Free up your protein to do its job!

Macronutrients

Chicken breast fillet with  mixed vegetables and herb sauce

Chicken can be an excellent source of lean protein.

Protein, fat and carbohydrates are referred to as “macronutrients,” and each one is essential for our bodies to function. Eating a balanced diet of each macronutrient allows them to work together in an effective and efficient way – which promotes good health and better healing!

It’s important to consume adequate protein and carbohydrates and fat to allow the protein to do its job in wound healing, tissue repair and healthy cell growth. Without adequate fats and carbohydrates, protein is used to create energy and is then unable to perform its intended function.

Protein intake is especially important when the body is stressed – for example, during chemo and radiation therapy; or, in the event of wounds, surgery or other trauma.

Here’s a quick review:

  • Protein helps regenerate healthy tissue, preserve lean muscle mass and make essential hormones and enzymes.
  • Fats provide energy, cushion for our organs and allows for absorption of essential nutrients.
  • Carbohydrates provide us with our main source of energy for our bodies.
  • Remember: All three are imperative for our health and survival.

Some ways to get more protein in the diet include:

  • Lean meats
    • Chicken and poultry
    • Lean cuts of beef and pork
    • Seafood
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Beans, nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains

To learn more about protein, carbohydrate and fat intake – as well as about balancing your diet – visit www.choosemyplate.gov.