Overview of Nutrition

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Chapter: Biochemistry : Nutrition

Nutrients are the constituents of food necessary to sustain the normal functions of the body.


Nutrition

OVERVIEW

Nutrients are the constituents of food necessary to sustain the normal functions of the body. All energy is provided by three classes of nutrients: fats, carbohydrates, and protein, with ethanol providing calories in some diets (Figure 27.1). Because the intake of these energy-rich molecules is larger than that of the other dietary nutrients, they are called macronutrients. This chapter focuses on the kinds and amounts of macronutrients that are needed to maintain optimal health and prevent chronic disease in adults. Those nutrients needed in lesser amounts, vitamins and minerals, are called micronutrients and are considered in Chapter 28.


Figure 27.1 Essential nutrients obtained from the diet. [Note: Ethanol is not considered an essential component of the diet but may provide a significant contribution to the daily caloric intake of some individuals.]

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