Macronutrients 101

Part 1

Good nutrition is the foundation of good health. The food you eat provides your body with the fuel it needs to function. The combination and the amount of food you eat impacts not only your weight but also long-term health.
Water, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the basic building blocks of a good diet. By choosing the healthiest forms of each of these nutrients, you enable your body to function at its optimal level.

Water
Your body is two-thirds water. It is an essential nutrient that is involved in every function of the body. Drinking water increases the amount of calories you burn. Drinking water before meals may reduce appetite and help with weight loss. It is essential for detoxification and necessary for flushing out toxins. Adequate water intake is necessary for cellular and metabolic processes. Without sufficient water, processes are slowed and elimination of waste is impaired. It’s best to drink water 15 minutes before you eat and 30 minutes to an hour after you eat. Drinking during meals dilutes digestive enzymes and stomach acid, slowing down the digestive process.

Protein
Protein is essential for growth and development. It provides the body with energy, and it is needed to produce hormones, tissues, enzymes and antibodies. When you eat protein, your body breaks it down into amino acids , the building blocks of all proteins. The body takes protein from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, as well as legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils and peanuts).

Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates supply your body with the energy it needs to function. They are found in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, peas, as well as beans. Carbohydrates are divided into two groups – simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates include fructose (sugar that comes from fruit), sucrose (sugar), lactose (milk sugar), as well as several other sugars. Complex carbohydrates include fibre and starches. They can be found grains, fruits, vegetables and beans. Except for fibre, which cannot be digested, both simple and complex carbohydrates are converted into glucose (blood sugar), which is then used for the production of body energy.

When choosing carbohydrate-rich foods, always opt for unrefined foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, and whole-grain products, as opposed to refined and processed foods such as soft drinks, desserts and sugar.

Fat
Fat is the most concentrated source of energy supplied to the body, and it is necessary for absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K. Fat is an essential part of our diet, and helps to control blood pressure, hormonal balance, skin, hair, blood clotting, and inflammation.
Good fats include oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, salmon, herring), nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil and coconut oil.

London Nutritionist Milena Kaler

Milena Kaler is a is a qualified London Nutritionist, weight loss and digestive health specialist, trained in the principles of Functional Medicine. She practices from 10 Harley Street, London, W1G 9PF. Milena sees patients with chronic health conditions, as well as clients looking for support to optimise their health. Some of the areas Milena can help with include: weight loss, digestive, hormonal, immune and skin health. Scientific and holistic in approach, Milena looks at all aspects of a client’s health. She embraces a systems-oriented approach aiming to get to the root cause of health and weight issues instead of simply focusing on the symptoms. Milena sees every person as an individual with different problems and different goals. She takes time to listen to her clients’ specific concerns to develop customised nutrition and lifestyle plans, based on laboratory test results. Having overcome her own chronic health and weight loss issues, Milena really understands how it is to feel overwhelmed by poor health and can relate to her clients when they first come to see her.