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Definitions of Health Terms: Nutrition: MedlinePlus

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Nutrition is about eating a healthy and balanced diet. Food and drink provide the energy and nutrients you need to be healthy. Understanding these nutrition terms may make it easier for you to make better food choices.

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Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. The body produces many amino acids and others come from food. The body absorbs amino acids through the small intestine into the blood. Then the blood carries them throughout the body.
Source: NIH MedlinePlus

Blood Glucose

Glucose — also called blood sugar — is the main sugar found in the blood and the main source of energy for your body.
Source: NIH MedlinePlus


A unit of energy in food. Carbohydrates, fats, protein, and alcohol in the foods and drinks we eat provide food energy or “calories.”
Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Carbohydrates are one of the main types of nutrients. Your digestive system changes carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar). Your body uses this sugar for energy for your cells, tissues and organs. It stores any extra sugar in your liver and muscles for when it is needed. There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates include natural and added sugars. Complex carbohydrates include whole grain breads and cereals, starchy vegetables and legumes.
Source: NIH MedlinePlus


Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all cells of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs. However, cholesterol also is found in some of the foods you eat. High levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of heart disease.
Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


Dehydration is a condition that happens when you do not take in enough liquids to replace those that you lose. You can lose liquids through frequent urinating, sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. When you are dehydrated, your body does not have enough fluid and electrolytes to work properly.
Source: NIH MedlinePlus


Your diet is made up of what you eat and drink. There are many different types of diets, such as vegetarian diets, weight loss diets, and diets for people with certain health problems.
Source: NIH MedlinePlus

Dietary Supplements

A dietary supplement is a product you take to supplement your diet. It contains one or more dietary ingredients (including vitamins; minerals; herbs or other botanicals; amino acids; and other substances). Supplements do not have to go through the testing that drugs do for effectiveness and safety.
Source: National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements


Digestion is the process the body uses to break down food into nutrients. The body uses the nutrients for energy, growth, and cell repair.
Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Electrolytes are minerals in body fluids. They include sodium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride. When you are dehydrated, your body does not have enough fluid and electrolytes.
Source: NIH MedlinePlus


Enzymes are substances that speed up chemical reactions in the body.
Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Fatty Acid

Fatty acid is a major component of fats that is used by the body for energy and tissue development.
Source: National Cancer Institute


Fiber is a substance in plants. Dietary fiber is the kind you eat. It’s a type of carbohydrate. You may also see it listed on a food label as soluble fiber or insoluble fiber. Both types have important health benefits. Fiber makes you feel full faster, and stay full for a longer time. That can help you control your weight. It helps digestion and helps prevent constipation.
Source: NIH MedlinePlus


Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It can also be in products such as vitamin and nutrient supplements, lip balms, and certain medicines.
Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index (GI) measures how a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood sugar.
Source: NIH MedlinePlus


HDL stands for high-density lipoproteins. It is also known as “good” cholesterol. HDL is one of the two types of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol throughout your body. It carries the cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. Your liver removes the cholesterol from your body.
Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


LDL stands for low-density lipoproteins. It is also known as “bad” cholesterol. LDL is one of the two types of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol throughout your body. A high LDL level leads to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries.
Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


Metabolism is the process your body uses to get or make energy from the food you eat.
Source: NIH MedlinePlus

Monounsaturated Fat

Monounsaturated fat is a type of fat is found in avocados, canola oil, nuts, olives and olive oil, and seeds. Eating food that has more monounsaturated fat (or “healthy fat”) instead of saturated fat (like butter) may help lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease risk. However, monounsaturated fat has the same number of calories as other types of fat and may contribute to weight gain if you eat too much of it.
Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Nutrients are chemical compounds in food that are used by the body to function properly and maintain health. Examples include proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
Source: National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements


This field of study focuses on foods and substances in foods that help animals (and plants) to grow and stay healthy. Nutrition science also includes behaviors and social factors related to food choices. The foods we eat provide energy (calories) and nutrients such as protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals, and water. Eating healthy foods in the right amounts gives your body energy to perform daily activities, helps you to maintain a healthy body weight, and can lower your risk for certain diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.  
Source: National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements

Polyunsaturated Fat

Polyunsaturated fat is a type of fat that is liquid at room temperature. There are two types of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs): omega-6 and omega-3. Omega-6 fatty acids are found in liquid vegetable oils, such as corn oil, safflower oil, and soybean oil. Omega-3 fatty acids come from plant sources—including canola oil, flaxseed, soybean oil, and walnuts—and from fish and shellfish.
Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Protein is in every living cell in the body. Your body needs protein from the foods you eat to build and maintain bones, muscles, and skin. You get proteins in your diet from meat, dairy products, nuts, and certain grains and beans. Proteins from meat and other animal products are complete proteins. This means they supply all of the amino acids the body can’t make on its own. Plant proteins are incomplete. You must combine different types of plant proteins to get all of the amino acids your body needs. You need to eat protein every day, because your body doesn’t store it the way it stores fats or carbohydrates.
Source: NIH MedlinePlus

Saturated Fat

Saturated fat is a type of fat that is solid at room temperature. Saturated fat is found in full-fat dairy products (like butter, cheese, cream, regular ice cream, and whole milk), coconut oil, lard, palm oil, ready-to-eat meats, and the skin and fat of chicken and turkey, among other foods. Saturated fats have the same number of calories as other types of fat, and may contribute to weight gain if eaten in excess. Eating a diet high in saturated fat also raises blood cholesterol and risk of heart disease.
Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Table salt is made up of the elements sodium and chlorine – the technical name for salt is sodium chloride. Your body needs some sodium to work properly. It helps with the function of nerves and muscles. It also helps to keep the right balance of fluids in your body.
Source: NIH MedlinePlus


Sugars are a type of simple carbohydrate. They have a sweet taste. Sugars can be found naturally in fruits, vegetables, milk, and milk products. They are also added to many foods and drinks during preparation or processing. Types of sugar include glucose, fructose, and sucrose. Your digestive system breaks down sugar into glucose. Your cells use the glucose for energy.
Source: NIH MedlinePlus

Total Fat

Fat is a type of nutrient. You need a certain amount of fat in your diet to stay healthy, but not too much. Fats give you energy and help your body absorb vitamins. Dietary fat also plays a major role in your cholesterol levels. Not all fats are the same. You should try to avoid saturated fats and trans fats.
Source: NIH MedlinePlus

