Test for many certifications as “Which of the following is not a macronutrient?”.
There are three main macronutrients that your body needs to function: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Each of these nutrients plays an important role in keeping you healthy and energized. However, some micronutrients are essential for your health, and you need to consume them in smaller quantities. Any food or nutrients that do not fall under the Fat, Carbohydrate, or protein category is considered a micronutrient.
What are the 3 Main Macronutrients
The three main Macronutrients include:
- Carbohydrates – are a major source of energy for our bodies and originate largely from grains such as rice and noodles, are present in fruits, roots vegetables, dry beans, and dairy products.
- Proteins – can be derived from meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, dry beans, and bean products. It is responsible for the growth, healing, and maintenance of healthy body tissues.
- Fats – are a type of lipids that occur in the body as part of cell membranes. Fats provide energy for the body. They serve as heat retainers in extreme cold weather and protect organs from injury by preventing heat loss. They help to make up part of our body cells and move fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, and C.
Anything that does not fall into these three categories would be considered a micronutrient. Often foods contain a combination of both Macro and Micronutrients so it is important to read the packaging.
What are Micronutrients?
Micronutrients are essential nutrients that your body needs in smaller quantities than macronutrients. They include vitamins and minerals, which play important roles in keeping you healthy. While you don’t need as many micronutrients in your diet they are still essential to great health.
What are Examples of Non-Macronutrients
There are many micronutrients, but some of the most important ones include:
Minerals are a class of critical nutrients that control numerous bodily processes, including fluid balance, muscle contraction, and transmission of nerve impulses. Calcium, for example, plays a role in the formation of strong and healthy bones.
Vitamins are complex organic compounds that play an important role in maintaining optimal health. They contribute to proper skin and hair production, bone growth, and the usage of energy from meals through a variety of body metabolism processes. Vitamins may be divided into water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins.
- Chromium (disputed, as the European Union does not recognize chromium as an essential nutrient)
- Cobalt (as a component of vitamin B12)
While all of these nutrients are important for your health, not all of them are considered micronutrients. Also, working some of these into your diet may be difficult and that is where taking supplements can be helpful.
Macronutrients vs Micronutrients Guide
How can one tell which Food is not a Macronutrient?
The best way to tell which foods are not macronutrients is to look at the nutritional label. The label will list the number of carbohydrates, proteins(try our Monster Mash recipe, and fats in the food. It will also list the vitamins and minerals that are in the food. If a vitamin or mineral is not listed on the label, then it is not a micronutrient.
Many great food tracking apps include nutrient tracking and information so you can tell whether something is a micro or macronutrient.
Examples of food tracking apps and how to tell which is not a macronutrient:
The LoseIt app is a great way to track your macros and micronutrients.
- To track your macros, simply enter the food you’re eating into the app and it will give you the macronutrient breakdown.
- For example, if you enter “chicken breast” into the app, it will tell you that chicken breast is mostly protein with some fat.
- To track your micronutrients, simply click on the “Nutrients” tab and select which micronutrient you want to track.
- The app will then show you which foods are high in what micro or macronutrient.
- Open the app and navigate to the food entry page.
- For example, if you enter “cranberry juice” into the app, it will tell you that cranberry juice mostly contains macronutrient carbohydrates.
- Clicking deeper into the nutrients tab you will see that cranberry juice is loaded with micronutrients such as Iodine and Zinc.
- Adding this food to your daily food log will allow you to always look back at your overall nutrient balance.
Micronutrient Supplements [Not a Macronutrient]
Often it is difficult to fill all of your daily required nutrients through diet alone which is why micronutrient supplements can be helpful.
Multivitamins are a great way to get a wide range of essential micronutrients all at once.
There are also many single nutrient supplements available if you feel you’re lacking in a specific area.
Some common micronutrient supplements include:
- Vitamin D – important for bone health
- Omega-three fatty acids – important for brain and heart health
- Vitamin B12 – is important for energy levels
- Iron – is important for carrying oxygen in the blood
- Iodine – important for thyroid function
- Zinc – important for a healthy immune system
- Magnesium – involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body
Remember it is always a good idea to speak with your doctor before starting any supplement regimen. They can help you determine which micronutrients you may be lacking and which supplements would be best for you.
While there are many great ways to get the micronutrients your body needs, not all of them are created equal. Some foods and supplements are better than others when it comes to absorption and bio-availability.
While all of the above information is great, the best way to know which foods are micronutrients and which are macronutrients is to consult with a Registered Dietician or your Healthcare Professional. They will be able to help you create a healthy diet that meets your specific needs.
There you have it! Now you know which of the following is not a macronutrient.
If you feel we missed any tips on discovering what is and what is not a macronutrient please leave us a comment below!