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Rodrigo Louvat
I am a Marketing Associate at Tera in charge of digital marketing and content creation, writing blog articles and newsletters. Drop me a line at if you feel like it!

What are Macronutrients? How to Balance Your Macros!

Macronutrients venn diagram

The Magic of Macronutrients

Carbohydrates: Considered as the body’s primary energy source, carbs break down into glucose, giving fuel to our brains, muscles, and tissues. Foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and dairy are all rich in carbs.

  • When consumed, most carbs break down into glucose, powering our brains and muscles. Dietary fiber, found in carbs, aids digestion and helps maintain satiety.  Yet be aware that consuming a high amount of simple carbs can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. Over time, these spikes can lead to insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes.

Proteins: Dubbed as the body’s building blocks, proteins are made up of amino acids essential for tissue repair, muscle building, and overall growth. Reach for poultry, seafood, dairy, and plant-based options like tofu and legumes for your protein fix.

  • After digestion, proteins are converted into amino acids, which are fundamental for tissue repair, muscle building, and supporting many body functions.

Fats: Contrary to popular belief, not all fats are bad! Fats are necessary for absorbing essential vitamins and providing us with long-lasting energy. Incorporate sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish into your diet.

  • These are essential for several bodily processes, including vitamin absorption, insulating our organs, and contributing to cell membrane health.

⚖️ How to Balance Your Macronutrients

The USDA recommends the following Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDR) for adults:

  • Carbs: 45–65% of your daily calories
  • Protein: 10–35% of your daily calories
  • Fat: 20–35% of your daily calories

However, these numbers aren’t set in stone. Factors like age, gender, physical activity level, and specific health goals (like muscle building or weight loss) can influence your optimal distribution of macronutrients. A registered dietitian can offer personalized advice on this.

Incorporating Variety

Beyond just the type of macronutrients, the source also matters. For instance, while red meat is a good protein source too much can negatively impact your health, so it is wise to also consider fish, poultry, and plant-based proteins like lentils and tofu for diversity and additional health benefits.

Did You Know?

Processed foods often have a high content of macronutrients but can be deficient in essential micronutrients. Hence, the quality of your food choices is just as crucial as the quantity.

Common Symptoms of Micronutrient Deficiencies

1)Carbohydrate Deficiency:

  • Fatigue: Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. A deficiency can lead to decreased energy levels.
  • Weakness: Low glycogen stores due to inadequate carb intake can lead to muscle weakness.
  • Poor Concentration and Mood Swings: The brain primarily uses glucose (derived from carbohydrates) as an energy source. A lack can impact cognitive function and mood.
  • Digestive Problems: Adequate carbohydrates, especially from fiber-rich sources, are essential for a healthy digestive system.
  • Rapid Weight Loss: If the body is deprived of carbohydrates, it may start using stored fat and muscle for energy, leading to weight loss.
  • Ketosis: This is a metabolic state where the body breaks down fat at a faster rate, producing ketones. It can lead to symptoms like bad breath, dry mouth, and frequent urination.

2)Protein Deficiency:

  • Muscle Wasting: Muscles may become weak or shrink in size.
  • Edema: Swelling caused by fluid retention, often noticeable in the ankles and feet.
  • Hair, Skin, and Nail Problems: Thin or brittle hair, hair loss, dry/flaky skin, and ridges in nails.
  • Increased Risk of Bone Fractures: Proteins play a role in bone health, and a deficiency can weaken bones.
  • Poor Immune Function: Increased susceptibility to infections and illnesses.
  • Slow Healing: Wounds and injuries might take longer to heal.
  • Hunger and Appetite Changes: Feeling hungry even after eating, as the body craves the nutrients it’s lacking.

3)Fat Deficiency:

  • Dry Skin: Fats help maintain skin moisture.
  • Dry, Brittle Hair and Hair Loss: Just as with skin, fats are crucial for hair health.
  • Vision Problems: Omega-3 fatty acids play a role in visual development and retinal function.
  • Poor Wound Healing: Essential fatty acids are necessary for the body’s natural healing process.
  • Joint Pain: Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate joint pain.
  • Behavioral Changes: Including symptoms of depression, anxiety, and irritability, especially due to the lack of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Decreased Immune Response: Leading to increased susceptibility to infections.

If someone suspects they have a deficiency of macronutrients, they should consult with a healthcare professional. They can provide guidance on dietary changes or recommend supplements if needed.

Tera’s nutrition feature helps you discover the most nutritious choices among your favorite foods. Next time you use Tera, ensure you select all of the nutrition preferences. This way, when you go shopping, Tera will notify you if the products you are considering have excessive or insufficient amounts of the 11 essential nutrients.

Help us empower people to make a positive impact by joining our movement and using our conscious shopping app. Build a community and demand change by subscribing and sharing. Together we can revolutionize everyday shopping and create a brighter future.

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