Macronutrients from food provide us with energy. We explain to you which substances belong to them, how you can best consume them and how they work.
WHAT ARE MACRONUTRIENTS?
The nutrients that humans can take in through food are divided into micro- and macronutrients. These nutrients are needed by the body to grow and stay healthy.
The macronutrients are the substances that the body absolutely needs for its energy supply. You should therefore make sure that you always take enough macronutrients. Macronutrients include:
- Carbohydrates and fiber,
- Fats (lipids) and
- Proteins (proteins). Sometimes alcohol is also counted as a macronutrient because the body can also get energy from it. However, this does not refer to the alcohol that you consume through alcoholic beverages, but to the alcohol that is a component of some important fatty acids.
Micronutrients, on the other hand, act at the level of metabolism and contribute to the proper processing of macronutrients. You can find out how they work and in which foods they are found here: Micronutrients: Where they are and what they bring.
SUGAR AS A MAJOR COMPONENT OF CARBOHYDRATES
Carbohydrates provide your body with most of its energy. They also serve as scaffolding substances for the carbon skeletons needed for amino acids. According to the DGE (German Nutrition Society), about half of your nutrient intake should come from carbohydrates. With an energy requirement of 2000 calories on average, this corresponds to approximately 250-360 grams of carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are divided into three major groups:
- Simple sugars, such as glucose.
- Dual sugars, such as lactose
- Multiple sugars, such as starch and dietary fiber.
Simple sugars are absorbed directly by the body and blood glucose levels rise quickly. Multi-chain carbohydrates (polysaccharides), on the other hand, must first be broken down again, since the body can only utilize single sugars directly. This is why polysaccharides in particular serve to provide the body with long-term energy.
THE CORRECT DOSAGE OF CARBOHYDRATES
Too much simple sugar is unhealthy.
You should consume mainly multi-chain carbohydrates, i.e. polysaccharides, in your diet. The World Health Organization recommends that no more than 10% of the carbohydrates consumed should consist of simple sugars.
If too much simple sugar is ingested with food, the body cannot process it all at once and stores it in the liver and muscles. If the supply of glucose is too high, it is metabolized to fat.
However, if you don’t consume enough carbohydrates in your diet, your body may convert protein to carbohydrates instead, and there won’t be enough protein available for the body. You should therefore always make sure you eat a balanced diet.
THE BEST SOURCES OF CARBOHYDRATES
Legumes contain many multi-chain carbohydrates.
Depending on the type of carbohydrates, you can resort to different foods:
Simple sugars: You can consume simple sugars in the form of fructose and glucose, for example, through fruit. Galactose, a simple sugar in milk sugar, is mainly found in milk and dairy products. From an ecological point of view, you should make sure to buy locally and seasonally. Especially with fruit and milk, you can also look for organic quality.
Dual sugars: Dual sugars can be found in common household sugar and all products containing it, as well as beet sugar in the form of sucrose. Lactose from dairy products and maltose from beer are also included.
Multiple sugars: One of the most important carbohydrates is multichain starch. Foods containing starch include cereals, potatoes, vegetables, and legumes. These foods also contain a lot of important dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is especially important for digestion. Meat with a high muscle content also contains multiple sugars in the form of glycogen.
Again, when shopping, please make sure to use sustainable and organic products whenever possible.
So for proper carbohydrate supply, the following foods are recommended:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Dairy products