Trans Fat

Trans fat is a type of fat that is created when liquid oils are changed into solid fats, like shortening and some margarines. It makes them last longer without going bad. It may also be found in crackers, cookies, and snack foods. Trans fat raises your LDL (bad) cholesterol and lowers your HDL (good) cholesterol.
Source: NIH MedlinePlus


Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood. Too much of this type of fat may raise the risk of coronary artery heart disease, especially in women.
Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Water Intake

We all need to drink water. How much you need depends on your size, activity level, and the weather where you live. Keeping track of your water intake helps make sure that you get enough. Your intake includes fluids that you drink, and fluids you get from food.
Source: NIH MedlinePlus

Food sources of energy and nutrients in the diets of infants and toddlers in urban areas of China, based on one 24-hour dietary recall | BMC Nutrition

Dietary supplements

As reported by the caregivers, 57 % of the young children received dietary supplements on the day of their 24-h dietary recall. The main types of supplements used were fish liver oil, multiple vitamin and mineral supplements.

Energy, macronutrients and fibre

The food sources of energy are displayed in Table 2. The top 5 energy sources for infants aged 6 to 11 months were infant formula, breast milk, rice, eggs and noodles. For younger and older toddlers, the top 5 sources of energy were growing-up milk, rice, noodles, pork and eggs. The top 5 food sources of energy contributed 69, 59 and 52 % of total energy in each of the age groups respectively (Fig. 1, Table 2), showing a decrease in milk product consumption along with an increase in dietary diversity as children grew older.

Table 2 Sources of energy among infants and toddlers 6–35 months from the MING studyFig. 1

Percent contribution of top 5 foods of energy to intakes of energy, protein and carbohydrate of infants and toddlers from the MING study

Infant formula (26 %) and breast milk (19 %) contributed 45 % of total energy among infants. Rice and noodles were major contributors to energy, together providing an additional 17 % of calories. Infant formula was replaced by growing-up milk as the number one and number two source of energy among younger and older toddlers respectively. Rice became the number one source of energy among older toddlers and was number two among the younger toddlers. Other foods in the top five sources of energy included noodles, pork and eggs (Fig. 1 and Table 2). After the top 5, other food sources of energy were infant cereal (infants only), oil/other fats, pancakes/sesame seed cakes and milk and bread/biscuit (Table 2).

The top 5 food sources of energy were also the major sources of protein contributing 69 to 50 % among the three age groups (Fig. 1 and Table 3). Infant formula and growing-up milk were the number one sources of protein among infants and younger toddlers respectively. Eggs were the most important non-milk source of protein, with the contribution ranging from 15 to 18 % (Table 3). Rice, pork, fish/shellfish/shrimps and noodles were other major sources of protein.

Table 3 Sources of protein among infants and toddlers 6–35 months from the MING study

Infant formula was the leading source of carbohydrate (21 %) among infants while growing-up milk was the number two and number three source of carbohydrate among younger and older toddlers respectively (Fig. 1 and Table 4). Rice was the number two source of carbohydrate among infants (16 %) and then became the number one source of carbohydrate contributing a quarter or more among younger and older toddlers. Noodles were also major sources of carbohydrate. Rice and noodles together accounted for 27 to 40 % of carbohydrate intake among the children. Other important sources of carbohydrate were infant cereal among infants, pancakes/sesame seed cakes, bread/biscuits and apples/applesauce among the children.

Table 4 Sources of carbohydrate among infants and toddlers 6–35 months from the MING study

Table 5 shows changes in the sources of dietary fibre for the different age groups. Among infants 6 to 11 months, the number one source of dietary fibre was apples/applesauce and infant formula was number two, followed by pancakes/sesame seed cakes, rice, noodles, bananas. Among toddlers, in addition to apples/applesauce, pancakes/sesame seed cakes, and soy/tofu/meat substitutes were the most important sources of dietary fibre. Despite being commonly consumed, various leafy vegetables including Chinese cabbages and spinach are not significant contributors to dietary fibre among toddlers.

Table 5 Sources of fibre among infants and toddlers 6–35 months from the MING study

Infant formula and breast milk together contributed nearly 60 % of the fat in the diets of infants (32 % and 28 % respectively) (Table 6). Growing-up milk and milk together contributed 30 and 21 % of fat among the younger and older toddlers respectively. Oil/other fats, pork were also in the top 5 infant sources of fat, and became more important in the diets of toddlers. By age 24 to 35 months, pork was the number one (23 %) and oil/other fats the number two (17 %) source of fat. These two foods together contribute 38 % of the fat in the diet of younger toddlers. Eggs were also major sources of fat among the children (Table 6). Cholesterol is not a concern among children in these age groups; however, top sources of cholesterol in the diet were eggs, fish/shellfish/shrimps and pork.

Table 6 Sources of fat among infants and toddlers 6–35 months from the MING study


The top 5 food sources of energy were also major contributors to the intakes of a number of vitamins and minerals as shown by Fig.  2 with more pronounced contributions seen among infants contributing from 79 to 53 %. The contribution of the top 5 food sources of energy to the intakes of micronutrients was reduced among older toddlers, however, still contributed 50 % or more to most micronutrient intakes among younger toddlers (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2

Percent contribution of top 5 food sources of energy to intakes of micronutrients among infants and toddlers from the MING study

Infant formula and growing-up milk were the number one sources of iron among infants and toddlers, contributing nearly one third of the daily intake among infants, 27 % to younger toddlers and 12 % to older toddlers (Fig. 2 and Table 7). Rice was the number two source among both younger and older toddlers. Other important sources of iron were eggs, infant cereal, noodles and rice among infants, noodles and eggs among younger and older toddlers. Root vegetables and soy/tofu/meat became major sources of iron among older toddlers (Table 7).

Table 7 Sources of iron among infants and toddlers 6–35 months from the MING study

Infant formula and growing-up milk were the number one sources of zinc among infants and younger toddlers (Fig. 2 and Table 8). Among older toddlers, rice was the number one source of zinc, followed by growing-up milk. Other important sources of zinc were breast milk, infant cereal and eggs among infants, eggs and pork among toddlers (Fig. 2 and Table 8). In addition, infant formula or growing-up milk was the number one source of calcium contributing 44 % among infants, and nearly 50 % among younger toddlers. Growing-up milk combined with other milk contributing 47 % to calcium intake among older toddlers (Fig. 2 and Table 9). Other major sources of calcium were infant cereal and breast milk among infants and eggs and fish/shellfish/shrimps among toddlers (Table 9).

