The Basics

“With Access to better information, people invariably make better choices for their health”
– David Wolfe

The above quote form American activist David Wolfe perfectly sums up the main reason this business has been started. Yes, there is an abundance of information out there on the internet but how is a reader meant to know one, if it’s factual or two, if it applies to them and their situation?

The aim for these blogs is to take the abundance of information available on the internet and combine it with the knowledge gained from our studies and experience, and deliver to you the facts (with no hidden agendas) in an easy to read fashion. FHW’s goal is to empower YOU to make your own decisions on health and wellness by providing the education and support you need to do so.

So let’s get started with the basics, the macronutrients.

Macronutrients: energy yielding nutrients required in large amounts daily to be broken down to yield energy to the body. Carbohydrates, lipids (fats) and protein.

These three energy yielding nutrients are vital to the body to function optimally with each macronutrient playing important roles in various process’ and systems.

Carbohydrates comprise of both simple (sugars) and complex (starches and fibre) carbohydrates. Wether starchy or sweet, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose.  This results in carbohydrates acting as almost an exclusive fuel source to the brain and nervous system and the preferred source of energy for a large number of physiological functions and organs that include the brain and kidneys, as well as the production/health of our red blood cells. Carbohydrates therefore provide about half of the body’s energy. Sources of carbohydrates include bread, cereals, pasta, rice, potatoes and starchy vegetables such as pumpkin and sweet potato, beans, chickpeas, lentils, fruit, honey, cakes, biscuits and dairy products.

Lipids (fats) include saturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids. This distinction is a result of the degree of unsaturation within the chemical structure of the lipid effecting its stability and firmness (solid vs liquid). For those that aren’t chemistry geeks, I’ll explain it in plain English so we can all move on with our night.  Your body needs fats, they are just as important as every other nutrient and play roles in chemical messaging, the protection of our organs and cholesterol which, breaking news your body needs! However, there are multiple different types of fats due to this degree of unsaturation. Our good fats are our monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and essential fatty acids (Omega 3’s and 6’s). Sources include avocado, salmon, nuts and seeds, olive oil, peanut butter and dairy products. Our bad fats are saturated and trans fats which you will find in fast/fried foods and processed junk food.

Protein is broken down by the body into amino acids which are literally the building blocks of your body. Forming your muscles, blood, skin even your teeth and eyes, amino acids also facilitate thousands of chemical reactions in your body in addition to defending against illness and disease. Sources of protein include meat, eggs, quinoa, nuts, chia seeds, lentils, dairy products, beans and legumes.

Now you might be thinking, wow macronutirents sound really important. All of them. I should eat all three. Correct, you should, well done.

The other thing you might be thinking is, how come dairy is a carbohydrate, a fat and a protein? Well that’s because the majority of foods will contain all three macronutrients, like dairy products. The generalised categorisation of foods into macronutrients is a determinant of the nutrient they contain in the highest quantity in regards to energy yield. When broken down 1 gram of carbohydrates contains 4 calories, protein the same with 4 calories and fats 9 calories. This energy yield is what people use to count their calorie intake.

Now that you know a little nugget of truth, that ALL macronutrients are important I hope you reconsider the exclusion of any of these nutrients from your diet. Looking at you no carb or fat dieters. Your body needs carbohydrates, fats and proteins to function optimally, simple as that. If you’re happy for your body to not function optimally, then fine keep starving your brain of carbohydrates, you do you.

If not, stay tuned as we delve and expand on these macronutrients in the coming weeks. We will be covering in more detail about the good and the bad sources, the whys as well as the hows. So before you go factoring a cake a day into your diet because it’s been listed as a source of carbohydrates, hang ten and keep an eye out for our next blog post.