Unlocking the Power of Nutrition with a Registered Dietitian: Embracing Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats for Busy Moms

Salad made of green leaves, fruit, and other ingredients to include a balanced meal with carbohydrates, protein, and fat

Calling all super moms! Ever wondered why carbohydrates power the engine of your body? Let’s dish out the tasty details!

Picture this: your body’s like a high-performance car, and food? Well, it’s the premium fuel that keeps you running on all cylinders. But what exactly is packed into those power-packed bites?

Enter the superhero trio: Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Carbs, the energetic charmers, are the secret sauce found in fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, and more—keeping you fueled up and ready for action.

Proteins, the mighty repair crew, don their capes to mend tissues and tackle other body missions. They’re hiding in animal-based and even some plant-based foods, always ready to save the day.

And last but not least, fats—your body’s cozy blanket and cell structure helper. They’re the unsung heroes keeping you snug and your cells in tip-top shape. So, strap in, superhero mom, as we unravel the mysteries of these essential macronutrients and discover the delicious sources that power your mom-tastic adventures! 🦸‍♀️

Simplified Key Term: Molecule. Think of connecting blocks as atoms, when you connect atoms together into different configurations you get a molecule. A molecule can be found in everything we touch, eat and breathe. You can think of molecules as the building blocks that make everything around us. 

Fueling with Carbohydrates

8 small bowls with a variety of fruits, nuts, and seeds.

An important source of fuel for the body, carbohydrates help the body with energy. When you eat foods with carbohydrates, your body will use them by breaking them down into even smaller molecules known as glucose, or sugar. 

Glucose is the source of energy for your cells, tissues, and organs, and what makes you want to move. 

Think of carbs like your secret stash of emergency chocolate—any extras get squirreled away in the liver or muscles for a rainy day. And guess what? They’re not just for your body; they’re your brain’s BFF, the VIP ticket to optimal brainpower!

Different types of Carbohydrates

Simple Carbohydrates. Ah, the smooth operators of the carb world—Simple Carbohydrates, a.k.a. sugar. They’re the sprinters of digestion, zooming through your system faster than a toddler with a new toy, ready to dive straight into your bloodstream for a quick energy boost!

You can typically find sugar added to foods like doughnuts, cookies, candies, pastries, and sugary beverages. 

These types of carbohydrates can also be found naturally in some vegetables, fruits, and milk and milk products. 

Complex Carbohydrates

  • Fiber. is a type of complex carbohydrate that your body does not break down or absorb; it stays intact. I often refer to it as the broom of the intestinal tract, it helps with bulking and moving stool along for effective bowel movements. 

It’s also good at making you feel full longer, controlling blood sugar levels, and even managing cholesterol levels. 

Fruit, vegetables, and whole wheat products like bread, pasta, crackers, nuts, seeds, and legumes are among the foods rich in fiber. 

  • Starch. This type of complex carbohydrate is absorbed by the body. It has many simple sugars that, when eaten, are broken down and used for energy. 

Foods with starch are tortillas, pita, bread, pasta, oatmeal, and cereals. But can also be found in some starchy vegetables like peas, potatoes, corn, yams, plantain, sweet potato, and winter squashes. 

Protein Powerhouse

Vegetarian tacos made with black beans, avocado, and tomato.

Picture protein as your body’s backstage crew, omnipresent and hard at work both in your system and on your plate. When you indulge in protein-packed meals, it’s like treating your body to a DIY repair shop—breaking down into those essential amino acids. They’re the tiny superheroes behind the scenes, working tirelessly to keep your skin smooth, your tissues tight, and your bones as strong as your coffee game on a Monday morning!

If your body does not receive enough carbohydrates for fuel, it can convert protein into fuel. However, protein is not the preferred source of energy for the body, and chronically limiting carbohydrates can start to affect the systems that heavily rely on protein. 

You also need to consume protein daily since your body does not store it like it stores carbs and fat. 

Protein can be found in animal-based foods like meat, poultry, and fish and its derivatives, such as eggs, cheese, yogurt, and buttermilk. 

However, protein can also be found in plant-based foods like nuts, seeds, beans, chickpeas, and mushrooms.

The Skinny on Fats

Three half pieces of avocado stuffed with tomato and crumbled cheese.

Now, let’s talk about the unsung hero: fat. It’s like the spare change you find hidden in the couch cushions—necessary but often overlooked! This precious nutrient likes to snuggle up under the skin, adding those extra rolls that we moms know all too well, cozying around organs like a warm embrace, and even finding a snug spot within cell structures, like secret compartments in a mom purse!

Being under the skin helps insulate the body and regulate temperature. It’s often found surrounding organs to cushion them from injury. It also helps with the structure of the cells in your body and manages hormones. 

Some fats are better choices than others, and knowing which to choose can help you make a better-informed choice. 

Monounsaturated Fats. Found in nuts, seeds, avocados, hazelnut, avocado oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, macadamia nut oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil, cereal, and oatmeal. (the good fats)

Polyunsaturated Fats. Hemp seed, grape seed, flaxseed, linseed, walnut oil, soybean, and corn. (the good fats)

Saturated Fats. Processed foods, deep-fried foods, sausages, pre-packaged baked goods, lard, whole-fat yogurt, milk, and cheese. (the fat to avoid)

Trans Fats. Butter, Hydrogenated palm oil, shortening, margarine sticks, animal fat, breads and cakes products. (the fat to avoid)

Balancing Macronutrients

Your body needs all macronutrients to function, and they do need to be in balance. Too much or too little can create an undesired imbalance. 

According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which establishes and updates nutrient requirements, the dietary recommendation for carbohydrates is to provide about half of the daily energy requirement, which is between 45-65% of energy intake. 

Protein recommendations are between 10-35% of the daily energy requirement.

Fats on the other hand can be a bit tricky, there are a variety of fats some good and some not so good. Therefore, the dietary recommendation is that fats contribute between 20-35% of the daily energy intake from fat.

It’s also important to choose the good fats, like omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids often found in fish, eggs, strawberries, broccoli, nuts, seeds, and avocado.


So there you have it, moms! 

Remember, fueling up isn’t just about filling your tank—it’s about nourishing yourself with the right mix of carbs, proteins, and yes, even fats! Whether you’re juggling schedules or chasing little ones, let these macronutrients be your sidekick in conquering the chaos of mom life, one delicious bite at a time!

Here are a few tips for incorporating macronutrients at every meal:

  1. When having breakfast, make sure you include some type of protein to feel satisfied and stay full longer. 
  2. Salads don’t need only to include leaves or vegetables, add flavor with nuts, seeds, fruits, cheese, crackers, or chicken. 
  3. Don’t forget that snacks can also be balanced with macronutrients.
    1. Pair apple slices (carbs) with peanut butter (protein and fat).
    2. Enjoy a smoothie made with spinach and berries (carbs), peanut butter or milk (protein), and a tablespoon of flaxseed or half an avocado (fat).
    3. Snack on a handful of trail mix with nuts (protein and fat) and dried fruit (carbs).

Want More?

Subscribe to my newsletter and get this Free Grocery List, which includes the best choices for Carbs, Protein, and Fats. 

References: https://nap.nationalacademies.org/read/11537/chapter/7

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