Nutrients in foods
The nutrients in food can be divided into major and minor classes. Major, as used here, only signifies that a nutrient is needed in large quantities. The major nutrients are water, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Water makes up to 80% of the body's weight. Lack of water will kill in 4-5 days.
Carbohydrates are of three types: Sugars (easily digested), starches (more slowly digested) and fiber (not digested, but necessary). The first two sources are a source of energy. The third is important in elimination of body waste.
Fats are a very concentrated source of energy common in plant and animal foods. As a general rule, plant fats (except palm fats) are more healthy to the body than animal fats.
Proteins are necessary for the building of the body (growth) and for repair of the normal and injured body.
Minor nutrients are the vitamins and minerals, very essential to health. There are 13 essential vitamins, the fat soluble (A,D,E, and K) and the water soluble (C and the various B's). Minerals are needed in small amounts (calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chlorine) and those needed in minute amounts (iron, iodine, zinc, and several others). To balance the diet (make the diet adequate) it is not necessary to know the uses of the individual vitamins or minerals. However it does require a wide variety of foods that contain them.
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