Nutritional sustenance is the next level after macro-nutrient tracking. The latter looks at the diet on a caloric-breakdown level, while the former looks at what actually comprises those calories.
For example, carbohydrates could be comprised of any form of carbohydrate, such as grains, pasta, sugars, fruits and others.
100g of white bread is not the same as 100g of fruit. This is because fruit is comprised of fructose, which has to be processed through the liver prior to being used as fuel. On the other hand, white bread is rapidly absorbed into the body, which can result in a higher likelihood of fat accrual upon consumption.
50g of protein in chicken breast is compared to 50g of protein in a double-cheeseburger at a fast-food place. The chicken is denser in protein and much leaner, whereas the double-cheeseburger is heavy in fat (especially saturated), loaded in salts and less protein-dense. Therefore, to achieve 50g of protein, a smaller portion of chicken is needed compared to that of a double cheese-burger.
This is where nutritional sustenance finds its importance.
Macro-nutrient tracking should be treated as the blueprint, whereas nutrition should be seen as the materials. The ultimate construct will be a result of the materials; thus, the old adage, you are what you eat, comes into play here. Finding the right foods to fill in those macro-nutrients is the next step. Ideally, any diet plan should be devoid of heavily processed meats, carbohydrates and fats. Fast-food chains should be limited in any plan.
To further demonstrate this, 2 men could consume the same calories, e.g. 2,000, and macro-nutrient ratios, e.g. P: 150g, C: 200g, F: 67g but still not receive the same nutritional benefits.
For example, Man A could consume most of his 2,000 daily calories at fast-food chains or quick-eats, while Man B consumes his 2,000 daily calories with high-quality foods and protein-packed meats. Man B will eventually yield better physical results than Man A, for Man B's macro-nutrients are comprised of healthier nutritional sources. Man B will also be more likely to feel leaner and less bloated.
Planning daily meals within a macro-nutritional scope should incorporate "healthier" food options in order to optimize the results of any diet plan.
For more information on choosing the rights foods, contact the author.