Two types of nutrients your body needs to function like a well-oiled machine: Have you been eating enough?

There are two primary types of nutrients your body needs to function like a well-oiled machine: macronutrients and micronutrients. Having a general knowledge of these nutrients and their importance, will help you plan out a proper diet.

The first category of needed nutrients are called macronutrients. Macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and are referred to as macro because your body needs them in large quantities. These macronutrients provide the body with fuel, or energy, through caloric consumption. In addition to energy production, these nutrients are also important to building new cells and optimal cell functioning.

The second category of necessary nutrients are called micronutrients. Occurring in smaller amounts, micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. While micronutrients do not contain caloric value, they too are necessary for optimal functioning.

Because fiber does not fit completely in either the macro or the micro nutrient categories, it is considered an auxiliary substance. Fiber aids in digestion and is also needed to combat disease and illness. Although some scientists do not include fiber in the original five necessary nutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals), overwhelming evidence and research supports it is a major ingredient necessary for optimal health.

The best way to measure the nutrient level of the foods you eat is to examine the nutritive value when compared to the amount of calories the food provides. For example, grapefruits provide the body with vitamin C, fiber, folate, vitamin B5 and potassium, yet the average grapefruit only has about 40 calories. This means that you get a lot of nutrition without the expense of extra calories. Potato chips, on the other hand, usually have about 150 calories per ounce, and they do not provide the body with many nutrients. This is what you should consider when you plan your caloric intake on a daily basis. Foods that have a lot of nutrients and fewer calories are called nutrient dense and they are key to the health and sustainability of your diet.

Your body is a temple, treat it well and you'll feel the results! Remember to read food labels, and see a nutritionist for more information. InShapeMD can help you begin your healthy lifestyle journey! Call today at 410-569-3030 or visit online to schedule your first free initial consultation.

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