List of macronutrients

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This list is a categorization of the most common food components based on their macronutrients. Macronutrients can refer to the chemical elements that humans consume in the largest quantities (See Nutrient)

Macronutrients that provide energy[edit]

There are three primary macronutrients: carbohydrate, protein, and lipids.[1] Macronutrients are defined as a class of chemical compounds which humans consume in the largest quantities (must be above a threshold amount) and which provide humans with the bulk of energy. While water does make up a large proportion of the total mass ingested as part of a normal diet, it does not provide any nutritional value. Alcohol is a calorically dense compound that can provide large amounts of bioavailable energy although it is not a necessary dietary component.



Amino acids[edit]


Saturated fats[edit]

Monounsaturated fats[edit]

Polyunsaturated fats[edit]

Essential fatty acids[edit]

These 2 essential fatty acids are the starting point for other important omega-acids (e.g. DHA, EPA)[citation needed]

Macronutrients that do not provide energy[edit]


Water is the most important substance for life on Earth. It provides the medium in which all metabolic processes proceed. As such it is necessary for the absorption of macronutrients, but it provides no nutritional value in and of itself. Water often contains naturally occurring micronutrients such as calcium and salts, and others can be introduced to the water supply such as chlorine and fluoride for various purposes such as sanitation or dental health.


Dietary fibre or roughage, found mostly in vegetables (and fruit), is crucial to the health and normal function of the human digestive system.


Compounds found in large amounts in fruit and vegetables as well as in many teas(herbs) and spices. Essential for reducing damage to cells, and highly beneficial to overall health. Common antioxidants needed in relatively large amounts include vitamins C, A and E.

Fitness and bodybuilding[edit]

In sports, fitness and bodybuilding the term macros is used extensively to refer to macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and lipids). Additionally, the term carb or carbs refers to carbohydrates.

Almost all diet plans are based on judicious distribution of these three elements in required ratios. For example, a 2000 calorie diet could consist of 800 calories from 200 grams of protein (1 g of protein = 4 kcal), 800 calories from 200 grams of carbs (1 g carbohydrates = 4 kcal) and 400 calories from 44 grams of fats (1 g fat = 9 kcal).

This is also called counting or tracking macros.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Prentice, Andrew M. (1 October 2005). "Macronutrients as sources of food energy". 8 (7a): 932–939. doi:10.1079/PHN2005779 – via Cambridge Core.