Our body requires three major nutrients to help us with our body maintenance and function; proteins, fat, and carbohydrates. These three nutrients, otherwise also known as, macronutrients, are necessary for the human body and can be found in foods everywhere. We require them in larger quantities, which is why they are called macronutrients, in comparison to micronutrients which are only required in smaller quantities.

Each macronutrient contains calories. Calorie is the unit used to measure the amounts of energy foods have, which is where to get our energy from. So the more calories you eat, the more energy you have. However, we have to be careful and not eat more than our body needs. That is when our body stores excess calories and turns them into adipose tissue (fats).

Although calorie is the unit of measurement for energy in foods, when we talk about calories in nutrition, the unit kilocalories is used. The reason for this is because the unit of calorie is too small and is not practical to be used in nutrition. So, kcal (kilocalorie) is used instead. If you look at the nutrition label at boxes, they would label the amount of kilocalories the food contains. But for the sake of simplicity, calories and kilocalories are interchangeable.

Now, when talking about macronutrients and the calories they contain; 1g of carbohydrate has 4 calories, 1g of protein also has 4 calories, while 1g of fat has 9 calories. Although alcohol is not considered a macronutrient, 1g of alcohol contains 7 calories. No surprise that the macronutrient fat has the highest amount of calories per gram. With this information in hand, we will move on to AMDRs in the next article.