Table 8 Sources of zinc among infants and toddlers 6–35 months from the MING studyTable 9 Sources of calcium among infants and toddlers 6–35 months from the MING study

For selenium, eggs were the number one source among all children, followed by infant formula, noodles and fish/shellfish/shrimps among infants, and fish/shellfish/shrimps, growing-up milk and noodles and pork among toddlers (Table 10). For sodium, the number one source was the salt added during home cooking contributing the vast majority: 60 % of the total sodium intake among infants and about 80 % among toddlers (Table 11). The number two sources of sodium were infant formula, contributing 14 % to the diets of infants and growing-up milk contributing 3–5 % to the diets of toddlers.

Table 10 Sources of selenium among infants and toddlers 0–35 months from the MING studyTable 11 Sources of sodium among infants and toddlers 6–35 months from the MING study

For all children in the study, infant formula and growing-up milk were the number one sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6 (Fig. 2 and Tables 12 and 13. Data for thiamine, riboflavin and vitamin B6 are not shown). Eggs were commonly eaten and were major sources of vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin and folate. For folate, eggs were the number one source (Table 14). With age, the contribution of growing-up milk to vitamin C intake was reduced (Fig.  2 and Table 13) but citrus fruits began to make a contribution to vitamin C ranging from 4 % among infants to 10 and 14 % among younger and older toddlers respectively (Table 13). Among toddlers, Chinese cabbage was also an important source of vitamin C contributing about 7 to 10 %, indicating that Chinese cabbages were commonly consumed by this population.

Table 12 Sources of vitamin A among infants and toddlers 6–35 months from the MING studyTable 13 Sources of vitamin C among infants and toddlers 6–35 months from the MING studyTable 14 Sources of folate among infants and toddlers 6–35 months from the MING study

Dietary supplements made substantial contributions to the overall intakes of several vitamins and minerals (Fig. 3). Supplements were the number two or number three sources of vitamin A among the children contributing between 22 to 25 % (Fig. 3 and Table 12). Supplements were also the major sources of iron, zinc and calcium among all children (Fig.  3 and Tables 7, 8 and 9). To a lesser extent, supplements contributed to the intakes of thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin C (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3

Percent contribution of dietary supplements to micronutrient intakes among infants and toddlers from the MING study

Energy and nutrition – Nutritionist Resource

Good energy is closely linked to good nutrition. If our energy is down, even if we feel well we know that something is wrong. 

Energy means to get up in the morning feeling completely refreshed, ready to face the day. When energy is down we are staying in bed for for five minutes longer as it takes time to wake up properly.

Lack of energy and fatigue is the number one complaint of today’s society. 

Activities of life in relation to energy

Movement – Every organism moves about.

Growth  – It takes an enormous amount of energy to grow.

Feeding  – Process of digestion and absorption requires a lot of energy.  

Breathing – Basic life activity.

Elimination – Waste products that arise from taking in all the foods.

Reproduction – Synthesising another whole organism takes huge amounts of energy.

I would like to explain in general about the work of our cells in our body. We must look at cellular nutrition all the time.   

The cell is a very small subdivision of us. It is a fragment of living matter which is bounded by a membrane. 250 billion cells make the human body, and there are many different types, with different dimensions and shapes which carry out different functions. The membrane acts as a barrier between the cell and the world outside.

If your digestive system is not working properly you may not be getting the nutrients you are feeding your body. Cells may not receive the nutrients. Having nutrients in the blood stream does not mean you have it in the cells. It has got to be possible for the nourishment to be transferred into the cell so you have to get it through the membrane. Cells are not nourished until nutrients are in the cell.

Cells can divide into two in order to replace those cells that die.

Cells are important to nutrition because it is nutrition at cell level that matters. What matters is how well nourished our cells are because our body is as healthy as the cells that make it up. If our body cells are supplied with enough nutrients and the balance of the nutrients is right – provided that they have the ability to keep out the toxins – this will make us have healthy cells.

The cell is a self-maintaining, self-regenerating, self-repairing and self-duplicating structure.

Oxidation is the burning of food in the body to produce energy, this takes place in the Mitochondrion of all cells.

The three things our cells searches for in the foods we eat are: glucose from carbohydrates, amino acids form proteins and fatty acids from fat intake. These foods turn to fuel for our body so it is important to get the right raw materials for energy.

Cells need oxygen. The oxygen is carried through the body after it is carried to the main organs via haemoglobin in the blood. If any part of the blood is lacking oxygen than this part of the body is not functioning properly. Oxygen burns the raw materials to release energy.

Enzymes plus raw material plus oxygen= fuel.

We also need co-factors for enzymes that are micro-nutrients e.g. vitamin and minerals.

Perfect functions to obtain healthy body cells are:

  • Good digestion.
  • Perfect assimilation.
  • Efficient transport of nutrients into the cells.
  • Proper elimination of toxins from our body.

We must make sure to give the body high quality foods so that our cells can use them efficiently. If we eat too much, consume too much of one type of food, or eat foods low in nutrients, after a period of time our cells will be overworking – using vital energy and leaving us feeling depleted.

The organs of our body rely on the energy that comes from the cells to perform their functions.

In the past two decades we have begun to understand the link between diseases and nutrition. Doctors are realising their attention should also be focused on prevention of diseases and not only to treat the body.

Today in the food chain we have too many toxins added to the foods and many unnatural procedures done to them. We can only digest for what we can produce enzymes, unfortunately  we don’t have enzymes for altered foods. 



Macronutrients are the building block materials for growth, repair and supply energy for all body functions. They are called macronutrients because they are the biggest portion of the human diet, as we require them in a large amount.

Macronutrients are generally provided by the food we eat. They are always accompanied by other macronutrients and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).

Macronutrients are: Carbohydrates, proteins, fats and water.

Energy requirement varies with age and the type of activities.

How many times have you turned to refined carbohydrates for energy? Eating products day after to day that are made with white flours (such as: white rice, white bread, white crackers, refined cereals, biscuits, cakes and pastries) can have a devastating effect on the way we feel and lead us to vitamin and mineral deficiencies and digestive problems.

The reason is because these products are stripped of valuable nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, oils and essential fibre for the good work of the digestive system.

All biochemical reactions require a good balance of specific vitamins and minerals. If the foods we eat do not contain the nutrients they were given by nature, our cells and organs may be deprived of components essential to their optimal performance.

