Here is a breakdown of our macros and what they do for our bodies, as well as how much of each we should be getting daily.
Proteins are amino acids joined by peptide bonds that are everywhere in your body. Skin, bone, muscle, hair…proteins make up your tissue. When you work your muscles and they tear, eating protein will build the muscle back stronger than before.
According to Harvard.edu and the Institute of Medicine, it is recommended that “adults get a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day (or 8 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight).”
That means, for a 180-pound individual — like me — you need a minimum of 72 grams of protein. A range of 50–100 grams of protein should suffice, even if you’re trying to build muscle (contrary to meatheads and gym bros).
These are lipids that are processed in your liver and balance your hormones. There are two important types of fats you should be getting every day: Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids (though you want to limit the latter).
Other fats, such as saturated fats and trans fats, are not okay for your body due to how synthetic it is. Coming in at 9 calories per gram (compared to 4 calories per gram for proteins and carbs), you do not need as many grams of fats as the other two. If you get 12% of your daily calories from fats (32 grams for a 2400 calorie diet), that’s plenty.
Your body turns carbs into glucose and uses this sugar for energy. Simple carbs — fruits and veggies — give you a quick boost while complex carbs — starches and legumes — are wonderful sources of fiber.
Quality does matter when it comes to carbs. Don’t go for the potato chips or the sugary candy, which are terrible for you and not nutritious anyways. (Not to mention unbelievably addicting, as I have previously shown.)
Instead, think plant-based for getting the energy you need for the day. There is no set limit or minimum requirement for daily carbs (despite what diet fads claim).