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Six Essential
Nutrients
What is Nutrition?
 The process of taking in food and using it
for energy, growth, and good health
Variables which affect
nutrient needs:





1. Age
2. Gender
3. Activity level
4. Climate
5. Health
So what is a nutrient?
 Substances that are important for the
body’s growth and maintenance.
 Nutrients are found in the food we eat.
 We need to eat a variety of foods
because one food does not have all the
nutrients.
 There are 6 essential nutrients
Carbohydrates
 The body’s main source of energy.
 Two types: simple (sugars) & complex
(starches)
 Simple: Crash & Burn Effect—comes
from sugars—candy, soda, doughnuts
 Complex: Long term energy---comes
from foods like pasta, bread, starchy
vegetables like peas & potatoes
Carbohydrates Continued
 Fiber is a special type of carbohydrate.
 Comes from plant sources only-- such as
fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
 Cannot be digested but aids in digestion
by helping to eliminate waste
products from the body.
Fats
 Used by the body to store energy.
 But have twice as many calories as
carbohydrates.
 Fats store energy & form cell membranes
 Insulated body & Protect organs
 Fats are solid at room temperature & Liquids
are referred to as oils.
 Types of fat include:
saturated, unsaturated,
trans-fat and cholesterol
 Omega’s are good fats
Proteins
 Building blocks for the body for growth and
repair.
 Your skin, hair, blood, muscles and vital organs
are made of proteins.
 Made up of amino acids.
 Protein sources: Plant (incomplete) & Animal
(complete)
 Plant sources: Beans, Soy, Lentils
 Animals sources: Beef, Pork, Fish, Eggs,
Cheese, Poultry
Vitamins
 Are substances needed in small amounts to
help regulate body functions.
 They help your body use other nutrients, store
and use energy and fight infection.
 Examples include vitamin A, B, C, D, E & K
 Most come from fruits, veggies, & dairy.
 Some vitamins are stored in your body.
 Nutrition Facts label includes Vitamins A & C
Minerals
 Main function is to control important chemical
reactions in the body.
 Needed in small amounts to help keep bones
strong, teeth healthy, blood healthy.
 Your body needs 17 minerals daily
 Come from earth’s crust—examples are iron,
calcium, and iodine (iron & calcium are
included on nutrition facts label)
 Sources—milk, salt, spinach, fruits &
vegetables
Water
 Necessary for survival
 Water keeps us hydrated
 Water helps move foods and nutrients
through our bodies; aids in digestion
 Need approximately 64 oz. daily.
 Sources: fruits, vegetables, soups,
juices, & dairy products.