Nutrition 101: Understanding Macronutrients and Micronutrients

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Hello everyone, it's Dr. Justin Marchegiani here! Today's talk is going to be on Nutrition 101. We’re going to go over what macronutrients and micronutrients are, and I'll show you how to customize a diet according to your needs, goals, and desires.

The Basics of a Healthy Diet

When dialing in our diet, there are a few things that need to be in common across any way of eating. We want our diet to be:

  1. Nutrient-Dense
  2. Low Toxin
  3. Anti-Inflammatory

If we can check off these three criteria, we can adjust our macronutrients—carbs, fats, and proteins—according to our metabolism and individual needs.

Understanding Macronutrients

We have three macronutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrate. Here's a quick breakdown:

Protein Sources

Proteins come from two primary sources: animal and plant. Animal proteins are high in protein and fat but low in carbohydrates. Plant proteins, unless processed into powders, usually come with a higher carbohydrate content.

Animal Proteins: High in essential fatty acids, vitamins A, D, E, K, EPA, DHA, and cholesterol, which are crucial for hormone building.

Plant Proteins: Examples include rice and beans, which provide more carbohydrates relative to their protein content.

Types of Fats

Fats can be categorized into:


Carbohydrates are divided into:

  1. Non-Starchy Vegetables: Low in sugar, high in nutrients (e.g., broccoli, kale, spinach).
  2. Starchy Vegetables: Higher in carbohydrates but still nutritious (e.g., sweet potatoes, yams).
  3. Fruits:
    • Low-Sugar Fruits: Berries, green apples, lemons.
    • High-Sugar Fruits: Tropical fruits like bananas, pineapples, and mangoes.

Customizing Your Diet

Your diet can be customized based on your metabolic needs:

Key Questions for a Healthy Diet

To ensure your diet is effective, it must be:

  1. Anti-Inflammatory: Avoid foods that cause excessive inflammation.
  2. Nutrient-Dense: Focus on foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.
  3. Low in Toxins: Choose organic and high-quality foods to minimize pesticide and toxin exposure.

Functional Medicine Lab Testing

Functional medicine lab testing plays a crucial role in understanding and customizing your nutritional needs. These tests provide a comprehensive look at your body's biochemistry, revealing deficiencies, toxicities, and imbalances that standard tests may overlook. For instance, a detailed micronutrient panel can highlight specific vitamin and mineral deficiencies that might be contributing to health issues, allowing for targeted nutritional interventions.

Hormone testing is another essential aspect of functional medicine. By assessing hormones like cortisol, insulin, thyroid hormones, and sex hormones, we can gain insights into how stress, diet, and lifestyle are affecting your body. This information helps in creating a personalized nutrition plan that supports hormonal balance, energy levels, and overall well-being.

Gut health is also a significant focus in functional medicine. Tests such as comprehensive stool analyses can detect dysbiosis, infections, and markers of inflammation in the digestive tract. Understanding your gut health is vital for customizing a diet that promotes proper digestion, nutrient absorption, and a balanced microbiome. By addressing these underlying issues through personalized nutrition and lifestyle changes, we can achieve lasting improvements in health.


This is the foundation for healthier eating. Depending on your specific health challenges or goals, you may need to further tailor your diet. If you want more in-depth advice or have chronic health issues, feel free to reach out to me at



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