It’s 2 AM and you haven’t eaten anything for the past six hours. You go check the fridge, and you see that leftover baked potato pizza from the past day. You tell yourself it’s not right, but your stomach tells you otherwise. As you snarf down this pizza, millions of different types of macromolecules are entering your body and you don’t even realize it.
Parents and health teachers always say “Hey, be careful of what you eat because you are what you eat.” This phrase is used among multiple health and personal fitness coaches as a part of their curriculum to teach students the proper balance and the nutrients the body needs. But is this true? Can this absurd, over-the-top hyperbole be so true that you are actually what you eat?
It is true. You are, in a sense, actually comprised of what you eat. When you consume certain foods, there are different types of macromolecules that enter your body. Macromolecules are divided into four different categories: Nucleic acids, Lipids, Proteins, and Carbohydrates. All four of these particular macromolecules serve a different purpose, but the human body does rely on all four of these macromolecules to function properly.
Nucleic Acids: The genetic coding of each and every organism. DNA and RNA strands work interdependently to make sure the genetic makeup of an organism is functioning correctly and that there is no other foreign genetic coding that invades the host’s genetics.
Carbohydrates: Carbs, carbs, carbs. Carbohydrates are what provide the body with immediate energy. As the body takes in carbohydrates, the polysaccharides and monosaccharides are broken down and the ATP is used for nutrients. Because they are the body’s primary source of energy, too much consumption of carbohydrates can be detrimental to one’s health.
Lipids: The fatty acids that make up the long-term energy source for the human body. These are the macromolecules related most to the saying, “you are what you eat.” When someone takes in too much fat, their body begins to store the fat, which builds up fat around the body.
Protein: The swole gains that gym sharks are always talking about. Protein not only builds muscle mass, it helps repair what has been damaged. When someone works out, their muscles are literally torn apart. The body uses the proteins to help repair the torn muscle quickly; creating more muscle.
Now that you know what certain macromolecules perform what functions, remember to be weary of what you eat and keep a healthy, balanced diet!