Tempo de Leitura: 2 minutos

What are they?

Nutrients are all substances found in food, which are useful for organic metabolism and indispensable for the growth, development and maintenance of the vital functions of living organisms, and consequently for the good maintenance of health. They are divided between macronutrients, those that have calories, give energy to the body and are needed in large quantities, while micronutrients are required in smaller amounts, and are part of the regulation of metabolism.

Nutrients: Macros

Macronutrients, fat, protein and carbohydrate provide energy and essential components to sustain life. Fat is composed of glycerol and fatty acids; protein is a cluster of amino acids; and carbohydrates are simple sugars, such as monosaccharides or chains of connected monosaccharides whose bonds are hydrolyzed in the human small intestine in monosaccharides or are resistant to hydrolysis (dietary fiber).

Recommendation of macronutrients for good health

The World Health Organization has dietary recommendations of the percentage of energy that should come from each macronutrient for effective prevention of chronic diseases. The recommended distribution is in 10-15% proteins, 15-30% fats and 55-75% carbohydrates, but this number may vary according to the guidelines of each country, and also varies if we are talking about individuals with specific pathologies.

Nutrients: Micros

Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals and they play an important role in preventing some diseases that are prevalent in the world population. The antioxidant action of some vitamins can reduce the occurrence of chronic non-communicable diseases, dietary excess sodium is associated with increased blood pressure and consequently increased risk of cardiovascular and oral diseases, and vitamin D and calcium are essential in maintaining bone health and contribute to a lower risk of osteoporosis.


Both macronutrients and micronutrients are found in the form of supplements such as carbohydrate gels, protein powder and various vitamin and mineral capsules. Supplementation should always be based on the individual’s diet and needs, and should supplement only what is deficient, under the risk of high loads of compounds that can accumulate in the body and even exert toxic effects on cells due to excess.


Article: Venn BJ. Macronutrients and Human Health for the 21st Century. Nutrients. 2020 Aug 7;12(8):2363. doi: 10.3390/nu12082363. PMID: 32784664; PMCID: PMC7468865.

ARAUJO, Marina Campos et al. Macronutrient intake and inadequate micronutrient intake in adults. Revista de Saúde Pública, v. 47, p. 177s-189s, 2013.

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