Macronutrients Useful Guide: Calories Calculator | Ratio | Sources

FITNESS APP
Article Navigation:

Proteins, Fats, and Carbohydrates are Macronutrients. They are nutrients essential to our bodies. They give us Energy and Fulfill different crucial roles in our organism.

In addition to their multiple roles, macronutrients provide us with energy, We measure it calorie or Kcal. This energy is the fuel of the body and what makes it function. On average, a grown adult needs 2000 Kcal per day. each gram of macronutrients that we eat give us a fixed amount of energy:

  1. Proteins gives 4 Kcal per gram
  2. Carbohydrates gives 4 Kcal per gram
  3. Fats gives 9 kcal per grams 

Keep reading to learn more about Macronutrients, their functions in your body, what are the best food sources to get them, and much more.

Macros to Calories calculator

This tool helps you calculate the caloric value of a meal based on the amount of macronutrients it contains.

To use Macro to Calories converter, enter the values of the corresponding macros then click on calculate to convert them to calories.

0 kcal

How to Convert Macros to Calories Manually 

The formula to convert Macros to calories is quite simple. To do so, you need to multiply the mass of each Macronutrient by the value of its caloric intake.
How many calories in Carbohydrates?
In each gram of Carbohydrates, there are 4 calories (Kcal).
How many calories in Protein?
In each gram of Protein, there are 4 calories (Kcal).
How many calories in Fats?
In each gram of Fats, there are 9 calories (Kcal).
Example:
For a meal containing 22 g of carbs, 15 g of proteins, and 10 g of fats, your total calorie intake would be 4x22 +4x15 +9x10 = 238 Kcal.
Macronutrients

What are Macronutrients

Macronutrients are compounds founds in foods that we consume in large quantities and which provide our body with the energy it needs to function. The energy procured by Marconutirent is measured in Kcal or kilojoules.

There are 3 types of macronutrients Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats. Besides being a source of energy, macronutrients play other roles in maintaining the balance of our body.

Water is a nutrient necessary to the human body, and we consume it a lot. But it isn't classified as a macronutrient because water is calorie-free, meaning it doesn't contain any energy.

Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients - nutrients that support the body metabolism and they are energy-free.
Some other nutrients that may provide energy like alcohol are not really considered by experts to be Macronutrients.

Macros energy measurement

We measure macros energetic value with the unit Kcal. In physics, 1 Kcal (kilocalorie) represents the amount of energy needed to heat 1 kilo of water by 1 C°.

Resources: ARS Nutrition Research Branch - Energy in foods - PDF

Macronutrient - Carbohydrates

What are Carbohydrates

More commonly called carbs, Carbohydrates are the favorite sources of energy of the body, compared to other macronutrients. They are composed of Carbone, Oxygen, and Hydrogen atoms bound together. There are 3 types of carbohydrates.

  1. Simple carbs 
  2. Complex carbs 
  3. Fibers

Once you eat either one of these carbohydrates. Your body breaks them down to transform them into glucose more commonly called sugar (the simplest form of carbohydrates).

Which is then dispatched through the bloodstream to all the organs to act as a source of energy.

Carbs can be stored in your muscles and lean tissues in the form of glycogen. On average, the human body can store up to 400g - 500 g of carbs. The excess of carbs is converted into fat.

Carbohydrates Classification

Simple carbohydrates 

Simple carbohydrates can easily get processed into sugar (glucose). They are the favored source of energy of the human body because of their metabolic disposals to break down easily into glucose.

The body needs only a few minutes after ingesting simple carbs to start using them as fuel. However, healthcare professionals say that you should avoid this type of carb.

Simple carbs consumption is related to different health problems, such as obesity and diabetes.

Complex carbohydrates 

On the other hand, complex carbohydrates, also called polysaccharides, need time before the body can break them down to glucose. Nutritionists encourage to privilege the consumption of complex carbs over simple carbs.

Fibers 

Even though Fibers are a carbohydrate, they have a unique property because our organism simply can't break them down to sugar (glucose). A daily intake of 14g of fiber may reduce risks related to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes type 2.

Does fibers count as calories?

Despite fibers being a type of carbohydrates, they aren't digested. Consequently, they won't release all the energy held in a simple or complex carbohydrate (4Kcal/g).

However, they may partially release energy due to bacterial degradation in the intestines.
According to the FDA a review published in 2018, the caloric value of polydextrose, which is a soluble type of dietary fiber range between 0.77 to 1.46 Kcal per gram.

Carbohydrates Best Sources

All nutritionists agree to say that the best sources of carbohydrates are complex carbs rather than simple carbs as a source of carbohydrates. Complex carbs are found mainly in whole grains like quinoa, beans, vegetables, and fruits.

