What is the difference between macronutrients and micronutrients?
A lot of people find a hard time to distinguish between macronutrients and micronutrients based on their function.
The core difference between macronutrients and micronutrients is that macronutrients are large quantities required daily while micronutrients are small quantities required daily in the body.
What Are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients are those large quantities required in the body daily. They provide energy in the body in the form of calories. Examples of macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and water.
The main sources of macronutrients are potatoes, fish, nuts, beans, pulses, legumes, tofu, soy, nuts, and fish. Lack of macronutrients in the diet can result in kwashiorkor and marasmus.
Main Role of Macronutrients
- Enhance muscle development
- Help to maintain body temperature
- Promote the production of healthy cell function
- Help in the synthesis of hormones and enzymes
- Facilitate gut health and cellular signaling mechanism
What Are Micronutrients?
Micronutrients are those small quantities required in the body daily. Examples of micronutrients are iron, calcium, vitamins, minerals, and vitamin C.
Main sources of micronutrients are vegetables, fruits, cashews, eggs, dairy products, etc. lack of micronutrients can result in Anemia, scurvy, and goiter
Main Role of Micronutrients
- Help in the synthesis of Hemoglobin
- Function as co-enzymes and co-factors
- Prevent the occurrence of non-communicable diseases
- Vitamin A facilitates better vision
- Promote the synthesis of thyroid hormone
Comparison Chart: Macronutrients Vs Micronutrients
|Required in large amounts daily
|Required in small amounts daily
|Consequences of Deficiency
|Result in malnutrition, Kwashiorkor, marasmus, etc.
|Result in Anemia, Scurvy, Goiter, etc
|Consequences of Overconsumption
|It causes cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, etc.
|Causes liver and nerve damage especially vitamins
|High in the body
|Low in the body
|Traces of elements
|Carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
|Vitamins, minerals, and trace elements.
|Antioxidants, Minerals, and Vitamins
|Proteins, fiber, carbohydrates, and fats
|Cereals, legumes, meat, fish, yams, potatoes, nuts, oilseeds, etc.
|Vegetables, fruits, eggs, green leafy vegetables, fermented foods, etc.
|Provide energy for the metabolic system.
|Provide nutrients for growth and disease prevention
|Result in obesity and diabetes
|Result in suppressing immune function
|Body Structure Building
|Promote body development
|Do not enhance bodybuilding
|Large quantities in the plant body
|Minute quantities in plants
|Primary and secondary
|Examples of elements
|C, H, O, N, P, K, Ca, S, and Mg.
|Mn, Cu, Zn, Mo, B, Cl and Ni.
Core Differences between Micronutrients and Macronutrients In Point Form
- Macronutrients are required in large quantities while micronutrients are required in small quantities
- The core function of macronutrients is to promote growth, repair, and development of new tissues while micronutrients are to build a healthy brain, body, and bones
- Macronutrients provide energy in the body while micronutrients prevent diseases and support body growth
- Macronutrients are high concentration in the body while micronutrients are in low concentration
- Macronutrients are classified as primary and secondary while micronutrients have no classification
- Macronutrients comprise of major elements while micronutrients comprise of traces of elements
- Macronutrient compose of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium while micronutrients compose of zinc, iron, and manganese
- Excessive consumption of macronutrients causes obesity and diabetes while micronutrients cause suppressing immune function
- Deficiency of macronutrients causes Kwashiorkor and marasmus while micronutrients cause Anemia, Scurvy, and Goiter
- Micronutrients comprise of trace elements while macronutrients consist of major elements
- Types of macronutrients are carbohydrates, protein, and fats while that of micronutrients are vitamins, minerals, and trace elements.
- The main purpose of micronutrients is body growth and disease prevention while macronutrients are to provide the required energy for metabolic activities
- Sources of Macronutrients are cereals, legumes, meat, fish, yams, and potatoes while that of micronutrients are vegetables, fruits, eggs, green leafy vegetables, and fermented foods
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Macronutrients are required in large quantities while micronutrients are required in small quantities. Excessive and inadequate consumptions of these nutrients have consequences. We recommend optimum consumption or as directed by nutrients.