The Essential Macromolecules in your Food
There are many things to critically consider when deciding on a diet. First off, you need to check what nutrients you need and what nutrients are available from the products you buy from the market.
The Nutrition Facts Label at the back of food wrappers and packaging is usually helpful as it tells you what nutrients are and how much of those nutrients are found in one serving. For instance, some nutrition facts labels indicate how much proteins or fats are in a bag of chips.
Proteins and fats are macromolecules. They are large molecules (hence the term macromolecules), necessary for life. They are built from smaller organic molecules and are classified into four major classes including carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids (found in our DNA and RNA).
What are the Macromolecules in your Food?
What specific types of biological macromolecules in the food do we need to live? What functions do they serve?
You probably have heard about carbohydrates, which are, an essential part of our diet. Molecularly, carbohydrates consist of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. These molecules can be used by the body immediately or it can also be stored in the liver and muscles for when it is needed like when we exercise, get up, or walk around.
If you want to know an in-depth review on carbohydrates and sugar, watch the video from Osmosis.org below:
Natural sources of carbohydrates include fruits, grains, and vegetables. They provide energy to our bodies in a form of glucose. Glucose is a simple sugar and a component of starch that you can find as an ingredient in many staple foods. Starch, on the other hand, is a complex form of carbohydrate. Before our body can use it as an energy source, starch must be broken down by our digestive system. Few foods that contain starch and dietary fibre include bread, cereals, and vegetables.
The word lipid is often used interchangeably for fats, but this is technically incorrect. The main difference between fats and lipids is that lipids are a broad group of biological molecules whereas fats are a specific type of lipids.
Here's a video on fats:
If you watched the video above, you heard about the difference between glycerides (monoglycerides, diglycerides, and triglycerides). So, here’s another fact, “true fats are composed of the third type of glycerides, a.k.a. triglycerides. Triglycerides that remain solid at room temperature are termed fats and those that remain liquid at room temperature are termed oils. Like carbohydrates, triglycerides are also made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. But what makes them different from each other are the ratios of these elements.
Ever wondered why oil or fats do not readily mix with water?
It is because of the triglycerides and their long chains of carbon and hydrogen bonds. These bonds create a part of triglycerides that fear water, which is called the hydrophobic tails.
A protein is one of the most abundant organic molecules in many living systems including animals and humans. It is found in every cell, tissue, and organ in our bodies. Among other molecules from the food that we eat, proteins have the most diverse range of functions. They may be responsible for the structural, regulatory, contractile, or protective components of the body. Some work in the transport and storage of other compounds in the body, and few types may serve as enzymes. They vary greatly and are constantly being broken down through various processes and also get replaced mostly from the food that we eat. But once taken in, the protein in the foods become digested into smaller organic compounds called amino acids.
Watch the video below if you want to know more about proteins:
Good sources of protein include meats, fish, poultry, and legumes such as dry beans and peas. You can also get protein from eggs, nuts and seeds, tofu, milk and milk products as well as grains.
Nucleic acids may not be as popular as carbs (carbohydrates), fats or lipids, and proteins; but they are the most important macromolecules for the continuity of life. They carry our genetic blueprint called our DNA, which has the instructions for the functioning of our cells in our bodies.
Biomolecules: A Summary
The video below is a summary of what we discussed above on macromolecules (sometimes referred to as biomolecules):
Weight loss and macromolecules
There are a lot of diet plans available today that claim to be the answer to weight loss problems. Most of these diet plans are usually based on minimizing the intake of one of the macromolecules we discussed–carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Weight loss and carbohydrates
One of the most popular diets involving carbohydrate restriction is the so called ‘low carb diet’.
Low-carbohydrate diets are based on claims that the macromolecule carbohydrates is responsible for weight gain.
Although there are several variations of low-carbs diet, most of them essentially involve restriction of carbohydrate intake from foods. Instead, they are replaced with foods that are usually high in protein and fat.
However, there are also unhealthy misconceptions about weight loss and low-carb diet, as well as claims that restriction of carbohydrates to loose weight are misleading. These claims are based on the fact that weight gain is secondary to an excess overall intake of macromolecules, which can come from any food source – including those that are low in carbohydrates, or those that are high in dietary fat or protein.
In case you are wondering about low carbs diet, here’s a quick look at what they are basically.
According to mayoclinic, typical foods for a low-carbohydrates diet, focuses on proteins and some vegetables that are low in starch. In short, if you are in a low arb diet, you limit intake of bread, cereals, fruits, grains, legumes, pastas, starchy vegetables, some dairy products aside from butter, cheese, or cream. Oftentimes, nuts or seeds are also avoided.
