Food materials are oxidized in the body to generate energy that is required to carry out various life processes. There must also be structures in the body that can use this energy and carry out a specific life processes. To build these structures, our body requires several chemical substances. These are in addition to carbohydrates and fats. The chemical substances that are required for production of energy, for growth and body building are called NUTRIENTS. The nutrients we require are carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins and minerals. Some of them are required in large quantities and are therefore called MACRONUTRIENTS. For example, carbohydrates and some minerals like sodium are required in large amounts. Some of the nutrients are required in small amounts, often in micrograms (a microgram is thousandth of a gram). These are called MICRONUTRIENTS. Vitamins and minerals like iron, molybdenum are some of the examples for micro nutrients. The procurement of nutrient is called NUTRITION.

We obtain all the nutrients we require from the food we eat. However, we should remember that food and nutrition are not same. Nutrition is the procurement of all the nutrients required for the body. The food we eat, may or may not have all the nutrients required for the body. For example, rice is rich in carbohydrates and poor in proteins while meat is reach in proteins and poor in carbohydrates. If we eat either rice or meat alone, we will be missing either proteins or carbohydrates. If we eat both, we get both the nutrients.


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