Bleached or enriched products are processes not natural and therefore if eaten as part of our daily diet lead to predictable ailments. The biochemical processes in our cells work inefficiently. 

Carbohydrates are the number one provider for energy and it is the body’s principle fuel.

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The Most Important Nutrients For ALL Day Energy

What Nutrients Provide Energy?

In the context of nutrition, energy is supplied in the form of calories. Calories are sourced from the three macronutrients – carbohydrate, protein, and fat:


Casually known as carbs, carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram and are readily used as energy. When carbohydrate foods are consumed, the body breaks it down to glucose and uses it as fuel.

Glucose can also be stocked as glycogen, which is the storage form of glucose the body warehouses in the liver and muscles. In times of need, glycogen is quickly mobilized to deliver fuel the body depends on.

But rather than consuming simple sugars in the form of refined and added sugar, that cause a quick spike and drop, it is recommended to consume high-fiber and complex carbs that burn much slower in the system and sustain fuel for much longer.

Ultimately, choosing nutritious carbs is key for sustaining energy levels and overall health, as too many refined sources can fluctuate blood sugar, energy, and mood, along with increasing the risk of weight gain and chronic diseases.

Recommended Food Sources:

Whole grains, fruits, veggies, milk and dairy products, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds


Like carbohydrate, protein provides 4 calories per gram. While the body does not directly use protein for energy, the macronutrient is essential for muscle synthesis to support and grow muscle mass, thus boosting a healthy metabolism.

According to data published in the Current Opinion of in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, protein has shown to be more satiating than carbohydrate and fat in the short and long-term to help keep appetite and energy levels at bay.

Recommended Food Sources:

Beef sirloin, eggs, chicken, tuna, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, edamame, tempeh, beans, lentils, quinoa, nuts and seeds


Unlike carb and protein, fat provides 9 calories per gram. But like consuming adequate intake of protein and carbohydrates, your body requires fat to maintain a steady metabolism.

Fat is one of the body’s best transporters and responsible for shuttling several nutrients throughout the body. These carriers are critical for carrying out a number of chemical reactions that help regulate growth, immune function, reproduction, and other components required for metabolic processes.

And while fat is the most calorically-dense, its intake lends high satiety much like protein to keep energy stable throughout the day.

It is important, though, to recognize dietary fat does come in various forms and including more unsaturated fats is recommended. Unsaturated fats are further broken down into mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which bare antioxidant properties and proven to protect heart and overall health.

Recommended Food Sources:

Fatty fish (such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon), eggs, avocados, olive oil, grassfed beef, nuts and seeds, soybeans, and dark chocolate

Vitamins for an Energy Boost

“Vitamins don’t supply calories!” you may refute. But before battling too hard, let us introduce the B vitamins…

Also known as vitamin B complex, these vitamins are involved in critical physiological processes that support a healthy metabolism. So while B vitamins do not provide energy the way macronutrients do, their intake allows the body to best utilize energy and serves other valuable functions.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

Thiamin is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, branched-chain amino acids, and fatty acids and plays a role in nerve function.

Recommended Intake:

1.2 milligrams (mg) per day for males and 1.1 mg for females

Food Sources:

Whole grain cereals, legumes, nuts and seeds, yeast, and pork

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Riboflavin is involved with energy production and functions as an antioxidant to protect the body’s cells against damage. Riboflavin also upkeeps both eye and skin health. 

Recommended Intake:

1. 3 mg per day for males and 1.1 mg per day for females

Food Sources:

Milk, yogurt, yeast, whole grain breads and cereals, organ meats such as liver, and egg whites

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Niacin is essential for not only processing the macronutrients, but for metabolizing alcohol out of the body. The B vitamin also maintains skin, nervous, and digestive health.

Recommended Intake:

16 mg per day for males and 14 mg per day for females

Food Sources:

Fortified and enriched pastas and cereals, coffee, tuna, anchovies, shiitake mushrooms, and barley

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Pantothenic acid supports cellular energy production, participates in multiple life-sustaining processes, and is essential to all forms of life.

Recommended Intake:

5 mg per day for both males and females 

Food Sources:

Naturally sourced from a wide variety of animal and plant sources, including organ meats, fish, milk, sweet potatoes, eggs, legumes, mushrooms, yogurt, sunflower seeds, and oranges

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B6 is involved in over 100 essential chemical reactions in the body. Vitamin B6 is required to metabolize amino acids and glycogen, synthesize hemoglobin, and facilitate functions of estrogen and testosterone.

Recommended Intake:

1.3 mg per day for males and females

Food Sources:

Fortified breakfast cereal, tuna, salmon, chicken, bananas, russet potato with skin, avocado, chickpeas, and bulgur

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Vitamin B7 is involved in several processes, including the metabolism of protein, carb, and fat. It may also support healthy skin, hair, and nails if deficient in biotin.

Recommended Intake:

30 micrograms (mcg) per day for both males and females

Food Sources:

Yeast, cheese, cauliflower, pork, raspberries, liver, mushrooms, peanuts, almonds, nonfat milk and yogurt, meat, soy protein, and egg yolks

Vitamin B9 (Folate/Folic Acid)

Folate and folic acid are often used interchangeably, though folate occurs naturally in foods while folic acid is the synthetic form found in fortified foods and supplements.

Folic acid is mostly known for supporting fetal health and development, particularly as it is critical for the metabolism of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), to prevent neural tube defects. The B vitamin is also required for the synthesis of and amino acids.

Recommended Intake:

400 mcg per day for males and females

Food Sources:

Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lentils, spaghetti, lima and garbanzo beans

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Vitamin B12 plays a role in cellular energy production, along with regulating DNA and RNA and developing red blood cells.

Recommended Intake:

2.4 mcg per day for males and females, with greater needs during pregnancy and if lactating

Food Sources:

Present in virtually all animal products, including such as meat, poultry, fish and shellfish, with lesser amounts in dairy products and eggs

All recommended intakes, unless otherwise noted, represent healthy adults ages 19 to 50 and are based on daily recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) or adequate intakes (AIs)

Finding Your Balance

Though the energy-providing macronutrients and B vitamins guarantee lasting vitality, the additional vitamins and minerals should not go unnoticed.

In fact, all vitamins and minerals are essential in keeping the body strong and health. Luckily, they can all be inherited by balancing your diet with a variety of nutrient-dense foods, including whole grains, fruits and veggies, milk and dairy products, lean and plant-based proteins, nuts and seeds, and vegetable oils.