Some variation of low-carb diet plans, however, allow small intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to increase more energy source from carbohydrates.
Weight loss and lipids (fats)
In our previous article, entitled “Fat, Defined”, we discussed basics of fats and lipids, subcutaneous fat and its functions, reasons why we need fat in our bodies, when and how fat becomes excessive, and more topics related to fats.
But, how does fats or lipids relates to weight loss?
As with the low-carb diet, reducing the amount of fatty foods is the basis of a low-fat diet. And while it is true that a diet high in fat can lead to excessive weight gain, it takes more than just having a diet of low-fat foods to lose weight. Beside losing weight, reducing fatty food intake benefits the body.
Fats. We have been told that fats are unhealthy and harmful. They have a bad reputation for quite a while. However, it is important to know that there are different types of fats.
The first type of fat is called monounsaturated fat. This kind of fat is not actually bad for the health but may have a beneficial effect for cardiovascular health if eaten in moderation. It can even assist in minimizing inflammation and weight loss. Sources of monounsaturated fat include avocados, canola oil, certain nuts, and olive oil.
In addition to monounsaturated fat, there is another type called polyunsaturated fat. From a scientific standpoint, these type of fats are generally liquid at room temperature, and turns solid when chilled. Plant or animal foods, like salmon, seeds, some nuts, and vegetable oils contain polyunsaturated fat. Like monounsaturated fats, this category of fats also may be helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease.
The last category of fat is termed trans fat. Mayoclinic states that trans fat is the worst type of fat that people can eat. Why? Because this type of fat increases the level of bad cholesterol and lowers the good cholesterol in the blood. Having more bad cholesterol and less good cholesterol in our bodies imply increased risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death and morbidity in many countries. In Canada alone, about 2.4 million adults (aged 20 and above) live with a diagnosis of heart disease.
Weight loss and proteins
Proteins are crucial to living as they are involved in nearly all bodily processes and functions. The elements carbon (C), hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), and nitrogen (N) combine as a molecule to form amino acids, which are building blocks of protein.
Since proteins and amino acids are primarily used to form tissues (like muscles) and enzymes in the body. They contribute to our body weight. However, to reduce weight, it is not necessary to go on a low protein diet.
This type of diet is usually recommended to help treat and manage certain health conditions. It requires restriction of protein intake. For example, on average, recommended protein intake should be within 10 to 35 per cent of daily calories or at least at 0.8 grams per kg of body weight per day; but in a low protein diet, proteins typically constitute to less than 10% of daily calories.
Weight loss and weight loss supplements
Supplements are not limited to those who lack certain nutrients. There are some that can aid in losing weight or keeping the belly flat. Here are some:
Acida Burn is Applied Science Nutrition’s premier digestive support / dietary supplement which contains clinically-tested ingredients to aid in weight reduction. It can help you lose 0.5 pounds a week for ten consecutive weeks if taken appropriately. Acidaburn does this by providing you energy, helping you maximize your workouts and daily activities, and supporting a healthy digestive system so you can have proper bowel movement.
The unique blend of Acidaburn ingredients has scientifically shown to promote weight loss. Naturally-derived ingredients include black walnut, green tea extract, psyllium husk, vitamin B5, and Advantra-Z Citrus Aurantium, all of which help provide tons of health benefits to support you achieve the weight loss effects you expect.
- Aleo Vera (Leaf) has been used as a herbal medicine for various health problems since prehistoric times. Beside detoxification of the body, it can assist in proper metabolism. It also contains several vitamins and minerals which the body needs to support any weight loss regimen.
- Apple Pectin (Fruit) is found in most peels of citrus fruits as well as cherries, plums, and other soft fruits. It supports healthy digestion by assisting in the removal of the toxins in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Bentonite Clay works not just for skin health or as an antibacterial. Numerous claims say that it supports gut health by increasing the normal flora (good bacteria) in the intestines.
- Black Walnut (Huli) extracts helps protect the gut against infestations such as parasitic infection. It is a good source of iron, calcium, magnesium, beta-carotene, and more. It is exceptionally good for the body as it also aids in digestion, lowering cholesterol, as well as improving immune function.
- Flaxseed (Seed) is commonly used by individuals who want to improve metabolism and digestive health. It may also help in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol levels which in turn may reduce the risk of developing heart diseases.
- In a 2008 study, researchers say that Glucomannan (Root) may help prevent constipation. It also helps improve bowel movement and has the ability to absorb water. These unique properties are believed to be the reason for glucomannan’s effect on weight loss.
- L. Acidophilus is a probiotic which is a good bacteria that helps our digestive system to break down sugar from the food that we consume. In addition to use as a supplement, L. Acidophilus is commercially added to many foods to promote the growth of good bacteria in the intestine.
