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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.