If desiring assistance to find your balance, look no further than Balance by bistroMD! Balance is an a la cart meal delivery service providing fresh meals straight to doorsteps.

Each meal is scientifically balanced with complex carbohydrates, whole grains and fiber along with lean protein and healthy fat ratios. And with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options, you can keep energized throughout the entire day!

Also offering selections such as apple cinnamon oatmeal with scrambled eggs, chicken meatball marinara, Jamaican style black pepper shrimp, a raspberry chipotle vegetable bowl (must we go on…?), there is always an option to excite your taste buds!

For more information on Balance by bistroMD, visit the official page here or call 844-411-2252 today!

Eating to boost energy – Harvard Health

The tried-and-true advice for healthful eating also applies to keeping your energy level high: eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of unrefined carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, with an emphasis on vegetables, whole grains, and healthy oils. Taking a daily multivitamin will ensure that you get the vitamins and minerals you need, but taking extra amounts of individual nutrients won’t give you more energy. In addition, eating certain types of foods in particular amounts can help prevent fatigue.

Because different kinds of foods are converted to energy at different rates, some — such as candy and other simple sugars — can give you a quick lift, while others — such as whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats — supply the reserves you’ll need to draw on throughout the day. But limit the refined sugar and white starches to only occasional treats. While you may get a quick boost, that feeling fades quickly and can leave you depleted and craving more sweets.

Eat small, frequent meals

Where energy is the issue, it’s better to eat small meals and snacks every few hours than three large meals a day. This approach can reduce your perception of fatigue because your brain, which has very few energy reserves of its own, needs a steady supply of nutrients. Some people begin feeling sluggish after just a few hours without food. But it doesn’t take much to feed your brain. A piece of fruit or a few nuts is adequate.

Smaller is better, especially at lunch

Researchers have observed that the circadian rhythms of people who eat a lot at lunch typically show a more pronounced afternoon slump. The reasons for this are unclear, but it may reflect the increase in blood sugar after eating, which is followed by a slump in energy later.

Avoid crash diets

If you need to lose weight, do so gradually, without skimping on essential nutrients or starving yourself of the calories you need for energy. Poor nutrition and inadequate calorie intake can cause fatigue. A sensible goal is to try to lose a half-pound to a pound per week. You can do this by cutting 250 to 500 calories a day from your usual diet, and exercising for 30 minutes on most days. Don’t cut your food intake below 1,200 calories a day (for women) or 1,500 calories a day (for men), except under the supervision of a health professional.

Use caffeine to your advantage

As a stimulant, caffeine can increase or decrease your energy level, depending on when and how much of it you consume. Caffeine does help increase alertness, so having a cup of coffee before going to a meeting or starting on a project can help sharpen your mind. But to get the energizing effects of caffeine, you have to use it judiciously. It can cause insomnia, especially when consumed in large amounts or after 2 p.m. (or noon if you’re caffeine sensitive).

Limit alcohol

For people who drink alcohol, one of the best hedges against the midafternoon slump is to avoid the sedative effects of drinking alcohol at lunch. Similarly, avoid the five o’clock cocktail if you want to have energy in the evening to pursue a hobby or spend time with your family. If you do choose to drink alcohol, do so at a time when you don’t mind having your energy wind down. A glass with dinner is a reasonable choice. And stay within the limits of moderation: no more than two drinks a day for men and one for women.

Drink water

Water is the main component of blood and is essential for carrying nutrients to the cells and taking away waste products. If your body is short on fluids, one of the first signs is a feeling of fatigue. Sports drinks combine water with vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes — substances that help regulate body processes. But these extras won’t give you extra energy for ordinary, everyday activities (see box below).

To maintain your energy level during a workout, drink an 8-ounce glass of water before you start and another after you finish. If you’ll be exercising continuously for longer than 30 minutes, drink small amounts every 15 to 30 minutes.

Do power bars or energy bars pack an extra energy punch?

It’s impossible to walk into a drugstore or supermarket without seeing shelves lined with “power bars” that claim to boost your energy. The manufacturers of such products claim that they’re superior to candy bars because they contain an “ideal ratio” of simple to complex carbohydrates, along with protein and fat. However, there’s no proof that such an ideal ratio exists.

An Ohio State University study compared the glycemic index of typical energy bars with other sources of carbohydrates. The power bars were no better than a candy bar at providing sustained energy.

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Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date,
should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Energy-Yielding Nutrients: Carbohydrates, Fat & Protein – Video & Lesson Transcript


I mentioned that calories are units of energy. When you read a food label in a grocery store, you notice that calories are listed on the label. These calories are actually kilocalories. The prefix ‘kilo-‘ means 1,000, so we can define kilocalories as units of 1,000 calories. Having a list of thousands of calories on a food label would make for some pretty big numbers, so we spell the word calorie with a capital C to indicate that it is a kilocalorie. In other words, 1 Calorie = 1 kilocalorie = 1,000 calories.


Carbohydrates, fats and proteins all provide your body with calories, but fats are the king of calories. I say this because when you eat foods that contain fats, such as meats, dairy products, vegetable oils and avocados, these fats provide nine Calories/gram. This is a much higher yield than we get from the other nutrients, which we will discuss in just a moment. Fats, also referred to as lipids, can be stored in your body, so this high energy content makes fat a great source of stored energy that can be called on when you are involved in endurance activities. For example, if you run a marathon, fats become your body’s primary energy source for sustained energy.


Even though fats are the most energy-dense of the three energy-yielding nutrients, carbohydrates, which provide four Calories/gram are your body’s first choice for energy, especially immediate energy. This is because carbohydrates, which you obtain from foods like grains, fruits and vegetables, are easily converted to energy in your body. For example, if you’re a sprinter in a 100 yard dash, your body will call on glucose, which is a simple carbohydrate for the fast energy needed to power your muscles.


Proteins are another nutrient that can supply your body with energy, and we see that proteins provide four Calories/gram. But of the three energy-yielding nutrients, proteins are your body’s last choice for energy. This is because proteins are needed for countless other functions in your body, including growth, development and repair of tissues. Because proteins have so many uses they are easily obtained from a variety of animal- and plant-based foods, including meat, fish, milk, beans and even vegetables.


