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Nutrients That Make Up a Well-Balanced Diet

A well-balanced diet includes a combination of macronutrients and micronutrients that provide the necessary energy to support optimal health. This week I’ll be writing about macronutrients as they are the three primary nutrients required by the body in relatively large amounts; carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and each one plays a vital role in supporting various bodily functions and providing energy.

Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy and your body needs them! They are broken down into glucose, which fuels the brain, muscles, and organs. Complex carbs are found in foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and provide sustained energy due to their fiber content and leave you feeling full. Simple carbs, found in sweets and sugary drinks, provide quick energy but lack essential nutrients and typically leave you wanting more. Daily carb needs vary based on your goals and needs but generally consist of 45-65% of a person’s daily calories.

Proteins are the building blocks of the body and are crucial for growth and repair. From your hair to your hormones to your muscles, and getting enough good quality protein can make all the difference in your efforts to build muscle, balance blood sugar, and maintain or lose weight. Good sources of protein include lean meats, fish, dairy, legumes, and nuts. Daily protein requirements aren’t one-size-fits-all but the general guideline is 0.8-1.3 grams of protein per kg of body weight. (weight/2.2 = kg)

Healthy fats are also crucial for providing energy, producing hormones, protecting your organs and helping your body absorb nutrients. Adding fat to your foods makes them tastier and more filling too! Good sources of healthy fats include avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil, while trans fats found in processed and fried foods, should be avoided.

Remember, a varied and balanced diet, combined with regular physical activity, is the key to maintaining overall health and well-being.

Kelsey Jones, DTR

Registered Dietetic Technician

Certified Yoga Instructor

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