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All About Macronutrients, Micronutrients And More!

Do you want to make progress in the gym or do you just want to lose some pounds before the holidays? A gym subscription and working out a few times a week is often no problem for most. However, do you also know what you eat in a day and how many calories you consume?

Sports and exercise are an important part of every diet and weight loss process, but the basis must be the correct and healthy diet. The human body needs the right building materials to convert them into muscle mass. In addition, a good ratio of essential nutrients is important for your general health.

To lend you a hand, we have listed the most important macro and micronutrients and we give tips for each nutrient about which products you could use in your diet for this. Finally, we give you a number of tips that will ensure that you can achieve your fitness goals more easily.

Macronutrients And Micronutrients

Macronutrients

Calories that you ingest consist of three different types of nutrients, these substances are also called macronutrients. The three macronutrients are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

If you want to build muscle mass or lose weight, the right distribution of these macronutrients can ensure optimal results. We will go through the three nutrients with you and tell you what the appropriate daily amount is and from which products you can get it best!

Protein

Proteins contain amino acids that are the building blocks of your body and are essential in building muscle mass. Even if you want to lose weight, you will need to get enough protein to ensure that your body does not burn muscle mass. 

Proteins can be divided into two different types of proteins, these are vegetable proteins and animal proteins.

Food with a lot of animal proteins:

  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Fish

Foods with a lot of vegetable proteins:

  • Bread
  • Vegetable
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • nuts

Food with a lot of animal proteins:

The daily protein requirement differs per person. This depends on your gender, weight, lifestyle, and other factors, among other things. We recommend that athletes who exercise moderately to intensively take 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. 

If your main goal is active sports and building muscle mass, we recommend taking 2 grams of protein per kilo of body weight. Scientific research shows that more than 2 grams per kilo do not produce extra results.

Example: Someone weighing 80 kilograms who needs 2 grams of protein per kilo daily will need to consume 160 grams of protein daily for optimal results. 

Carbohydrates

Proteins are the building blocks of your body, carbohydrates and against them can be seen as the fuel for the body. Many people still see carbohydrates as bad or unhealthy, this is unjustified. 

Carbohydrates consist of simple carbohydrates (sugar) and complex carbohydrates (whole wheat). For convenience, these are also called fast and slow carbohydrates.

Complex carbohydrates.

We recommend making sure that about 80% of your daily carbohydrates consist of complex carbohydrates.

Foods high in complex carbohydrates:

  • brown rice
  • Whole-wheat pasta
  • Oatmeal
  • Sweet potato
  • Vegetable

When you can purchase a product in a whole grain variant, you should always do so. These complex carbohydrates keep you feeling full for longer and serve as fuel for your body throughout the day.

Simple carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates (fast carbohydrates) are mainly found in products that contain sugar. Products such as chocolate, candy, soft drinks, and juices are packed with these simple carbohydrates. The carbohydrates ensure that you have a lot of energy for a short period of time.

If you want to provide your body with sufficient energy during the day, these carbohydrates are not the best choice. Simple carbohydrates are not always bad. Products such as fruit often contain a lot of vitamin C, but also a lot of sugars. However, these sugars are natural and not artificial.

Try to make sure that the small amount of simple sugars you consume every day consists of products with natural sugars.

When you take these simple carbohydrates right before or after training, they can also be very useful. Your body needs extra fuel during and after training, so simple carbohydrates are ideal. Go for the products without artificial sugars and sweeteners. 

Foods high in simple carbohydrates are:

  • Fruit
  • smoothies
  • White bread
  • basmati rice
  • white pasta
  • fats

In addition to carbohydrates, fats are also a source of energy. In addition, fats also contain a lot of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and other essential fatty acids. Fats consist of saturated and unsaturated fats. 

A good ratio of these two fats in your diet is very important for cholesterol, blood vessels, and general health. Fat is always made up of saturated and unsaturated fats. The proportions of these fats are very different per product.

Saturated fats 

Saturated fats are also seen as unhealthy fats. Saturated fats raise LDL cholesterol and are bad for the blood vessels. High intakes of saturated fats increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

We recommend replacing products with a lot of saturated fats with products with unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are mainly found in animal products. 

