Canton Medical Clinic


Macronutrients are the nutritive components of food that the body needs for energy and to maintain the body’s structure and systems,” says MD Anderson Wellness Dietitian Lindsey Wohlford. Counting macros is becoming increasingly popular, however, there are still a lot of misunderstandings about proteins, carbohydrates and fats that can make healthy eating a challenge for the uninformed.

It is often observed that instead of focusing on a person’s experience and relationship with foods, much emphasis is placed on macro/micronutrients. Since there is a lot of confusion around we believe that an effective discourse is required to address the basic points of nutrition.

Let’s begin!


Nutrients found in food that eventually get broken down to provide your body with the required energy also known as calories are called macronutrients. The three main macronutrients are:

  • Proteins
  • Carbohydrates
  • Fats

Our body’s energy needs are fulfilled by consuming food and that is how we are able to perform our daily activities. Macronutrients provide our bodies with the required energy. They get broken down into smaller units that get absorbed into our bloodstream during the digestion process and are then distributed to the bodies’ cells so that they can perform their individual functions.

Macronutrients mean large nutrients as in they are required by our bodies in large quantities as opposed to micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals needed in smaller quantities for daily functions.


Carbohydrates are your body’s main fuel source. They get broken down into simple sugar in the form of glucose. There are three main types of carbohydrates: starches, sugar and fiber. Foods containing carbohydrates will normally have all of those three. Fiber is a unique carbohydrate in that instead of breaking it down into glucose it plays a very important role such as aiding and assisting your body in digesting foods. It also supports healthy blood sugar as well as promotes satiety.


One of the most important macronutrients especially if your goal is to lose body fat. Proteins once consumed are broken down into amino acids. Protein is essential to building muscles as well as the amino acids that protein gets broken down into are used by the body to help in the maintenance and tissue growth. It also assists in creating enzymes that are required in several enzymatic reactions that take place in your body. Protein is also essential in the body’s hormone production.


Fat breaks down into fatty acids in order to provide energy to our bodies. Fat has the highest caloric count among macronutrients. Dietary fat provides our bodies with essential fatty acids which act as structural compounds in the body. Fat is required to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K. Fat plays a major role in creating and balancing hormones.


It is essential to consume a balance of macronutrients in your daily meals. Consuming a balanced meal is very helpful for feeling satisfied and keeping steady blood sugar levels. But how do you know if you are consuming a balanced meal? Could there be the right amount of carbohydrates, fats and proteins that you should be eating for the meal to be considered balanced?

The answer is that there is no “right” way to balance your nutrition. A lot depends on what your individual fitness goals are. A well-balanced meal may mean you are consuming a satisfying amount of food and it has some amount of protein, fats and carbohydrates. And since there are a number of diets and meal plans out there you are going to have to consult with a nutrition expert to determine which one will work for you in terms of your individual health and fitness goals. A trained nutrition and weight loss expert will also be able to design an individual meal plan based on your desired goals and specific taste preferences.

Nida Latif, MD

Dr. Latif is a co-founder of Canton Medical Clinic. She is a graduate of The Aga Khan University Medical College and has been practicing medicine since 2004. Dr. Latif completed her Family Practice residency from a Michigan State University campus and is board certified in Family Medicine. She has always been passionate about prevention and “lifestyle” medicine. For this reason, she pursued and board-certified in Obesity Medicine in 2018. She also performs wet cupping therapy (Hijama) on women and children.