Simple nutrition 2 - The Macros
Nutrition blog 2 – The Macros
“Everything should be made as simple as possible. But not simpler.” – Albert Einstein.
In the first of our 3-part series, we discussed the importance of shopping locally for high quality ingredients and how each of us is unique therefore, we had to learn to listen to our bodies to understand what foods are beneficial to us. Thus, in turn, learning not to be governed by advertising and what the media tells us to eat.
The macros, or macronutrients to give them their correct title, are simply the food groups of carbohydrate, fats & proteins. People often like to talk about each of these individually while urging us to get the right quantities of these food groups in order to ‘hit their macros’. Whilst it is important to know what foods we are eating and whether or not these foods may benefit us (the attached document will go into more detail on this), trying to separate them is a difficult and, a mostly, needless task as with most high-quality nutrition you will be consuming all 3 macronutrients simultaneously. The gut doesn’t care about the food type, just the quality of nutrition.
Ultimately, it comes back to identifying which foods work for you, not sticking to another person’s ready-made plan. No calorie counting, no counting of macros, just identifying what foods work for you and understanding the need to consume high quality, local produce.
That said, when discussing macros there are a few important things to consider:
Food quality – The quality of your food matters, a take-away hamburger is not the same as lean, organic, grass fed beef. The nutrition value is like chalk and cheese. Whilst I appreciate the difference in cost, is the negative effects that poor quality nutrition has on the body, worth the saving?
Ratios – Less high GI carbohydrate and more fats and proteins. “But pasta gives me energy and if I don’t have energy, I won’t be able to play my sport” said one of my high-level athletes last week. Whilst we need carbohydrate in our diet there is a lot of misinformation out there. In simple terms your carbohydrate choices should be as close to its original form as possible, eat ‘real’ foods, the less refined/processed the better. But what about Energy? Don’t concern yourself with it, the question should be “is it a healthy choice?” If the body is healthy you won’t need a sports drink to help your readiness to play/train.
Food labels – Read them, be aware of what’s in your food. Additives? Preservatives? Fructose corn syrup? Steer clear! The lower the number of ingredients the better. Look at the ingredients list for a chicken breast, what does the package contain? It should be just chicken. Broccoli contents? Broccoli. Nuts? Be aware these contains nuts!.....
In a ‘nutshell’ eat a mix of high quality foods, more protein and fats than carbohydrate, with the carbs you do eat coming from low GI sources, GI low? Good to go! (cringe...)
Your challenge, if you wish to accept it, is to complete a food diary for 7 days and send it back to us. We will give you a bit of advice on simple ways to change it to fit your individual requirements, If needed.
The next instalment in our 3 part series will show you how to use the information gathered in the previous blogs to influence your meals and snacks