- A nutrient is a substance obtained from a food (solid or liquid) and used by the body.
- The body requires a wide range of different nutrients from differing food sources, it is important to consume a wide range of foods to supply the body with all necessary nutrients.
- Food choice is based on several factors:
- Social background
- Peer pressure
- Some people make poor food choices, consuming too many calories, too much fat (or the wrong sort of fat), too much sugar and salt, and too few fruits and vegetables, this can have an effect on their health and wellbeing.
- Nutrients are divided into 2 major categories, macronutrients and micronutrients.
- ‘Macronutrients’ are protein, fat and carbohydrate, they are required in high quantities (gram amounts). They are major sources of energy; in addition fats and proteins provide essential fatty acids and amino acids respectively.
- Micronutrients by definition are only required in very small amounts (milligram or microgram amounts). However, micronutrients are vitally important to the successful functioning of the body.