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The Difference Between Micronutrients and Macronutrients – What's the Deal?

What’s the difference between micronutrients and macronutrients?

Macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories (aka energy) for the body. Macronutrients are protein, fats, and carbs. Micronutrients are elements that are essential for life, but are not calories. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals. Macronutrients are the amounts of energy that a food contains. Micronutrients are essential to the human body. They include vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are essential because they are responsible for blood clotting, energy production, immune function, and other functions. Minerals are vital for growth, bone health, fluid balance, and more processes.

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How do you know if you’re getting enough macronutrients?

If you’re tracking your calories, you should be able to tell if you’re getting enough macronutrients. A caloric deficit will produce a negative energy balance, which means that your energy intake is less than your energy expenditure. This means that you could potentially be consuming less than your body needs for optimal health. If you’re not consuming enough calories to compensate for the energy you’re expending, you could be consuming too few macronutrients. Most people consume enough macronutrients, especially if they’re eating a well-balanced diet. If you’re not sure if you’re getting enough macronutrients, you can use a food scale to track your portion sizes. You can also have a nutritional analysis conducted on your food to get an exact breakdown of the calories.

What are good sources of macronutrients?

Protein: Milk, eggs, soy, whey, fish, chicken, legumes, nuts, seeds

Carbohydrates: Breads, cereals, fruits, vegetables, legumes, rice

Fats: Healthy fats include olives, olive oil, canola oil, flaxseed, avocados, nuts, peanut butter, seeds (sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin), fatty fish and fish oil and more.

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How do you know if you’re getting enough micronutrients?

There are multiple ways to determine if you’re getting enough micronutrients:

  1. If you’re eating a well-balanced diet, you probably get enough micronutrients. You should pay attention to the food labels on the food items that you buy.
  2. You can also have a nutritional analysis performed on the food you buy to determine the amount of micronutrients it contains.
  3. You can also have a blood analysis done to see if you’re consuming enough micronutrients.

What are good sources of micronutrients?

Here is a list of the main micronutrients you need to know about:

Vitamin A: Carrots, apricots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, papayas, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, yellow squash, tomatoes, watermelon

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Vitamin B: Vitamins include B vitamins

Vitamin C: Red peppers, broccoli, oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, apples, kiwis, watercress

Vitamin D: Fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, tuna

Vitamin E: Nuts: almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios

Vitamin K: Spinach, Swiss chard, green beans, sweet potatoes, tomatoes

Minerals: Calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, phosphorous

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Deficiency of Micronutrients

A micronutrient deficiency is a condition in which you don’t consume enough micronutrients. A deficiency could result in poor health, reduced energy levels, or muscle weakness. The body needs vitamins and minerals in differing amounts, so it’s possible to become deficient in any of them. Eating a well-balanced diet should provide you with all of the micronutrients that your body needs. If you consistently eat a diet that isn’t well-balanced or you’re skipping meals, you may be consuming too few nutrients.

There are many potential micronutrient deficiencies, these include deficiencies in calcium, vitamin D, iron, zinc, and B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12). A nutritional deficiency can be caused by not consuming enough calories, poor eating habits, or lack of physical activity.

Summary

Macronutrients and micronutrients are very important to your body. Macronutrients are proteins, fats, and carbohydrates and they give you energy. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are essential because they are responsible for blood clotting, energy production, immune function, and other functions. Minerals are vital for growth, bone health, fluid balance, and more processes.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

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