Now, we described carbohydrates, fats and proteins as the three energy-yielding nutrients, yet at the beginning of the lesson I promised to share another substance that can provide your body with calories. That substance is alcohol. Alcohol is not considered a nutrient needed by your body, but it does provide calories, which your body can use for energy. Alcohol provides seven Calories/gram. With this fairly high calorie yield we see that alcohol is fairly rich in energy, but these calories that come from liquor, wine and beer are considered to be empty calories because they contain very few, if any, vitamins and minerals.

Lesson Summary

Let’s review…

A calorie is a unit of heat used to denote the amount of energy in a food. There are three nutrients in foods that provide calories, namely carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Collectively, we referred to them as energy-yielding nutrients.

The calories we see listed on food labels are actually kilocalories. We spell the word calorie with a capital C to indicate kilocalories. Therefore, 1 Calorie = 1 kilocalorie = 1,000 calories.

Fats provide nine Calories/gram. They are a great source of stored energy and become your body’s primary energy source for sustained activity.

Carbohydrates provide four Calories/gram. They are a great source of immediate energy.

Proteins provide four Calories/gram. They are your body’s last choice for energy.

Alcohol provides seven Calories/gram, so it’s a source of energy, but it provides little or no nutritional value to your body.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this lesson, you’ll have the ability to:

  • Define calorie
  • List the energy-yielding nutrients
  • Recognize the number of calories provided by the energy-yielding nutrients, and compare calories to kilocalories
  • Explain why alcohol is an energy source

Energy & Metabolism Part 1: Nutrients

Do you ever feel like you need more energy? Maybe you stayed up all night studying for exams, or you just finished an intense workout at the gym, or it’s almost lunchtime and you’re losing focus (or getting hangry…or both). 

While I can’t give you more energy via the internet (it would be pretty amazing if I could, though), I can tell you about the basics of energy and metabolism, and that’s exactly what this two-part blog post will focus on. What nutrients does the body need to survive, where do we get them, and how does the body break them down into materials it can use? What in the world is ATP and what do we use it for? 

Hopefully, learning about how our bodies make energy will be just the pick-me-up you need!

Click here to learn more about the digestive system and nutrient absorption with Visible Body’s Small Intestine/FAST Exam A&P eBook!


Nutrients: We Are What We Eat

Human life would be impossible without the nutrients we get from our food: water, proteins, lipids, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates. These basic molecules that make up the plant and animal matter we consume are the same ones our own cells need to repair themselves and to supply the energy they need to perform key functions. 

You’re probably already aware that humans are about 64% water. It’s present in all of our cells, and it’s vital for the biochemical reactions that keep our bodies running. Water also helps regulate your body’s temperature, protect sensitive tissues and joints, and eliminate waste. Though it’s good to drink water on its own, water is also a big component of the foods that we eat, especially fruits and vegetables. Celery, for example, is almost 95% water!

Proteins make up about 16% of our bodies, including muscle and connective tissue as well as enzymes and the tiny ion channels within our cells. Meat is an important source of protein in the diet of omnivorous humans but protein is also readily available in dairy products, eggs, nuts, and legumes. Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, are important for making new proteins within our cells. Nine of them can’t be produced by our bodies—these are known as the essential amino acids—so we need to make sure we eat food containing them. 

The lipids we consume include fats, oils, phospholipids, fatty acids, and sterols (e.g. cholesterol). Lipids help our body make cell membranes (phospholipid bilayers), store energy, absorb fat-soluble vitamins, insulate neurons, and protect and support internal organs. Meat, dairy, fish, nuts, and seeds are common sources of dietary fat. Some lipids, like Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, need to come from our food because our bodies can’t produce them on their own.

There are 13 vitamins essential to human health: 4 fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and 9 water-soluble vitamins (C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B12, and folate). You can see a handy list of the vitamins’ wide variety of functions here. 

There are also 15 minerals our body needs: 7 macrominerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, and sulfur) and 8 trace minerals (iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride, and selenium). You might already be familiar with the function of some of them. Calcium, for example, strengthens bones and teeth, and sodium and potassium help electrical signals travel throughout your nervous system.

Last, but certainly not least, are carbohydrates. Ultimately, carbohydrates give us glucose, which most of our body’s cells need in order to create energy for themselves (with neurons and red blood cells being especially demanding). Their molecular structure varies from complex polysaccharides to simpler disaccharides and monosaccharides. Carbohydrates are found in grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and processed foods.


The Digestive System: Making Change

Think about your body as if it’s an arcade, and all the functions your cells have to perform are games that need tokens. If you’ve had a meal full of nutrients, you’ve got a whole bunch of $20s, $50s, and maybe even a $100 bill or two. Unfortunately, the machines that dispense tokens only take $1s and $5s. This means that before you can get your arcade tokens, you have to go get some smaller bills from the bank—in this metaphor, the bank would be your digestive system. 

Image from Human Anatomy Atlas. 

Your digestive system is responsible for the intake and breakdown of the food you eat, as well as the excretion of solid waste. The digestion process starts as soon as you put food in your mouth—enzymes in your saliva begin breaking down starches (carbohydrates) and some fats while you chew.

Once food travels down the esophagus, it passes into the stomach, where gastric acid gets to work on disassembling the fats and proteins. Bile from the liver and gall bladder joins pancreatic juice to continue this process as the food moves into the small intestine.

Now, it may be called the small intestine, but much like the Tardis, your small intestine is bigger on the inside. The folds and villi (picture the swaying tentacles of a sea anemone, only microscopic) of the small intestine’s lining allow nutrient absorption to happen over a huge surface area. Check out this blog post to learn more about the villi.

Image from Human Anatomy Atlas.

Some absorption occurs in the large intestine, but the small intestine is really the champ when it comes to chemical digestion and absorption.

So what do the different nutrients break down into? Carbohydrates break down into simple sugars (di- and monosaccharides)—like everyone’s favorite (or at least my favorite) monosaccharide, glucose. Dietary fats, also known as triglycerides, break down into fatty acids and monoglycerides. Proteins are split up into their component amino acids. 

Here’s a fun fact: even though some carbohydrates can give us glucose directly, and we can break down glycogen (stored glucose) pretty quickly in a pinch, we can also turn some amino acids—and a couple other types of molecules—into glucose if our body’s supply has run low. This happens through a process called gluconeogenesis. 

After the various parts of your digestive system have converted your food into its chemical building blocks, waste products are sent away and the essentials pass into your bloodstream to be processed by the liver and distributed throughout the rest of the body.

