The Difference Between Micronutrients and Macronutrients

If you’re trying to follow a healthy meal plan, whether it’s for weight loss or general well-being, you may have read about macronutrients and micronutrients. But what are they, and what’s the difference?

If you know how these two types of nutrients differ, you’re on your way to a well-balanced diet. 

While it may sound confusing, understanding the basics of micronutrients and macronutrients doesn’t have to be time-consuming and complex. Our meal plan specialists at NuvidaRx Weight Loss in Tallahassee, Florida, can help you with custom meal-planning services that align with your goals. 

With our professional guidance, you can learn how to monitor micronutrients and macronutrients to achieve long-term results. Here are the basics of how these nutrients differ. 

Micronutrients vs. macronutrients

The primary difference between micronutrients and macronutrients is the amount of each category you need to consume daily. The human body needs macronutrients in large amounts and micronutrients in smaller amounts to ensure proper function.

Macronutrients

Macronutrients or “macros” are the chemical substances that your body needs for growth and other natural functions. These nutrients contribute to the bulk energy your body needs to provide different organs and bodily systems with the energy to function at optimum levels. 

Macronutrients also help your body grow new cells and tissue. These nutrients assist in developing muscles, maintaining body temperature, and promoting healthy cell function. 

There are three types of macronutrients: 

Micronutrients

Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals and comprise the “building blocks'' of nutrition and good health. Micronutrients help control your metabolism, disease prevention, bone health, fluid balance, and organ health and function.

Some vitamins and minerals act as antioxidants, which may protect against cell damage associated with certain diseases like cancer and heart disease. 

There are four groups of micronutrients:

Recommended amount of macronutrients vs. micronutrients

The acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges include: 

The ideal amount of each macronutrient in your diet depends on whether you’re trying to maintain or lose weight. Consuming excessive amounts of macronutrients can lead to diabetes and obesity. 

You also need different quantities of each micronutrient. Factors such as your age, health history, medical conditions, and other considerations can affect the amount of each micronutrient that your body requires. 

Having insufficient levels of some micronutrients can cause a wide range of serious health-related consequences, depending on the micronutrient you’re lacking. Bone diseases (vitamin D deficiency), blindness (vitamin A deficiency), and anemia (iron deficiency) can result from low levels of specific micronutrients. 

Food sources are the safest and most effective source of micronutrients. While taking micronutrient supplements can be helpful under medical supervision, consuming too high amounts of some micronutrients can lead to micronutrient toxicity. 

Our team at NuvidaRx can help you incorporate healthy amounts of macronutrients and micronutrients into your daily eating habits. Nutrition counseling can take the guesswork out of healthy eating so you can use the benefits of macronutrients and micronutrients to your advantage. 

Request an appointment online or call our office today at 850-765-2549.

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