Foods high in saturated fats are:

  • Fatty meat
  • Whole milk products
  • Cheese 48+
  • Biscuit
  • Pastry
  • Snacks

Products such as cakes, pastries, or snacks are often made with fatty products such as coconut fat or palm oil.

Unsaturated fats

Unsaturated fats belong to a healthy and varied diet. These fats lower LDL cholesterol and are good for the heart and blood vessels.

Unsaturated fats can be divided into monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and trans fat. This has to do with the chemical composition of these fatty acids.

Foods high in unsaturated fats:

  • Avocados
  • fish oil
  • Humus
  • Eggs
  • Flaxseed and Chia seed
  • Oily fish (salmon, mackerel, herring)
  • Oil (olive oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil)

Monounsaturated fats

Monounsaturated fats have one 'kink' in the atomic bonds. This ensures that the simple fatty acids are softer. These monounsaturated fats are mainly found in vegetable oils. 

Examples of products with these fatty acids are olive oil and avocados. Omega 9 fats also fall under this group of fatty acids.

Polyunsaturated Fats

When there are two or more of the just discussed kinks in the atomic connection, we speak of polyunsaturated fats. These fatty acids are mainly found in vegetable oils and fatty fish. The best-known fatty acids that fall under this group are omega 3 and omega 6.

trans fat

The last type of fatty acid from the group of unsaturated fats is trans fat. Unlike simple and poly fatty acids, trans fat is not good for health. 

In general, unsaturated fats are considered healthy, but trans fats are an exception. This is due to the chemical composition of these fatty acids, which are difficult for the human body to process. These fats are found in animal and industrially processed products. 

Foods high in trans fats are:

  • Pastry
  • Potato chips
  • Chips
  • Sweets
  • baking butter
  • frying fat

Micronutrients

In addition to a healthy ratio in your daily macronutrients, getting enough micronutrients is just as important. Micronutrients can be divided into four different groups, namely: vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

vitamins

Vitamins are found in small amounts in food and drinks. These vitamins are not produced by the human body itself and must therefore be obtained from products. 

Getting enough vitamins is important, but it is also possible to get too many vitamins. It is important to have a good idea of ​​your daily vitamin intake. There are many different types of vitamins. 

Foods that contain a lot of vitamins:

  • Fish
  • Meat
  • nuts
  • Milk products
  • Bread
  • Whole-wheat products
  • legumes
  • Fruit
  • Vegetable

If you have a varied diet that regularly includes these types of products, you will not have to worry about your vitamin intake.

Minerals and trace elements

Minerals and trace elements are nutrients with a supporting function in the body in a number of processes.

Minerals and trace elements are found in small amounts in food and drink and are indispensable for good health and development. A shortage of minerals is generally rare in the Netherlands.

Trace elements you need every day:

  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Iodine
  • Buyer
  • Manganese
  • molybdenum
  • Chrome
  • Fluoride
  • Minerals you need every day:
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • chlorine

If you want to know which minerals and trace elements are found in which products, we recommend that you look at this page of the nutrition center.

Conclusion

There are a number of nutrients that are important for the human body and health. We often see that once with this knowledge, people find it difficult to get all these nutrients on a daily basis. This is also not possible in an average diet. 

So try not to look at your diet per day but per week. When you eat a varied diet you will see that you can process a very large part of all these nutrients in your diet.

Alternating between lean meats, fatty meats, fish and meat substitutes is a good way to get the right nutrients. In addition, try to be flexible about the fruits and vegetables you eat every day. 

If you feel that you are not getting enough of a specific nutrient despite your varied diet, you can always supplement with supplements here. If you want to make sure you get enough of all the important vitamins and minerals, a multivitamin supplement can be a suitable addition to your diet.

Try to avoid processed and industrial products as much as possible. Go for a fresh meal with fresh products instead of a ready-made microwave meal. Limit soda to one glass a day and drink water for the rest of the day. You are guaranteed to feel fitter and healthier when you make these small adjustments to your diet. 

Try to enjoy good food and drinks, but do so in moderation! Read: chest and tricep workout for beginners

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