- Oat (Bran) provides fibre that helps soften stool preventing constipation and promoting intact gut. Because it can make the stool easier to pass, it maintains healthy bowel moement.
- Prune (Fruit) helps absorb nutrients and moderate digestion. Eating prunes or drinking prune juice aids in mobilizing the digestive system. This effect may be due prune’s high fibre and sorbitol content.
- Psyllium (Husk) is a bulk forming, soluble fibre that serves as a laxative derived from the seeds of a plant called Plantago ovata. It is mainly grown in India and is also an active ingredient in Metamucil, a fibre supplement that reduces the risk of constipation. Research also suggest that it can even relieve mild diarrhea, as well as regulate cholesterol and triglycerides. Unlike other sources of fibre, the human body typically tolerates this type of fibre. Besides promoting digestive health, psyllium, which is available in various forms, has several other benefits.
Flat Belly Burn
Flat Belly Burn is an all natural supplement formulated to prevent the formation of excess belly fat. It works by maintaining a healthy digestive tract and supporting the natural digestive processes. It is designed specifically for men and women who like to have a long-term, safe, and effective way to be fit and maintain a healthy weight.
Flat Belly Burn contains Bentonite clay, Flaxseed, Prune, and Psyllium husk.
- Bentonite clay is a natural clay named after Fort Benton, Wyoming where they are naturally found. Researchers suggest that it boost good bacteria in the gut. It also is often used to manage ongoing digestive issues. And it is believed that its naturally negative charge rounds up heavy minerals with a ‘positive charge’ like a magnet so the body can flush those minerals out more easily, instead of storing them as fat.
- Flaxseed gained the spotlight for being one of the wonderfoods because preliminary studies claim that it may help fight conditions such as diabetes, certain types of cancer, and heart disease. It is also packed with lots of fiber so it can make you feel full naturally.
- Prunes are also loaded with fiber. It is a dried fruit proven to stimulate metabolism and help eliminate deep belly fat making it a good snack to boost energy.
- Psyllium husk is known for fighting body bulge. It does this by soaking up water in the gut and makes bowel movements much easier, assisting the body in alleviating constipation. As a natural source of fiber, psyllium husk can make you feel full so you won’t give in to hunger and crave for more carbohydrate-rich foods. This, in turn, supports a healthy digestive tract and regularity of bowel movements.
In addition to these weight loss supplements, you can also ask your healthcare provider if you can take any of our dietary supplements:
- Greens nutrition - a collection of 11 superfoods to supercharge your day.
- Hormone support - for women, contains three essential hormones which work together to keep the body healthy and energized.
- Immune support - a dietary supplement to boost the immune system and help the body ward off infections.
- Koda Code Collagen -to provide your body the perfect ratio of Type 1 Glycine Amino Acid, Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
- Multi-vitamins - a specially formulated multi vitamin supplement for men and women over 40.
- Omega-3 - a great tasting, liquid pill omega 3 supplement for the maintenance of good health.
- Total blood support - an all natural supplement that works to maintain healthy blood pressure levels in both men and women for you to enjoy increased energy, ongoing cardiovascular support, and optimized endothelium (blood vessel lining) function.
- Total gut solution (Probiotics) - a premier digestive support supplement with clinically-tested and scientifically-proven ingredients designed to help promote healthy digestion.
- Curcumin / Turmeric - a dietary supplement extracted from the amazing root vegetable that is widely used for its high anti-oxidant content and various herbal medicinal properties.
With your healthcare providers advice, one or two of the any of the following supplement may be beneficial for your health.
Talk to your nutritionist or primary physician
Before deciding on lowering the intake of any of the macromolecules we discussed in this article, it is important to get the approval or recommendation of your primary health care provider. Every person reacts differently to various types of diet and may experience different result from an individual who eats the same meals.
The best weight loss diet
Furthermore, what may be considered healthy foods from one individual may be not as healthy to others depending on individual’s health, body weight, nutritional status, and medical or surgical conditions. For any diet plan or supplementation plan, it is vital to take into consideration these factors because there’s no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ in diet. Do not fall immediately into any weight loss regimen without your nutritionist’s or your primary physician’s recommendation.
MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ!
Applied Science Nutrition's website, including this article and all its contents, are for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the guidance of any licensed physician or any healthcare provider.
Furthermore, the statements on this website have not yet been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The information and products mentioned in this article are meant for general use only. They are not intended to assess, cure, diagnose, prevent, or treat any disease, medical condition or replace medical advice.
Any decision to buy and use any of the supplements to support your needs should be considered in cooperation with your primary care provider. Any questions you may have concerning the article, the use of supplements, or medications should be directed to your family physician.