The nutrients are commonly divided into the carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and—last but not least—water. The actual needs of the body, in addition to water, are for energy and certain amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Theoretically, either carbohydrates, fats, or proteins may serve as energy sources, the last-mentioned especially when consumed in excess of protein needs. There are, however, certain limitations to this freedom of choice. (1) Completely fat-free foods are not pleasing to the palate, and very high levels of fat are not well tolerated by many persons. (2) Protein as the major source of energy has the disadvantage that it requires an efficient mechanism for the removal of excess nitrogen. (3) Nutritionally speaking, small amounts of carbohydrates (about 50 g glucose daily) and of fat for the supply of essential fatty acids (especially linoleic acid) are needed. (4) Carbohydrate is generally the cheapest source of energy. As a result of these considerations, all three nutrients are supplying energy to man, with increased emphasis on carbohydrate in poorer societies and on fat and protein in more prosperous populations.
KeywordsCholesterol Starch Carbohydrate Foam Iodine
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