define the word “nutrient” and identify the 6 classes that nutrients important for health. List the 3 main energy (Calorie) yielding nutrients and how many Calories each of these nutrient provide.

You are watching: Oxygen is one of the six basic nutrients.

What is in Food?

Your "diet" is identified as the foods items you select to eat. The diet that most civilization contains a selection of foods: nuts, seeds, leafy green vegetables and more! The foods we eat save on computer nutrients. Nutrients space substances compelled by the body to execute its simple functions. Nutrients should be acquired from diet, because the person body does no synthesize them, or does not synthesize lock in big enough amounts for human health. Nutrients are provided for countless body features such as: growing, moving your muscles, repairing tissues and also much more! there are six classes of necessary nutrients compelled for the body to role and maintain all at once health. These six classes of important nutrients are: carbohydrates, lipids (fats), proteins, water, vitamins, and also minerals. Foods likewise contain non-nutrients. Part non-nutrients appear to be really important for person health, choose fiber and also antioxidants, some non-nutrients may be harmful come human health and wellness such as: preservatives, colorings, flavorings and pesticide residues.

Figure \(\PageIndex2\): The Macronutrients: Carbohydrates, Lipids, Protein, and also Water


When friend eat a food that includes carbohydrate, favor bread for example, you will certainly be receiving about 4 Calories because that every gram of carbohydrate friend eat. Carbohydrates room molecules written of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The major food resources of carbohydrates space grains, milk, fruits, and also starchy vegetables like potatoes. Non-starchy vegetables also contain carbohydrates, yet in lesser quantities. Carbohydrate are generally classified right into two forms based on their chemical structure: fast-releasing carbohydrates, often dubbed "simple sugars", and also slow-releasing carbohydrates, often referred to as "complex carbohydrates".

Fast-releasing carbohydrate consist that one or two straightforward sugar units. They space sometimes referred to as "simple sugars" because their chemical structure is relatively simple with only one or two sugar units. If the carbohydrate has actually one sugar unit we contact it a "monosaccharide". Mono means one and saccharide method sugar. Examples of monosaccharides you have actually heard of are: Glucose (the sugar the is in her blood); fructose (a sugar frequently found in fruit); and Galactose (a sugar that is discovered as part of milk sugar). If the carbohydrate has actually two sugar devices we speak to it a "disaccharide". Di means two and saccharide way sugar. Instances of disaccharides you might be acquainted with are: sucrose (table sugar); lactose (milk sugar) and maltose (malt sugar). Sucrose is make of a Glucose linked along with a Fructose. Lactose is made of Glucose linked in addition to Galactose. Maltose is made of two Glucose molecules external inspection together. In order come digest a disaccharide, your body has to break the 2 sugars apart. We will talk much more about this when we comment on lactose intolerance!

Slow-releasing carbohydrates are long chains of basic sugars (polysaccharides) that can be branched or unbranched. Part polysaccharides that you have actually probably heard of space starch and also fiber. Throughout digestion, the human body does its finest to malfunction all slow-releasing carbohydrates like starch to straightforward sugars, largely glucose. Glucose is then transported to all our cells whereby it is stored, used to make energy, or used to build macromolecules. Fiber is likewise a slow-releasing carbohydrate, but it cannot be damaged down in the human body and passes through the digestive street undigested uneven the bacteria that live in the large intestine break it under for us.

One gram of carbohydrates yields 4 Calories of energy for the cells in the human body to do work. In addition to providing energy and serving as building blocks because that bigger macromolecules, carbohydrates are important for ideal functioning that the worried system, heart, and kidneys. Together mentioned, glucose can be stored in the body for future use. In humans, the storage molecule of carbohydrate is referred to as glycogen and in tree it is well-known as starches. Glycogen and also starches space slow-releasing carbohydrates.


Lipids are additionally a family members of molecules created of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, yet unlike carbohydrates, they space insoluble in water. Lipids are discovered predominately in butter, oils, meats, dairy products products, nuts, and seeds, and in numerous processed foods. The three main types of lipids are triglycerides (triacylglycerols), phospholipids, and sterols. The main job the lipids is to keep energy. Lipids provide much more energy every gram than carbohydrates (nine Calories per gram the lipids versus 4 Calories every gram the carbohydrates). In addition to power storage, lipids offer as cabinet membranes, surround and also protect organs, help in temperature regulation, and also regulate many other functions in the body.


Proteins space macromolecules composed of chain of subunits referred to as amino acids. Amino mountain are basic subunits created of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen. The food resources of proteins room meats, dairy product products, seafood, and a range of various plant-based foods, most notably soy. Words protein comes from a Greek word definition “of major importance,” which is an apt description of this macronutrients; castle are likewise known colloquially as the “workhorses” the life. Proteins carry out four calorie of energy per gram; but providing energy is not protein’s most essential function. Proteins carry out structure come bones, muscles and skin, and play a role in conducting most of the chemical reactions that take place in the body. Researchers estimate that higher than one-hundred thousand different proteins exist in ~ the human being body.


