Nutrition and Disease
HCS308 Intro to Nutritional Concepts
Instructor Christine McMahon
June 11, 2016
How Macronutrients Assist Digestion
The role of macronutrients in our digestion is pretty clear and is found in the entire body as the digestion starts at the mouth and ends in the colon. Macronutrients (or macros for short) are carbohydrates, fat, and protein found in the diet and are basically the bulk of one’s diet, being the “large” nutrients. The basic function of macros is to provide fuel, energy, protection, and cellular formation to the body. Taking a closer look at the specific
application of macros on the digestion, we can see that the role in digestion will likely also primarily be for energy, as the individual nutrients of the macronutrients are absorbed into the system and digested. Another function in the digestion is that of fiber. Many carbohydrates such as dark leafy greens, vegetables, fresh fruits such as apples, bananas, and avocados, and even fatty foods such as avocados will have a good level of fiber. Fiber is essential for digestive health in that it helps give shape to the colon, stimulate the muscular action of the colon, and also allow the micronutrients within the macronutrients to be absorbed.
How Macronutrients Affect Absorption
As mentioned above, macronutrients play a key role in absorption through their fibrous tissue and is located mainly in the colon; although is also located throughout the body as absorption happens with cellular respiration as well as absorption in the blood cells for transportation. While the fruits, veggies, and fats were mentioned, what is the benefit of protein in digestive absorption? According to MSJC (2011), proteins tend to also be high in fats. For instance, milk products, meat products, and even fish and eggs will have higher levels of fat than does fresh produce. It is for this reason that they are to be balanced with carbohydrates in order to help with the absorption of the nutrients in the protein. The main role of protein is to regenerate cellular structure and tissues, which is why protein is often said to help with building muscle. It also requires a lot of fiber and water to help with the absorption of the nutrients found in protein-rich foods, or the nutrients will not absorb as well and will end up being eliminated with the rest of the byproducts. Protein is essential, and since it helps build muscle will also help with the muscular tissues in the colon; however, needs the support of the carbohydrates for total absorption and efficacy.
How Macronutrients Revitalize Metabolism
Metabolism is technically the rate at which the body uses the fuel and energy consumed, and is mainly found in the soft tissues of the body including organs and the colon. After looking at what macronutrients do to fuel and energize the body, they will also have a leading role in the metabolism. For instance, according to NCBI (N.D.), since obesity is the state of high energy stores, it can be concluded that obesity is a result of high energy intake as well as high energy expenditure in addition to the high energy stores. Since certain macronutrients are more energy dense than others, such as fat being seven calories per gram of lipids as opposed to that of carbohydrates and protein which merely have four calories per gram (MSJC, 2011). Since protein tends to have higher levels of fats, it can be easily concluded that a healthy diet for a healthy metabolism will be high in fruits and vegetables with moderate portions of protein and minimal portions of fat. Keeping a good balance in order to have optimum absorption will ensure proper and ultimate metabolism, which will also ensure proper energy as well.
MSJC. (2011). Digestion, Absorption, and Macronutrients. Retrieved from URL: http://www1.msjc.edu/hs/nutr100/nutr100_section2a.html
Nutrition 101 Macronutrients Photo. Retrieved from URL: https://www.google.com/search?newwindow=1&espv=2&biw=759&bih=588&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=power+to+the+macronutrients&oq=power+to+the+macronutrients&gs_l=img.3…39319.40408.0.40518.104.22.168.0.0.0.162.711.7j1.8.0….0…1.1.64.img..1.0.0.YuH-0InkMs0#imgrc=UI7ovXmbf1K_-M%3A
Swinburn BA, Ravussin E. (N.D.). Energy and Macronutrient Metabolism. PubMed Article Retrieved from URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7980346
Fiber Picture Retrieved from URL: https://www.google.com/search?newwindow=1&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=609&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=fiber+&oq=fiber+&gs_l=img.3..0l4j0i10j0l5.2754.2754.0.3422.214.171.124.0.0.0.94.126.96.36.199….0…1.1.64.img..0.1.93.bzSZ41cyzPU
Heart Nutrition Picture Retrieved from URL: https://www.google.com/search?q=heart+nutrition+picture&newwindow=1&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjB06jaz6fNAhVNUVIKHTHnAIMQ_AUICCgB&biw=812&bih=588
Macros Picture Retrieved from URL: https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome-psyapi2&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8&q=digestion%20macros%20picture&oq=digestion%20macros%20picture&aqs=chrome..69i57.5908j0j7
Metabolism Picture Retrieved from URL: https://www.google.com/search?newwindow=1&espv=2&biw=812&bih=588&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=metabolism&oq=metabolism&gs_l=img.3..0l10.36089.37324.0.376188.8.131.52.0.0.0.109.770.7j2.9.0….0…1.1.64.img..1.9.767.0Q43oRLfCKE