3 min

This article is a cheat sheet to help end the confusion about which food is rich in which macronutrient. Is lentil or daal a protein or a carb, is cheese really a fat source?


Before we start, what are macros?

Macros, also known as macronutrients, are nutrients that our bodies need in large quantities and are measured in grams. They are carbohydrates, protein, fats, water and alcohol. Each of them plays a crucial role in regulating important bodily functions, so much so that if the ratios get imbalanced it can cause severe health implications.


Fats have 9 calories per gram. If a spoon of oil has 5gram of ghee, it would have 5 grams x 9 kcal per gram = 45 calories from fats.

They are often seen as evil but play a vital role in optimal endocrine functioning, the system responsible for testosterone production, key for muscle growth & maintenance. Additionally, it also helps the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, including A, D, E and K.


Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram. If a 30gram bread slice has 14 grams of carbs, it would have 14 grams x 4 kcal per gram = 56 calories from carbs. Carbs are the body’s preferred source of fuel. Explosive and strength sports typically use the anaerobic system, which relies majorly on carbohydrates in the form of glycogen. Additionally, high glycogen levels are closely associated with higher levels of muscle protein synthesis and lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.


Protein has 4 calories per gram. If a scoop of 30grams of whey protein has 25 grams of protein, it would have 25 grams x 4 kcal per gram = 100 calories from protein. Its primary role in the body is to support growth and repair. Additionally, it plays a major role in enzymatic activities and can be used for energy. For people who exercise, recent research suggests that roughly 1.6grams per kg is optimal for maximizing muscle growth.


Alcohol has 7 calories per gram. If a 30ml shot of vodka has 14 grams of alcohol, it would have 14 grams x 7 kcal per gram =  98 calories from alcohol.


Water doesn't have any calories but serves as a carrier. It distributes nutrients to all the cells and removes wastes through urine. It regulates our body temperature and the ionic balance of the blood. Water is also essential for the body’s metabolism.


Here are some examples of where do you get what:



Whey Protein, Egg Whites, Chicken Breast, Lean Fish & Other Meats



Fruits & Vegetables, Rice & Roti, Bread, Oats



Butter, All Cooking Oils, Nuts & Dry Fruits,  Avocado


Protein + Carb

Legumes, Lentils, Daal, Rajma & Chickpeas, Low Fat Greek Yogurt


Protein + Fat

Paneer, Cheese, Whole Eggs, Chicken Thigh


Carb + Fat

Cookies, Ice-cream, Donuts, Fries


Fat + Carb + Protein

Pizza, Pasta, Burger, Full Fat Milk & Curd"