What are macros? There are 3 main types of macros that you need to know in order to eat well.
Carbohydrates are generally considered to be the primary source of ‘fuel’ for your body on a daily basis. Most sources advise that your carb content should contribute around 45% – 65% of your daily calorie intake (more about calories below).
However, as you are probably aware not all carbs are created equal which is why even the word ‘carb’ fills many people with dread. Don’t be scared of carbs, your body needs them but it’s much better for you to choose the right carbs.
Good carbs include:
Beans, lentils, pulses
Basically, try to eat carbs as close to their natural state as possible.
Bad Carbs include:
Refined flour products including breads, cereals, crackers, biscuits
Grains that ‘whole grains’ like white rice
When you think of protein you might automatically think ‘muscle’ and while it’s true that protein is the most important macro for building muscle there are many other processes in the body that utilise protein.
As well as muscle building, protein provides structure to cell membranes, organs, skin, bones, ligaments and more.
So how much protein do you need to consume? This really depends on the individual but even if you don’t want to get bogged down with numbers a good figure to look at is around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
Obviously someone who wants to be a bodybuilder in Dubai or Abu Dhabi would be consuming more protein than someone who’s not interested in hypertrophy.
Good sources of protein include:
Animal protein including beef, chicken, fish, seafood and dairy
Beans and pulses
Whole grains including brown rice and quinoa
Nuts and seeds
Natural soy based products including tofu
Protein to avoid when possible include:
Highly processed fast foods
Deep fried meats
So many people avoid fats in their diet thinking that all fats are bad for you.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Fats, in moderation and high quality fats are vital for the body and can also be used as an energy source.
Fats are needed for cells, for insulin and for protection of the body’s vital organs as well as being needed to break down fat-soluble vitamins.
Depending on your activity level and your lifestyle most adults in the UAE should eat around 20-30% of their calorie intake from fats.
However, as you probably already know not all fats are equal. Saturated fats for example are needed but the amount of saturated fat you eat should be around 10% of your calorie intake.
Good sources of fats include:
Vegetable oils including extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil
Fatty fish including salmon, mackerel and sardines
Fatty vegetables like avocado
Nuts and seeds including walnuts and brazil nuts
Grass fed butter (in moderation)
Fats that should be limited or avoided include:
Artificial spreads and margarines
Palm oil based products
Full fat dairy (limit)
Deep fried foods
Too much saturated animal fats
Baked good that include vegetable fats (palm oil)