There is one various other nutrient that we must have actually in large quantities: water. Water does no contain carbon, but is created of two hydrogens and one oxygen every molecule that water. Water walk not administer any Calories. More than 60 percent of your full body weight is water. There is no it, nothing could be transported in or out of the body, chemical reactions would certainly not occur, organs would not it is in cushioned, and also body temperature would certainly fluctuate widely. ~ above average, an adult consumes simply over two liters the water per day indigenous food and also drink. According to the “rule the threes,” a generalization supported by survive experts, a person can survive 3 minutes without oxygen, three days without water, and three weeks without food. Due to the fact that water is so an important for life’s straightforward processes, the lot of water input and output is supremely important, a topic we will explore in information in thing 7.

Alcohol (not a nutrient)

Alcoholic drinks space a resource of Calories even though lock are generally not considered nutrients. Alcohol chin provides approximately 7 Calories for every gram In enhancement to alcohol, plenty of alcoholic drinks contain carbohydrate together well.


Micronutrients space nutrients required by the human body in lesser amounts, however are still vital for transporting out bodily functions. Micronutrients encompass all the crucial minerals and vitamins. There space sixteen important minerals and also thirteen vitamins (Tables \(\PageIndex1\) and \(\PageIndex2\) for a complete list and also their significant functions). In contrast to carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins, micronutrients perform not save on computer Calories. This is regularly confusing due to the fact that most human being have heard how exhausted a human being will feeling if they are low in a micronutrient such as Iron. The exhaustion can be explained by the truth that, micronutrients aid in the procedure of making energy by being part of enzymes (i.e., coenzymes). Enzymes catalyze chemistry reactions in the body and also are involved in many elements of body features from producing energy, come digesting nutrients, to structure macromolecules. Micronutrients play many roles in the body.


Minerals room solid not natural substances that kind crystals and also are classified relying on how much of them we need. Trace minerals, such together molybdenum, selenium, zinc, iron, and also iodine, space only forced in a couple of milligrams or less and macrominerals, such together calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and phosphorus, are compelled in thousands of milligrams. Plenty of minerals are an essential for enzyme function, rather are used to maintain fluid balance, construct bone tissue, synthesize hormones, transmit nerve impulses, contract and relax muscles, and also protect versus harmful complimentary radicals.

See more: How Do You Say " What Do You Call A Person Who Gives Massages

Table \(\PageIndex1\): : Minerals and Their major Functions Minerals major Functions
Sodium Fluid balance, nerve transmission, muscle contraction
Chloride Fluid balance, stomach acid production
Potassium Fluid balance, nerve transmission, muscle contraction
Calcium Bone and teeth health maintenance, nerve transmission, muscle contraction, blood clotting
Phosphorus Bone and teeth wellness maintenance, acid-base balance
Magnesium Protein production, nerve transmission, muscle contraction
Sulfur Protein production
Iron Carries oxygen, assists in power production
Zinc Protein and DNA production, wound healing, growth, immune device function
Iodine Thyroid hormone production, growth, metabolism
Selenium Antioxidant
Copper Coenzyme, stole metabolism
Manganese Coenzyme
Fluoride Bone and teeth health maintenance, tooth degeneration prevention
Chromium Assists insulin in glucose metabolism
Molybdenum Coenzyme

Food Energy

Though this is only Chapter 1, friend have currently seen the native "Calories" and also "Energy" supplied several times. In daily life you have probably heard human being talk about how numerous Calories they shed on the treadmill or how countless Calories are provided on a bag of chips. Calories, are a measure of energy. The takes quite a most Calories (energy) to keep us alive. Also if a human is in a coma, they still burn approximately 1000 calorie of energy in bespeak for: your heart to beat, your blood come circulate, their lungs to breathe, etc... Us burn even much more calories once we exercise. The carbohydrates, fats and proteins us eat and also drink provide calories for united state (and alcohol also if we select to consume it). Sometimes world refer to these nutrients as "energy yielding". Together you check out above, carbohydrates carry out 4 Calories for every gram us consume; proteins provide 4 Calories for every gram we consume; fats carry out 9 Calories because that every gram we consume and alcohol offers 7 calorie of energy for every gram we consume. Vitamins, minerals and water do not administer any calories, even though they room still crucial nutrients.

Video: What is a calorie? - Emma Bryce

Key Takeaways

foods contain nutrients that are essential for our body to function. Four of the classes of nutrients compelled for bodily role are needed in big amounts. They room carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and also water, and also are referred to as macronutrients. Two of the great of nutrient are necessary in lesser amounts, however are still important for bodily function. They space vitamins and minerals. One measurement of food top quality is the quantity of essential nutrients a food includes relative come the quantity of energy it has (nutrient density).