In nutrition , macronutrients are those nutrients that supply most of the body’s metabolic energy. The main ones are carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids. Others include alcohol and organic acids . Vitamins and minerals differ from micronutrients in that they are needed in small amounts to maintain health but not to produce energy.

In nutrition, the macronutrients that supply most of the energy in food on which life depends are nutrients. These provide the energy and building materials for the myriad substances that are essential for the growth and survival of living things.

What are macronutrients

Macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories (energy). Nutrients are substances necessary for growth, metabolism and other functions. Since ” macro ” means large, macronutrients are nutrients that are needed in large quantities.

There are three categories of macronutrients

  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Greases

While each of these macronutrients provides calories, the amount of calories each provides varies. A gram of carbohydrates or protein provides 4 calories per gram. One gram of fat provides 9 calories per gram. If you look at the nutritional information label on a food product that states that the product contains 12 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fat and 0 grams of protein per serving, this will indicate that this food contains approximately 48 calories per serving (12 grams of carbohydrates multiplied by 4 calories for every gram of carbohydrate = 48 calories). The other substance that provides calories is alcohol, which provides 7 calories per gram. Alcohol, however, is not a macronutrient because it is not necessary for survival.

Macronutrients are not the only thing we need for our health. The body also needs water and micronutrients. According to the 2004 Reference Nutritional Intakes report, adult men need approximately 3.7 liters of water per day and adult women need approximately 2.7 liters of water per day. Micronutrients are nutrients that our bodies need in smaller amounts, and these include vitamins and minerals.


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