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Your Healthy Family: Being macro and micronutrient aware when counting calories

Posted at 9:41 AM, Jan 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-09 11:27:34-04

COLORADO SPRINGS – Was losing weight your New Year’s resolution?  If it was how’s that going? Many people focus on simply counting calories, and making sure they burn more than they take in on any given day.  While counting calories can be an effective way to lose weight, it’s just as important, if not more so to track your intake of macro and micro nutrients.

You can find it on almost every fitness app out there, you log your food to monitor your calories, and those macro and micronutrients.  But what are they? They are the building blocks of your diet. Macronutrients are things like protein, carbohydrates, and fat. The micronutrients are vitamins A,B,C and D, and minerals like calcium, iron and zinc.

So along with counting calories and burning more than you take in, monitoring micro and macronutrients can lead to a more sustainable and well balanced diet for a lifetime.

Catherine Kruppa is a registered dietitian, with Advice for Eating.com who says, “If you get too over focused on any of those things then you’re going to miss the big picture and it’s just getting more whole, good food and you.”

Simple calorie counting can lead to weight loss, but if you’re eating meals full of diet drinks or 100-calorie packaged foods it doesn’t mean you’re healthy.  If you want to hit all your macro and micronutrient goals eat more whole foods like fruits and veggies.

Kruppa explains, “You definitely need to eat whole foods to get all of your potassium in.  That’s a great example of getting all of the micronutrients you need, you need to eat whole foods.  That’s something you’re not going to find in something that’s packaged.”

A diet consisting of a lot of pre-packaged foods no matter the calories can lead to vitamin deficiencies, illnesses or a lack of fiber.

Even if manufacturers add them back in foods, most scientists say that’s not a good replacement for the real thing that you get from fruits, nuts, grains, seeds and plants.

Filling up on those healthier foods will give you the added benefit of losing weight and having more energy and feeling better.