’s a macronutrient? There are three – carbohydrates, protein and fat and they provide the calories we need. Macro means large, so we need these nutrients in large amounts. The amount of calories each one provides is not the same. Carbohydrates give us 4 calories per gram, protein has 4 calories per gram, and fat offers a whopping 9 calories per gram.
For example, if you looked at a nutrition label for a product with 12 grams of carbohydrate, 0 grams of fat, and 0 grams of protein per serving, you would know that this food has about 48 calories per serving (12 grams carbohydrate multiplied by 4 calories for each gram of carbohydrate = 48 calories).
The most important macronutrient our bodies need is carbohydrates. The reason is that carbs fuel your body and brain. The average 1,800-calorie diet should have between 210 and 290 grams of carbohydrates each day, which is equal to 45 to 65 per cent of your daily calories. This is about half your daily calories. Low carb intake results in lethargy and fuzzy thinking – symptoms you might recognize if you’ve been on a low carb diet diet for any length of time.
Carbohydrates are found in starchy foods like grain and potatoes, fruits, milk, and yogurt. Other foods like vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and cottage cheese contain carbohydrates, but in lesser amounts.
We need protein for growth, tissue repair, a healthy immune system, energy when carbs are not available and to preserve lean muscle mass. Protein is found in meats, poultry, fish, meat substitutes, cheese, milk, nuts, legumes, and in smaller quantities in starchy foods and vegetables.
Our bodies break down protein-rich foods into amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, some of which are essential and can only come from our diet. Other, non-essential amino acids can be manufactured in our bodies.
Fat gets a bad rap but we need it to survive. Our bodies use fat for normal growth and development, energy, to absorb certain vitamins, cushions our internal organs, maintains cell membranes and ..well adds taste to our foods. Fat is found in meat, poultry, nuts, milk products, butters and margarines, oils, lard, fish, grain products and salad dressings.
TOFUTTI non-dairy soy products offer all three macronutrients and are healthy additions to your diet. Check out the TOFUTTI SOY CHEESE SLICES® for a delicious non-dairy, vegan alternative to regular cheese slices. Available in individually wrapped 227ml packages, the cheese comes in two flavours –Mozzarella and American.