Difference Between Macronutrients and Micronutrients (With Table)

Living organisms require an adequate amount of nutrients to live a healthy and long life. Nutrients provide energy to the body and protect it from dreadful diseases. Macronutrients and micronutrients are two main types of nutrients that are required by the body, the former is in large quantities, and the latter is in less.

Macronutrients vs Micronutrients

The difference between Macronutrients and micronutrients is that macronutrients provide calories that help in the growth of the body, whereas micronutrients provide antioxidants that protect the body from various diseases. Macronutrients are required in large quantities, while micronutrients are required in small amounts. Macronutrients include fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and water. The micronutrients include minerals, vitamins, iron, fluorines, and others. 

Macronutrients are essential for the proper functioning of tissues and other parts of the body. It is the principle of energy in the body. Macronutrients are found in foods like meat, seafood, egg, yogurt, milk, nuts, pulses, beans, water, and others. The human body requires macronutrients more than micronutrients.

On the other hand, micronutrients are required in lesser quantities but protect the body from severe diseases. Micronutrients do not contain calories like macronutrients but antioxidants that protect from diseases. They are also important for the creation of enzymes. Foods that contain micronutrients are fresh green vegetables, fruits, eggs, dry fruits, and others.

Comparison Table Between Macronutrients and Micronutrients

Parameters of ComparisonMacronutrients Micronutrients  
FunctionMacronutrients are the main source of energy, promoting the proper functioning of tissues and cells.Micronutrients promote the growth of hair, skin, bones and help to maintain the immune system to protect from diseases.
QuantityIt is taken in larger quantities.It is taken in smaller quantities.
TypesFats, proteins, and carbohydrates.Vitamins, minerals, and other trace elements like iron, copper, and fluorines
FoodIt is mainly present in meat, seafood, cereals, eggs, nuts, and milk.It is mainly present in vegetables, fruits, milk, eggs, and dry fruits.
Negative impactOverconsumption results in obesity and diabetes.Overconsumption results in liver damage.

What are Macronutrients?

Macronutrients are essential for every living organism. Macronutrients generate energy in the body and help different parts of the body to function. The classification of macronutrients includes fats, carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and fiber.

Monosaccharides, amino acids, and fatty acids are the main building blocks of these macronutrients. Glucose, sucrose, fiber, and starch contain carbohydrates. Proteins are rich in amino acids, and fats contain fatty acids.  These are the sources of energy in every living organism like, from plants and animals to humans. Carbohydrates and fats are used to generate energy, and proteins are used to ensure the proper functioning of cells and tissues in the body.

The number of macronutrients is measured in grams, and it depends on age, gender, weight, and other parameters. a person has to take up to 35% of calories from proteins per day. Processed food like meat, pulses, beans, seafood, and nuts contain macronutrients.  Water is also a macronutrient that has to be taken 2500 ml per day based on the temperature and climate condition. Macronutrients are essential for pregnant women as it ensures the healthy growth of the baby. However, excessive consumption of macronutrients will result in diseases like diabetes, heart diseases,  obesity, improper growth, and others.

What are Micronutrients?

Micronutrients are the other nutrients that are less in quantity in the human body but protect from severe diseases. Micronutrients are taken in smaller amounts as they do not help in energy production. They include antioxidants that help fight against diseases and support the growth of hair, skin and other parts of the body. Vitamins, minerals, and trace elements are termed micronutrients. Vitamins are not produced within the body. They are provided externally to ensure the growth of the body. Vitamins are soluble in water and fat. These must be consumed small in quantity regularly to ensure a healthy body. Minerals like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen are obtained from nature. Minerals are essential to bind enzymes and regulate the acid-base balance of the body. Trace elements like iodine, fluoride, copper, magnesium, and others are essential to reduce diseases. The micronutrients are measured in milligrams or micrograms.

Micronutrients are present in fresh fruits, vegetables, cereals, eggs, milk, yogurt. These are taken in small in quantity but are essential for the growth of the body. The deficiency of micronutrients harms the body, such as poor vision, mental health problems, and fatigue. Both micronutrients and macronutrients are essential and have to be taken in an everyday diet. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and kinds of seafood are rich in both micronutrients and macronutrients. The amount of intake depends on human parameters like gender, age, and health condition.

Main Differences Between Macronutrients and Micronutrients

  1. Macronutrients are consumed in large quantities, while food containing micronutrients is consumed in small amounts.
  2. Macronutrients are essential for promoting energy and proper functioning of the body, while micronutrients are essential for promoting the growth of the body.
  3. Macronutrients are rich in calories, but micronutrient food contains antioxidants instead of calories.
  4.  Fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in micronutrients, while processed foods are rich in calories or macronutrients.
  5. The concentration of macronutrients is higher in the body than in micronutrients.

Conclusion

Nutrients like macronutrients and micronutrients are essential for every living organism to fulfill basic functions like growth, energy development, reproduction, and protection from diseases. The macronutrient is an energy delivery nutrient, and the micronutrient is a non-energy delivery nutrient. Macronutrients are classified into fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, whereas micronutrients are classified into vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. Taking macronutrients and micronutrients in a diet helps humans to live healthy lives.  However, excessive consumption of both nutrients results in dreadful diseases.  To live a healthy life in this fast-paced environment, humans have to plan their diet to take sufficient amounts of nutrients.

References

  1. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/injirr/issue/51783/673621
  2. https://ijponline.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13052-021-01061-0
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