You should also avoid carbs from processed foods that are simple carbs rich, Which are known to increase risks related to diabetes and a higher BMI (obesity).

Other Resources: USDA.gov - Energy in Foods PDF | Harvard.edu - Carbohydrates |Harvard.edu - Fibers |

Macronutrient - Proteins

What are Proteins

There are Proteins almost in all your body parts muscles, bones, nails, hair, internal organs, etc. They are a series of amino acids bound one to the other that compose blocks, necessary to the presence of every a life form. Even the most simplistic life forms, such as viruses, are constituted from proteins.

When the body is digesting proteins, the blocks of amino acids split, each amino acids have specific tasks in the body. There are 21 amino acids in the human body, 9 of them are called essential amino acids, the remaining 12 are called non-essential amino acids.

Proteins Functions

The principal function of proteins in our body is to regenerate and create new cells - and build up new body tissues, especially muscular tissues.

The recommended daily intake of proteins is 0.8 grams per 1 kg of your total weight, according to the U.S national institute of medicine.
Unlike Carbohydrates, The body can't store proteins.

What are Amino Acids

Amino acids are chemical compounds composed of atoms of Carbone (C), Hydrogen (H), Oxygen (O), and nitrogen (N). Each amino acid has a distinct structure.

The human body can synthesize and create Non-essential amino acids on its own.
On the other hand, your body can't synthesize essential amino acids. For this reason, your diet needs to provide them to your body.

Amino Acids
Essential Non-essential
Histidine (H) Alanine (A)
Isoleucine (I) Arginine (R)
Leucine (L) Asparagine (N)
Lysine (K) Aspartic acid (D)
Methionine (M) Cysteine (C)
Phenylalanine (F) Glutamic acid (E)
Threonine (T) Glutamine (Q)
Tryptophan (W) Glycine (G)
Valine (V) Proline (P)
Serine (S)
Tyrosine (Y)

BCAA Amino Acids and muscle growth

BCAA stands for Branched Chain Amino Acids. They are the 3 Amino acids involved in muscle building, Which are Valine, Isoleucine, and Leucine.

BCAA - Valine

This amino acid helps with muscle coordination and muscle metabolism. But also, Valine is crucial for mental vigor and emotional balance. Good Valine sources are meats, fish, cheese, soy, and some vegetables.

Resource: Valine

BCAA - Leucine

Leucine is a branched amino acid. It has various vital functions in the human body.
It helps with blood sugar regulation.
It boosts bones and muscle regeneration and development.
It helps Preventing muscle Protein degradation after severe trauma.
Leucine is common in most natural sources of protein.

Resource: Leucine.

BCAA -Isoleucine

Isoleucine is the third branched-chain amino acid. It is one of the main components of muscle tissues. Alongside with leucine, it helps in wounds healing wound process and play an essential physiological role. Researches shows that a lack of Isoleucine may trigger muscle tremors.

Resource: Isoleucine

Are proteins energy giving foods?

Yes, proteins can give you energy. However, providing power to the body is not something proteins do effectively. Your organism needs time after ingesting animals or plant-based proteins to convert it into energy.

How Proteins give you energy

During digestion, the amino acids forming the proteins lose the nitrogen atoms attached to them. They then transform into a simple carbohydrate Glucose Which is the principal source of energy to our bodies. Each gram of protein has an energy value of 4 Kilocalories (Kcal).

Protein classification

In biology, we can classify proteins in various ways depending on their -structures, functions, and compositions. in nutrition, we classify them into 2 categories complete or incomplete proteins.

Complete proteins are protein sources that contain all 9 essential amino acids, while incomplete proteins are to protein sources that don't contain at least one of them.

Proteins Best sources

The most crucial element in a protein source is that it needs to provide you all the 9 essential amino acids pack because your body can synthesize them. Therefore, you should try to favor complete protein sources.

Examples of complete proteins are :

Complete Proteins Sources
Animal-based Plant-Based
Beef Quinoa
Pork Chia seeds
Chicken Soy
Turkey Hemp Seed
Fish
Milk
Egg

Other resources: Proteins DRI - Proteins properties

Macronutrient: Fats

What Are Fats?

Fats are macronutrients that belong to the lipids families. Usually, people consider that fats tend to be unhealthy. However, some types of fats are indispensable to your body.

The primary chemical elements composing fats are carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. These elements form complex chains blocks called fatty acids. 90% of fats found in foods are triglycerides, which are made of 3 fatty acids blocks connected through a glycerol molecule.

What are the principals functions of fats in our bodies?

