Macro (meaning large) nutrients are the largest type of nutrients in our diet. These are the nutrients we need in bulk on a daily basis. They consist of Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins.
Each of these nutrients is required in large quantities for human health.
Carbohydrates – these are compounds of – you guessed it – Carbon and Hydrogen (with some Oxygen thrown in for good measure). Their main function in the body is to provide sugars to be used as fuel (energy) for our cells, primarily in the form of glucose.
Fats – These are compounds of Carbon and Hydrogen in the form of fatty acids. They are generally classed as essential and non-essential fatty acids. The essential fatty acids (Omega 6 – Linoleic Acid, Omega 3 – Alpha Linolenic Acid) cannot be synthesised by the human body and are therefore required in the diet. The non-essential fats are all other fatty acids – these are either not needed (essential) for human health or can be synthesised by enzymes in our tissues.
Proteins – these are complex molecules consisting of multiple Amino Acids which contain the element Nitrogen. They are used by the body to form structures in cells, tissues and organs; make hormones and enzymes; transport oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and multiple other functions.