Explain the roles that each of the following essential nutrients has in maintaining our health: carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins, minerals, water and fiber. A balanced nutrition is important for one to have a healthy diet and physical wellness. Different nutrients are essential to the human body in order to remain healthy. In fact, there are seven different of nutrients a human body needs everyday to function properly: carbohydrates, protein, fats or lipids, vitamins, minerals, water, and fiber.
The major role of carbohydrates is to supply energy to the body. Carbohydrates also preserve normal glucose level in the blood. Protein’s major roles include building of muscle, producing enzymes in the body, and creating a normal immune response. Lipids role is to maintain the structure and support for the human organs. They also act as an alternative source of energy for the human body. Vitamins and minerals help prevent diseases and increase body resistance. They also act as cofactors for different enzymes and processes in the body.
The role of water in the body is to hydrate the body from lost of liquid. They also facilitate in increasing metabolism in the body. In addition to this, water aids in the digestion process of consumed food and assists the kidneys in removing wastes and excess salt in your body. The major role of fiber is to aid in the movement of food and waste inside the digestive system particularly in the intestines. They could also help in maintaining normal glucose level in the blood. Explain how many calories per gram for each nutrient.
Different nutrients yield different number of calories depending on the amount of energy a nutrient could provide. Depending on the molecular structure, the number of calories per gram varies from one nutrient to another. One gram of fat or lipid yields 9 calories for the body. A gram of protein on the other hand provides 4 calories. Like protein, a gram of carbohydrate could provide 4 calories for the body to use. Vitamins and minerals provide different number of calories per gram depending on the composition.
Explain what are fat-soluble vitamins (and list them) as well as what are water-soluble vitamins (and list them). Fat soluble vitamins are vitamins that are soluble in fat or lipids. These fat soluble vitamins are stored in the body tissues like liver tissues. They tend to remain in the tissues in a long period of time. Because of this, they present a great risk of having too much of these vitamins stored in the body, a condition known as hypervitaminosis. Too much of these vitamins are potential toxic and hazardous for the human body.
Intake of these vitamins should be kept low. Vitamins that are fat soluble includes Vitamins A, D, E and K. Water soluble vitamins on the other hand are vitamins that are soluble in water. These vitamins are eliminated faster compared to fat soluble vitamins. Since they are water soluble, they are easily eliminated in urine. Because of this, water soluble vitamins should be replenished often. Vitamins C and B-complex are considered water soluble vitamins. Explain what percent of our daily caloric intake should be carbohydrate, fat, and protein.
Since carbohydrates are main and efficient source of energy, 50% of caloric intake must be from carbohydrates. In contrast to this, protein must only provide 12% of total caloric intake. This is due to the fact that proteins are essential in building muscles and not in providing energy for the body. Less than 30% of total caloric intake must be from fats or lipids. This is due to the fact that fats are alternative source of energy. But keep in mind that saturated fats should kept in moderation, so it must only make up 10% of caloric intake.