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Difference Between Micronutrients and Macronutrients

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Micronutrients and Macronutrients

In this article, we will discuss the meanings of macronutrients and micronutrients and also the differences between the two. The frequently asked questions at the end of this article can help you with your doubts if you incur any while going through the same.

Chemical compounds present in foods that are vital for the functioning of our bodies and our health are known as nutrients. These provide us with the energy we need to perform various functions in our daily life and act as the building blocks of our growth and repair systems. There are six major types of nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, lipids, water, and minerals, and these are further grouped under two major categories: macro and micronutrients.

All food that we consume contains micronutrients and macronutrients.

Macronutrients- Are proteins, water fats, and carbohydrates that are essential nutrients for our body in larger quantities. These nutrients essentially provide energy to our bodies that help to grow, repair, and develop new tissues and also helps in regulating the vital processes of the body.

Micronutrients- On the other hand are Minerals and vitamins that are essential for our bodies in smaller quantities. Consumption of vegetables, fruits, sources of calcium, and whole grains is beneficial to keep the balance of micronutrients in our bodies.

Most of the food that we eat contains a combination of one or more types of nutrients. Because of our body’s inability to manufacture these nutrients, they have to be consumed from other sources through the various food items that we consume every day.

Before we proceed, let us find out what are macronutrients and micronutrients.

Macronutrients are the substances that comprise a major portion of our staple food and give us the energy we need to move, breathe, sleep, and properly function. Micronutrients are substances that are consumed in minimal amounts, and this help to ensure the growth and healthy development of the body.

Now let's look at the difference between macro and micronutrients.

Macronutrients vs Micronutrients

Macro and micronutrients differ in several ways, the primary being the units they are measured in. Macros are measured in terms of grams, for example, 1 gram of protein or fat. Macronutrients consist of the following three major categories of nutrients:

  • Proteins: These are the nutrients that are usually found in food items such as eggs, dairy products like cottage cheese, fish, soy, and tofu. 

  • Fats: These are the nutrients that are found in food items such as meat, different kinds of nuts, oil, butter, milk, and cheese.

  • Carbohydrates: Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, corn, grains, and even some fruits are very rich sources of carbohydrates. 

Micronutrients are, on the other hand, measured in much smaller units such as milligrams and micrograms. Green vegetables and fruits that are chock-full of vitamins and minerals contain an abundance of micronutrients. Some of these include

  • Zinc

  • Magnesium

  • Vitamin E

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin B-6

  • Calcium

  • Iron

  • Folate

Now that you know what macro and micronutrients are let's revise a few concepts with the following pop quiz.


Pop Quiz 1

  1. Carbohydrates, fats, and minerals are all examples of micronutrients.

    1. True 

    2. False

    3. None of the above

Also, it is important to know that minerals are further classified into micro and macro minerals. The difference between micro and macro minerals lies in the fact that while macro minerals are present in substantial quantities in the diet, such as calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and potassium, micro minerals are required in tiny amounts, and are often referred to as trace minerals. Examples of micro minerals include selenium, manganese, cobalt, and zinc. 

Given below are a few differences between macronutrients and micronutrients:

Difference Between Micronutrients and Macronutrients



Macronutrients occur in large quantities in plants.

Micronutrients occur in small quantities in plants 

Macronutrients are necessary for metabolism growth and other body functions.

Micronutrients are essential for warding off harmful diseases and detoxifying our bodies.

These compounds are present in an excessive concentration in plants.

Micronutrients are present in low concentrations in plants as compared to macronutrients.

Deficiency of micronutrients can result in marasmus, kwashiorkor, etc

Deficiency of micronutrients generally results in Scurvy, anemia, goiter, etc.

Examples of macronutrients are protein, fiber, water, fats, carbohydrates, etc

Examples of micronutrients include minerals, vitamins, Iron Calcium, etc.

To learn more about micro and macronutrients difference, refer to our comprehensive range of study material and revision notes available in PDF for free. Download the Vedantu app today and get access to free live demo classes and much more.

Last updated date: 25th Sep 2023
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FAQs on Difference Between Micronutrients and Macronutrients

1. What are the two main categories of fats essential for our body?

There are mainly two categories of fats that are required by our body: saturated fats and unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats that are healthy are found in seeds, oily fish, avocados, olive oil, etc whereas saturated fats are found in butter cheese meat, and processed food. Saturated fats are less healthy as compared to unsaturated fats and are to be consumed at a moderate level.

2. What is the importance of micronutrients in our body?

Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean sources of proteins, olive oil, and nuts are good sources of micronutrients for the body. Micronutrients are essential for better immune function energy production, bone health, fluid balance growth, and several other processes. 

3. What is the importance of macronutrients in our body?

Macronutrients are required in large quantities by our body for overall good health. There are mainly three types of macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Proper consumption of macronutrients helps to prevent diseases, are energy boosters for our body, and help us to carry out daily activities by ensuring proper functioning of our body.

4. What are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are one of the three most essential macronutrients alongside fats and proteins. Carbohydrates generally occur in different forms like dietary fiber, Sugars, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and in many different foods. Carbohydrates turn into blood sugar which is consumed by our bodies for energy.

5. Where can I find concept pages of my syllabus topics?

You can find concept pages of a syllabus topic on the official website of Vedantu or can also download the app from the Play Store. Vedantu also provides a number of learning aids for you to choose from, that can help you in the preparation of your competitive as well as academic exams. The experts on Vedanti provide a detailed explanation as per your topics, subjects, and syllabus.

6. What are Macronutrients?

Macronutrients are substances that comprise a major portion of our staple food and give us the energy we need to move, breathe, sleep, and properly function. Examples of macronutrients include proteins, carbohydrates (starch), and lipids (fats).

7. Why are Macronutrients Essential?

Macronutrients provide the energy that aids the body’s metabolism. These are required in very large amounts for the body to function properly.

8. Differentiate Between Macronutrients and Micronutrients.

Macronutrients are the substances that comprise a major portion of our staple food and give us the energy we need to move, breathe, sleep, and properly function. Micronutrients are substances that are consumed in very small amounts, and this helps to ensure the growth and healthy development of the body. Difference between Micronutrients and Macronutrients

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