Make sure you take some time to “digest” this information before checking out Part 2 of this post. Next time, we’ll be exploring the wonders of cellular respiration—that is, how your body uses glucose to generate a form of energy it can use. In our arcade metaphor, that means we’re finally going to be getting some tokens. 

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Energy is obtained from the nutrients contained in food, which are carbohydrates, protein, fats and alcohol. The amount of energy is measured in kilocalories (kcal) or kilojoules (kJ).

The amount of nutrients and energy contained in food and meals varies greatly. Fat contains twice as much energy as carbohydrates and protein. Alcohol is roughly in the middle in terms of energy.

Energy / 1 g of nutrients:
Carbohydrates 17 kJ 4 kcal
Protein 17 kJ 4 kcal
Fats 38 kJ 9 kcal
Alcohol 30 kJ 7 kcal


In accordance with the recommendations of Nordic nutritionists, a healthy and wholesome menu should consist of the following ingredients:

Carbohydrates 55-60 of the total amount of energy
Protein max.30 of total energy
Fats max. 30 of total energy

This means that you should eat more carbohydrates such as grain bread, pasta, vegetables and fruits. By consuming more carbohydrates, the risk of gaining extra pounds decreases. In turn, overweight people tend to eat more fat than carbohydrates.In some cases, the proportion of fat in the menu is 38%. These kinds of “diets” only increase the number of overweight people.

Share of fat in total energy

You’ve probably heard about the energy of the diet – especially when it comes to fats. This section explains what fat relative to total energy actually means, and why it does not mean the same as fat percentage.

The percentage of fat indicates how much fat is in the food / dish.If 100 grams of a product contains 5 grams of fat, then the fat content in it is 5%.

The proportion of fat in total energy indicates how large the “fat” portion is. And this does not always depend only on the amount of fat in grams. The amount of carbohydrates and protein also plays a role.

The specific weight of fat in the total amount of energy is given importance when the energy value of the diet as a whole is calculated. In this case, the specific gravity of fat consumed throughout the day is checked.If the specific gravity of fat is kept under control, then it is enough just to keep the correct weight.

The effect of any food item on the proportion of fat in total energy can be calculated by adding the proportion of fat in the energy that a particular food or product contains. And before you start calculating the daily dose, you need to know the amount of energy and the specific gravity of total fat eaten per day.

This is how the proportion of fat in total energy can be calculated

Calculate the specific gravity of fat in any product or in the total daily ration.

Fat in grams 100 g x 37 90 114 x 100 =% of total energy.
Kilojoules (kJ) 100 g


100 g of black bread – 988 kJ and 1.7 g of fat.


1.7 x 38

x 100 = proportion of fat in total energy 6.5% 90 115


Carbohydrates are converted to glucose, which is a very important source of energy for the brain and body.The body can only store 350 grams of glycogen. And first, the body consumes excess carbohydrates, and then begins to use the energy that is available in fats and proteins. That is why it is very important to include in the diet as many carbohydrate foods and very little fat. If a person eats more calories than he spends, carbohydrates slow down the process of burning fat that accumulates in the body.

Carbohydrates are divided into groups depending on whether the product contains sugar (monosaccharides), starch or fiber (polysaccharides).

Berries, fruits and vegetables contain various types of sugar or fructose, glucose and sucrose. In regular sugar, only sucrose is present.

Starch is found in potatoes, bread, rice, cereals, pasta and legumes.

Fiber is very useful because it promotes the absorption of food, gives a feeling of fullness and improves the excretion of cholesterol from the body. Fiber can be found in oatmeal, bread (especially rye), potatoes, dark rice, pasta, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

What is sugar?

Everyone knows and tried sugar, but what is it really?

Sugar, also called sucrose, is a carbohydrate formed from glucose (grape sugar) and fructose (fruit sugar). The sugar is divided in the stomach. The body processes sugar in the same way as other soluble carbohydrates (such as starch).

Sugar is a natural product made from sugar beets or sugar cane.

Sugar can also be called “energy of the sun”. And rightly so, because it is formed in green plants thanks to the sun, water and carbon dioxide. Beets and sugarcane are the plants with the highest sugar content (16-18%), suitable for the production of a sweet product.

Sugar contains energy, but does not contain vitamins, minerals and fiber.

In Northern Europe, sugar is produced from sugar beets, as the local climate is too harsh for growing sugar cane.The taste and type of white sugar does not depend at all on the raw materials (beets or cane) from which it is produced.


Fats contain a lot of energy. One gram of fat contains as much as 38 kJ of energy. And this is twice as much as, for example, one gram of protein or carbohydrate. Therefore, if a person’s diet is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, the risk of obesity increases significantly. It is necessary to calculate the proportion of fat in the total amount of energy.

And although you cannot overdo it with fats, you cannot completely exclude them from the diet.Fats are essential for the normal functioning of the entire body. Fats are used to create cellular tissues and substances that help regulate kidney function and blood pressure. In addition, fats help the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K.

Fats are different, and some of them are healthier than others. Useful in this case is a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels and the circulatory system. The best fats are unsaturated. They are found in fish, nuts, vegetable oil, avocados, and soft margarines.

Bad fats are also called saturated fats. They are found in fatty dairy products (such as cheese), fatty meats and sausages, egg yolks, and butter. The most beneficial is the combination of a small amount of saturated and relatively high unsaturated fat. It is in this case that the cholesterol level remains low and the blood vessels remain healthy. And do not forget that the proportion of all types of fats in the total amount of energy should not exceed 30%.

It should also be remembered that being overweight increases the risk of various diseases, but unsaturated fats are good for the heart.

Proteins (protein)

Protein is a substance on the basis of which the whole organism is built. It is found in tissues, bones, muscles, skin, hair and nails. Proteins are necessary at the stage of growth of the body, as well as in the case when its recovery is required, for example, after a lot of physical activity or surgery. Protein affects the immune system and hormones.

One gram of protein contains 17 kJ of energy. Protein is the best food for satiety.Protein is found in milk, meat, eggs, fish, crustaceans and legumes.

Why is moving useful?

After a long day at work, I really want to lie on the couch. But it is still worth trying, which gives the body movement. And that’s why

Check body fluid requirements
You can check for yourself how much fluid is actually excreted from the body during exercise.

Weigh yourself in your underwear before and after training. So you will understand how much fluid has left the body, and how much you need to drink during and after classes.

  • Check the color of the urine during the day. It should be transparent and light yellow. If this is not the case, the body lacks fluids.

