What is The Difference Between Micronutrients and Macronutrients?

Macronutrients and micronutrients: how do they differ?

In order to understand the concept of food balance, all actors must be known, both the main ones (macronutrients) and the secondary ones (micronutrients) although the secondary ones are needed in lower quantities, all of them play an important role to ensure the correct state of health of the organism. In order to present the differences between the two concepts, we will first describe them and then we will go into detail the differentiating aspects.

Macronutrients and micronutrients

Difference Between Micronutrients and Macronutrients


In the group of macronutrients, we find proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids, they are called macronutrients since our body needs them in significant amounts so that it can function normally, the needs for each individual are determined in grams and in a balanced diet recommends consumption in the following proportion:

  • 50 to 60% carbohydrates
  • Lipids from 30 to 35%
  • 12-15% protein

Despite not being a nutrient but a food, at this point water should also be mentioned, it is a staple food that does not provide energy but must be ensured to maintain the body’s balance, water must be present in any balanced diet, the daily water recommendations are 1.5 to 2L.

To expand the concept, you can check the following post:   Do you know what macronutrients are?


Regarding micronutrients, as we have already seen, we need them in small quantities but they are not less important, within this group are vitamins and minerals. It is essential to ensure the proper consumption of each of them to ensure the proper functioning of the organism, deficit consumption can cause significant alterations and some serious diseases if a balanced diet is made, the minimum requirements that the human body needs can be met.

It has identified 13 essential vitamins for the body and is vitamins A, C, D, E, K and eight vitamins of group B: thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B 6, vitamin B 12, folate or folic acid.

The most significant aspects related to the function of each of them are detailed below:

  • Vitamin A or retinol participates in the function of protection in the skin and vision.
  • Vitamin C: allows the synthesis of collagen that participates in healing, is a potent antioxidant and participates in fat metabolism.
  • Vitamin D: has the main function in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, this vitamin can be synthesized in the skin with sun exposure, it is recommended especially in children to avoid rickets.
  • Vitamin E: has functions in muscle synthesis and red blood cells.
  • Vitamin K: the main function is to participate in blood clotting.
  • Vitamins of group B: it is mainly involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, each of the vitamins that make up the group of B has specific functions.

significant feature of vitamins is their physicochemical property, vitamins B and C are water-soluble, these vitamins must be consumed daily in the diet but not stored in the body, therefore, regular and continuous consumption must be ensured. On the other hand, vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble vitamins and the fatty parts of the body can be stored. Vitamin requirements are determined in micrograms or milligrams.

Regarding minerals, those that perform more specific functions in the body are calcium phosphorus, iron, and magnesium that must be consumed in milligrams and zinc, iodine and selenium in micrograms.

As we have seen, the main difference between macronutrients and micronutrients is related to the amounts that our body needs. The main cause of this difference is that macronutrients can perform different functions in the body and are also able to provide energy instead, vitamins and minerals do not provide energy, their main function is to participate in certain metabolic processes.

As mentioned above, some vitamins can be stored in the body due to their fat-soluble properties, vitamins A, D, E and K can be stored in both fatty tissue and liver, it is important to note that a consumption Excessive of these vitamins can be harmful to the body. I have shown that higher consumption of vitamin A, may increase the risk of bleeding or bone formation problems, excessive consumption of vitamin E is related to metabolic disorders. Macronutrients also have storage capacity as they form structures or are stored as reserves.

In the case of water-soluble vitamins, as they cannot be stored, regular consumption should be ensured so that alterations such as scurvy, vitamin C deficiency or energy metabolism alterations in vitamin B deficits of group B do not occur.

In this blog we have reviewed the concept of macronutrients and introduced micronutrients, vitamins and minerals are basic components that we must ensure in any balanced diet. Do you want to learn more? Do you dare to start in the exciting world of food and nutrition? Check our Higher Course in Nutrition and Herbodiethetics and find out without obligation.

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