Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are known as macronutrients, and they are the nutrients that the body needs in large quantities. These macronutrients provide energy and are essential for life. Water is also essential for life, but it does not provide any nutritional value. Ethanol provides calories, but it is not required as an essential nutrient.
The most common food components can be classified based on their macronutrients. Dietary fiber from fruits, vegetables, and cereals can also be classified as macronutrients. Insoluble dietary fiber is not absorbed in the human digestive tract, but it is important for maintaining most of the bowel movement and preventing constipation. Soluble fiber can be metabolized by bacteria that reside in the large intestine and can be absorbed into intestinal cells as a source of dietary energy.
When considering a diet or nutrition plan, some people may try macrodiets, which focus on balancing macronutrients. The image on each plate can serve as a reminder to get your nutrition from different sources to ensure that your macronutrient and micronutrient needs are met.