  1. Appropriate fats intake has the following benefits: 
  2. Helps to stock several vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, and E 
  3. Store energy 
  4. Favor proteins functions 
  5. Balance the metabolism of the body, which include immune functions. 
  6. It helps increase healthy cholesterol level and protect you from heart diseases. 
  7. Regulates Blood pressure
  8. Helps regulate body temperature 
  9. Helps brain development

Resources: National library of medicine: dietary fats. | Eufic: characteristic of Fat Facts | Harvard medical school: Truth about fats

Fats classification

Dietary fats are classified into 4 categories Trans Fats, Saturated Fat, Monounsaturated fats and Polyunsaturated fats

Trans Fat

Trans Fats are the unhealthiest type of fats. it's obtained by utilizing a process called hydrogenation that turns liquid fats into solid oils. Trans Fats are prohibited in the US and some countries, meaning food manufacturers can't use it anymore in those countries.

The ban decision is due to the harmful effect that this type of fats has on people health.

Saturated Fat

Saturated fats are the most widespread type of fats used in the food industry. Some usual sources of this type of fat are red meats, whole milk, products, and cheese.

many Persons think that Consuming too many saturated fats may lead to a rise in bad cholesterol levels, which is a major cause of heart diseases.

Even some nutritionists recommend keeping the total intake of saturated fats during the day under 10% of the total daily calories.
However, a recent study about the relation connecting heart diseases and saturated fats intake shows that there is no correlation between those two. The study was conducted on 340 000 people over 23 years.

Resources: Impact of Saturated fats on the risks of developing heart diseases

Monounsaturated fats

Monounsaturated fats are a type of fat which we find mostly in vegetables. Most nutritionists consider this type of fat to be healthy because it lowers the bad cholesterol level in the body LDL.

Resources: National library of medicine: Monounsaturated fats

Polyunsaturated fats

We use Polyunsaturated fat mostly for cooking. An example of Polyunsaturated fats is sunflower oil.
This type of fat is an essential fat because your body can't make them, but still, it's indispensable to a normal organism function.

There is 2 type of Polyunsaturated fats omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

Good sources of omega 3 are fatty fishes like tuna and sardines. As for the Omega 6 fatty acids, we can find them in vegetable oil like sunflower oil, corn oils, and walnut.

Are Fats energy giving foods?

Fats are Macronutrients with a high energy value. A gram of fats contains 9 Kcal. It's more than twice the energy there is in carbohydrates. There are around 4000 Kcal in 1 pound of Dietary fats. For this reason, Our body uses fat as a long term energy storage.

Typically, your body starts using fats as a source of energy as soon as your storage of glucose is depleted.
Your body stocks fat in the form of triglycerides.

Fats Best sources

Please note that a food can contain many types of fats. Fat sources are displayed in the table below
Fats Best sources Saturated Fat, Monounsaturated fats and Polyunsaturated fats

Macronutrients Ratio

Macronutrient ratio depends on the goals you want to accomplish.

Macronutrient ratio for weight loss

To lose weight, you need to burn the fat stored in your body. To do so, you need to create a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit occurs when the calories used up by your body during the day exceed your daily calorie intake.

For Example, an average person how need 2000 calorie for your body function properly. if the calorie this person is getting from food is less than 2500, let's say 1800 calories, the body will start using stored fat to fill the gap of the 700 calorie lacking (700=2500-1800).

To estimate how much calories you need, you need to calculate your BMR, which stands for Basal Metabolic Rate.

Weight loss with Low-fat diets

In low fats diet, you will be getting most of your calories from carbs. Macros ratio in a low-fat diet is:

10% Fats - 30% Protein - 60% Carbohydrates

Macronutrients Ratio Low fat

Weight loss High-fat diets Keto diet | Atkins Diets

In High fats diet, you will be getting most of your calories from fats.

Macros ratio in a High-fat diet is :

70% Fats - 25% Proteins - 5% Carbohydrates.


Macronutrients Ratio High fat

Macronutrient ratio for Muscles building

To build up muscles, your body needs a surplus of calories to create new muscle tissues. a big chunk of your daily calories should come from proteins and healthy carbs.

However, keep in mind that you need to work out and lift weights if you want it to work. Unless you want to gain more fat. Macro ratio for muscles building is :

10% Fats preferably healthy fats - 45% Proteins - 45% Carbohydrates.


Macronutrients Ratio Proteins

References 

National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Database. Valine, CID=6287, https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/L-valine (accessed on June 10, 2020)

National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Database. Leucine, CID=6106, https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/L-leucine (accessed on June 10, 2020)

National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Database. l-Isoleucine, CID=6306, https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/l-isoleucine (accessed on June 10, 2020)

Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q, Hu FB, Krauss RM. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91(3):535‐546. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.27725