What is Food?

The food we contains nutrients. Nutrient are the substances required by the body to perform its basic functions.So, Nutrients must be consumed from the diet which human body doesn’t synthesize them.Nutrients are used to produce energy, detect and respond to environmental surroundings, move, excrete wastes, respire, grow & reproduce.

There are six classes of nutrients required by the body to function and maintain overall health.

  1. Carbohydrates
  2. Lipids(Fats)
  3. Protein
  4. Minerals
  5. Vitamins
  6. Water

What is Macronutrients?

Food which are needed in large amounts are called Macro nutrients. There are three classes of macro nutrients:

  1. Carbohydrates
  2. Lipid(fats)
  3. Protein

Note: Water is also a macro nutrient in the sense that you require a large amount of it but unlike the other macro nutrients it does not contain any calories.

What is Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are molecules composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. 

The major food sources of carbohydrates are grains, milk, fruits, and starchy vegetables like potatoes. 

Non starchy vegetables also contain carbohydrates, but in lesser quantities. Carbohydrates are broadly classified into two forms based on their chemical structure:

1.Fast releasing carbohydrates (Simple sugars)

2.Slow releasing carbohydrates (Complex Carbs)

Fast releasing carbohydrates: consist of one or two basic units. Examples of simple sugars include sucrose, the type of sugar you would have in a bowl on the breakfast table, and glucose, the type of sugar that circulates in your blood.

Slow-releasing carbohydrates: are long chains of simple sugars that can be branched or UN-branched. 

During digestion, the body breaks down all slow- releasing carbohydrates to simple sugars, mostly glucose. 

Glucose is then transported to all our cells where it is stored, used to make energy, or used to build macro molecules.

Fiber: is also a slow-releasing carbohydrate, but it cannot be broken down in the human body and passes through the digestive tract undigested unless the bacteria that inhabit the gut break it down.

What is Fats (lipids)?

Lipids are also a family of molecules composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, but unlike carbohydrates, they are insoluble in water. Lipids are found predominately in butter, oils, meats, dairy products, nuts, and seeds, and in many processed foods.

The main job of lipids is to store energy. Lipids provide more energy per gram than carbohydrates (nine kilocalories per gram of lipids versus four kilocalories per gram of carbohydrates). In addition to energy storage, lipids serve as cell membranes, surround and protect organs, aid in temperature regulation, and regulate many other functions in the body.

What is Protein?

Proteins are macromolecules composed of chains of subunits called amino acids. Amino acids are simple subunits composed of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen. The food sources of proteins are meats, dairy products, seafood, and a variety of different plant based foods, most notably soy.

Proteins provide four kilocalories of energy per gram; however, providing energy is not protein’s most important function. Proteins provide structure to bones, muscles and skin, and play a role in conducting most of the chemical reactions that take place in the body. The Estimate is greater than one hundred thousand different proteins exist within the human body.

→ Next Post is  about MicroNutrients, What are Micronutrients, Why we Need it in our daily lifestyle, From which food sources we get it:

→ To learn about BMR(Basal Metabolic Rate) only in 5 minutes:

→ To learn about GLYCEMIC INDEX OF FOOD:

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