Macronutrients vs. micronutrients? A quick refresher
Our bodies need a balance of both to function—though, as the names indicate, macronutrients (think protein, fat, carbs) are needed in larger amounts than their micronutrient counterparts (vitamins and minerals).
Let’s start with protein—in addition to supporting satiety and helping build lean muscle mass, dietary protein also supports bone health. There are many protein sources available—some derived from animals (think seafood, chicken, and other lean meats, including red meat), and some derived from plants (like oats, peas, and lentils, the latter of which belongs to the legume family). Ritual’s Essential Protein Daily Shake is another great option, and not just for post-workout purposes—it provides an excellent source of protein, and a complete amino acid profile, to boot.* (12)
When it comes to sources of fat, we recommend reaching for heart-healthy fats like olive oil and avocado (or salmon, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids). The same goes for carbs—instead of turning to refined carbs as a go-to, try incorporating more nutritious options, like brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat, and other whole grains. (While delicious, refined carbohydrates like white rice, pasta, bagels, and pizza dough tend to lag in fiber compared to their whole grain counterparts . Another plus? Studies show that whole grain intake can help support heart health.)* (13, 14, 15)
There’s no shortage of different eating approaches—from keto, gluten-free, and vegan to the paleo diet, Mediterranean diet, and dozens more, it can feel overwhelming to parse through the options and figure out what’s ideal. So what is the best diet plan, or way of eating, to follow? Rather than deeming one specific approach (or meal plan) the holy grail, many nutritionists and dietitians take a more expansive and personalized view—encouraging eating healthy meals at appropriate portion sizes, and incorporating a mix of all five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy (including low-fat dairy and/or dairy alternatives). “Try to check off all the food groups when you go to the grocery store,” advises Dr. Mastaneh Sharafi, PhD, RDN, Ritual’s VP of Scientific Affairs. “I like to make sure that in one meal I have all the food groups that are needed.”