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5.01C What is a Nutrient?

A nutrient is a chemical substance in food that helps maintain the body. You need over 50 nutrients, which can be divided into six groups.

Water Carbohydrates Lipids (Fats) Proteins Vitamins Minerals


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The Six Classifications of Nutrients


Water Carbohydrates Fats Protein Vitamins Minerals
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Sugars Starches Cellulose

These Nutrients Have Calories


Proteins

Carbohydrates
Fats

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Definition of a Calorie:
The unit used to measure the energy value of food.

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Calories per gram:


Protein 1 Gram = 4 calories Carbohydrates 1 Gram = 4 calories Fat 1 Gram = 9 calories

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Variables which affect nutrient needs:


1. Age
2. Gender

3. Activity Level
4. Climate

5. Health
6. State of nutrition
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Key Nutrient: Water

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Function

Aids digestion and cell growth and maintenance Facilitates chemical reactions Lubricates joints and cells Regulates body temperature
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Sources

Liquids Food Breakdown of energy nutrients

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Key Nutrient: Carbohydrates

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Function

Supplies the energy Provides fiber Help the body digest fats

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Sources

Sugars: honey, jam, molasses, candy, table sugar Fiber: fruits, vegetables, whole grains Starch: breads, cereals, pasta
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Key Nutrient: Fats

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Function

Supply energy Carry fat-soluble vitamins Insulate the body Protect organs Provide essential fatty acids
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Sources
Types of Fats Saturated: dairy products, meats, lard, coconut and palm oils Unsaturated: fish, nuts, vegetable oils

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Cholesterol

The fat-like substance in found in body cells. This substance clogs arteries.

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Key Nutrient: Proteins

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Functions

Builds and repairs muscles and cell tissues Helps the body make important substances Regulates body processes Supplies energy
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Sources
Complete proteins: dairy products, eggs, fish, meat and poultry. Incomplete proteins: beans, grains and nuts.
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Key Nutrient: Vitamins

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Function
Vitamins are divided into two main groups. Fat-soluble vitamins dissolve in fats are stored in fatty tissues of the body Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water are not stored in the body
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Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Nutrient Vitamin A Functions Keeps skin and mucus membranes healthy Prevents night blindness Promotes growth
Builds strong bones and teeth

Sources Butter, dark green and yellow fruits and vegetables, egg yolk, liver, whole and fortified milk
Egg yolk; fortified butter, margarine, and milk; the sun

Vitamin D

Vitamin E

Acts as an antioxidant to protect cell membranes


Helps blood clot

Eggs, liver, salad oils, whole grain cereals


Cauliflower, egg yolk, organ meats

Vitamin K

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Water-Soluble Vitamins
Nutrient
B-Complex

Functions
Helps wounds heal Helps fight infection Helps nervous tissue function healthy Plays important role in breakdown of proteins fats and carbohydrates

Sources
Oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, cantaloupe, broccoli, citrus fruits, tomatoes and raw cabbage

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Keeps nervous system healthy Pork, whole grain breads and cereals Releases energy from food Helps promote healthy gums and tissues

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Key Nutrient: Minerals

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Minerals
Nutrient Calcium Iron Potassium Functions Builds bones and teeth Helps muscles and nerves work Combines with protein to make hemoglobin. Helps cells use oxygen Helps nerves and muscles Balances body water Helps nerves and muscle function Sources Milk, yogurt, cheese, salmon, dark veggies Liver, spinach, raisins and molasses Potatoes, bananas, prune juice and tomato products Salt, soy sauce, processed foods and country ham Iodized salt and salt water fish
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Sodium

Iodine

Promotes normal functioning of the thyroid gland


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Food For Thought


Avoid excesses of some vitamins and minerals. To promote good nutrition and maintain good health: Eat a variety of foods from the food guide pyramid. Drink plenty of water Daily exercise Seek the advice of a physician or dietician before taking supplements
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