Nutrients provide nourishment. Proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, fiber, and water are all nutrients. If people do not have the right balance of nutrients in their diet, their risk of developing certain health conditions increases.
Nutrition also focuses on how people can use dietary choices to reduce the risk of disease, what happens if a person has too much or too little of a nutrient, and how allergies work. Here, we try to give you a basic understanding of the important nutrients.
Sugar, starch, and fiber are types of carbohydrates. Sugars are simple carbs. The body quickly breaks down and absorbs sugars and processed starch. They can provide rapid energy, but they do not leave a person feeling full. They can also cause a spike in blood sugar levels..
Fiber is also a carbohydrate. The body breaks down some types of fiber and uses them for energ; others are metabolized by gut bacteria, while other types pass through the body.
Fibre and unprocessed starch are complex carbs. It takes the body some time to break down and absorb complex carbs. After eating fiber, a person will feel full for longer. Fiber may also reduce the risk of lifestyle disease, and cardiovascular disease. Complex carbs are a more healthful choice than sugars and refined carbs.
Proteins consist of amino acids, which are organic compounds that occur naturally. Some foods provide complete protein, which means they contain all the essential amino acids the body needs. Other foods contain various combinations of amino acids.
Most plant-based foods do not contain complete protein, so a person who follows a vegan diet needs to eat a range of foods throughout the day that provides the essential amino acids.
Fats are essential for lubricating joints and helping organs produce hormones. They also enable the body to absorb certain vitamins and reduce inflammation. Too much fat can lead to obesity, high cholestrol, liver disease, and other health problems. However, the type of fat a person eats makes a difference. Unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, are more healthful than saturated fats, which tend to come from animals.
The human body is upto 60 per cent water and it needs water for many processes. Many people recommend consuming 2 liters, or 8 glasses, of water a day, but it can also come from dietary sources, such as fruit and vegetables. Requirements will also depend on an individual’s body size and age, environmental factors, activity levels, health status, and so on