Carbs, Proteins, and Fats

Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are macronutrients; nutrients we consume in the largest quantity and provide the bulk of our energy. We all need these substances for our bodies to function properly, but overconsumption can lead to health issues. Also, under consumption of these substances can also cause you problems. Let’s break it down:


These are substances that the body breaks down into simple sugars, which are the body’s primary energy source. There are two categories of carbs: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are also called simple sugars and are found in refined sugars like white sugar. You can also find simple carbs in candy and soda pop. Complex carbs are also called starches and can be found in breads, pasta, and brown rice.

Why We Need Them: Our bodies need carbs as a source of energy. Burning carbs is more efficient than burning either proteins or fats. Carbs also help protect the body against disease, boost your mood by producing serotonin, a feel-good brain chemical, and keep your memory sharp.

Risks: Overconsumption of carbs can lead to obesity. Under-consumption leads to excessive intake of fats to make up calories.

Calorie Content: 4 calories/gram


Proteins are comprised of smaller bits called amino acids, a basic building block of bodily structures like muscle, hair, and skin. Good sources of protein include meat, egg, dairy products, legumes, and nuts. The body has little capacity to store protein.

Why We Need Them: Proteins play a huge role in building new cells, maintain tissues, and making enzymes.

Risks: Because the body can’t store much protein, most excess protein gets excreted. Overconsumption also can also mean you aren’t eating too little healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, or whole grains. Many high protein foods are high in saturated fat content. Too much protein can also lead to intestinal irritation, and can aggravate kidney issues. Under-consumption leads to malnutrition, chiefly in the elderly. If you don’t get enough protein, the body will begin to break down your muscles.

Calorie Content: 4 calories/gram


Fats are divided into two categories: good and bad fats. “Bad fats” covers saturated fats and trans fats, and can be found in high-fat meats, whole-fat dairy, packaged snack foods, and fried foods. “Good fats” include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and can be found in olives and olive oil, avocados, and fatty fish.

Why We Need Them: Fats provide the body with energy, they cushion your organs, facilitate the absorption of certain vitamins, and aid in the construction of nerve cells and the repair of brain cells.

Risks: Overconsumption of fats can result in obesity, diabetes, bone conditions, stroke, heart conditions, and cancer. Under-consumption can cause trouble with vitamin absorption, as well as depression, low energy, hypoglycemic or diabetic blood sugar spikes.

Calorie Content: 9 calories/gram


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