Motion and Fluid

Everyone involved in physical education should drink plenty of fluids.And if on a normal day you should drink 2-3 liters of water, then when playing sports – even more. Fluid also leaves the body with sweat: the loss of 2% of the fluid leads to a weakening of physical capabilities by 20%. If a person weighs 70 kg and he has lost 2% of the liquid, then his weight has decreased by 1.4 kg.

10 good reasons to exercise
1) Physical education improves mood.
2) Physical education promotes good sleep.
3) Physical education improves well-being.
4) Physical education gives an additional positive attitude.
5) Physical education improves shape.
6) Physical education makes you eat healthy foods.
7) Physical education increases energy consumption.
8) Physical education prevents obesity.
9) Exercise prevents heart disease.
10) Physical education makes bones strong.

Food and Movement

During physical exertion, the role of food, which is able to restore strength, increases.When doing sports 2-3 times a week, you should follow the standard recommendations, according to which 55-60% of energy should be obtained from carbohydrates, 10-15% – proteins and 30% – fats.

A lot of physical activity requires a change in diet. Carbohydrates are the best fuel for muscles. Please note that carbohydrates should increase even more – 60-65%, protein – still 10-15%, fats – 20-25% of the total amount of energy consumed.

It should also be taken into account that more energy is expended with more physical activity.This means that you need to eat more, but at the expense of an increase in the amount of carbohydrate-containing foods and drinks.

Glycemic index – carbohydrates that are absorbed quickly and slowly

Carbohydrates are usually classified by origin. The carbohydrates found in foods with sugar are different from those found in foods with starch (mono- and polysaccharides). Also, carbohydrates can be categorized according to how quickly they raise blood sugar.It is about the second type of division that they talk about when it comes to food and movement. Rapid absorption shows how long the muscles, liver and brain can use carbohydrates.

The ability of foods to influence blood sugar is measured using the glycemic index. The faster carbohydrates are absorbed, the higher the glycemic index of foods.

If you exercise a lot and often, knowing what the glycemic index of a particular food is will come in handy.Food should be low-glycemic 3-4 hours before training. This will improve physical performance during class or competition. But after exercise, you need to eat something with a high glycemic index so that glycogen stores are restored for the next workout, and it will be more effective.

Examples of high, medium and low glycemic index foods:

High glycemic index: GI (glucose = 100) or GI (white bread = 100)

High glycemic index foods GI (glucose = 100) GI (white bread = 100)
Grape Sugar 97 138
Potatoes (oven baked) 85 121
Corn Flakes 84 119
Potatoes (boiled) 83 118
Honey 73 104
Watermelon 72 103
French Bread 70 101
Mashed potatoes 70 100

Low Glycemic Foods GI (glucose = 100) GI (white bread = 100)
Noodles (boiled) 47 67
Bread from various grades of grain 45 64
Milk sugar 46 65
Orange 43 62
Spaghetti (white, cooking time – 5 minutes) 37 52
Peas 33 47
Fettuccine pasta 32 46
Beans (beans) 27 42
Fruit sugar 23 32

Eat foods with a high glycemic index no later than an hour after exercise.Immediately after exercise, the body is especially sensitive and is able to accumulate reserves of carbohydrates, which will be required if you are preparing to physically work the next day. Study this chart to find the foods you need to exercise for the next day.

It is widely believed that sugar is a carbohydrate with a high glycemic index that is absorbed very quickly. In fact, the glycemic index of sugar is average. Potatoes and white bread made from wheat flour increase blood sugar much faster.

90,000 Rational Nutrition – Clinical Hospital №6 named after G.A. Zakharyina


Published: 05 April 2019

Views: 4134

Rational nutrition .

Nutrition is the process of intake, digestion, absorption and assimilation in the body of nutrients that are necessary to cover energy costs, the formation of body tissues, and the full functioning of the body.Rational nutrition, in turn, is a complete nutrition with the fully necessary amount and ratio of all food components, in accordance with the individual needs of the body. Properly organized, rational nutrition based on modern knowledge helps the body develop properly, as well as maintain and increase its health.

Principles of good nutrition Modern science identifies 4 basic principles of good nutrition. The first principle – it is necessary to maintain a balance between the energy received from food and the energy expenditure of the body.Energy costs of the body depend on age, sex, morphological and biochemical status, health, type of activity, climatic conditions. Energy mainly enters the body through proteins, fats, carbohydrates. Scientists have calculated that 1 gr. protein food gives the body 4.1 kcal (17.17 kJ), 1 g of fat – 9.3 kcal (38.96 kJ) and 1 g of carbohydrates – 4.1 kcal (17.17 kJ). If an insufficient amount of energy enters the human body with food, then the body begins to take energy from internal sources: fatty deposits, muscle tissue.With prolonged deficiency, this leads to depletion of the body. If, on the contrary, an excessive amount of energy comes from food, then it accumulates in the body in the form of fatty tissue. The second principle – a balance is needed between the substances entering the body: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, ballast substances. Each product carries a certain biological value, for example, one product is rich in protein, the other is rich in vitamins of a certain group.Modern scientists believe that the daily diet of a healthy person should be supplied at the following proportion of the ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates: 1: 1: 4. As we can see, carbohydrates account for most of the calorie content of food. Carbohydrates are the main sources of energy. Proteins are the building blocks of our muscles, and they are also involved in the synthesis of hormones, enzymes and vitamins. Fats, like carbohydrates, are sources of energy, but if the energy obtained from carbohydrates is consumed immediately, then fat, in turn, is deposited in the body and begins to be used by it at the moment when energy from carbohydrates is insufficient. The third principle is that you must adhere to the diet. First of all, food should be regular, it is advisable to eat at the same time intervals. The optimal number of meals is 3-4 times a day. Breaks between meals can be 2-3 hours. At breakfast, it is advisable to eat 2/3 of the daily calorie intake, and 1/3 at dinner. This balance will be most beneficial for your well-being. The fourth principle – it is necessary to exclude all products that harm our body.Food products should be free of toxic substances and pathogenic bacteria. Human nutrition should include: bread, pasta, various types of vegetables, foods containing large amounts of animal proteins (meat, poultry, fish, seafood) milk and dairy products (sour cream, cottage cheese, cheese, etc.) sugar eggs vegetable oil salt It should also be noted that according to the norms of a balanced diet, food should not be fried, smoked, canned, very salty or very spicy.It is best to use cooking techniques such as stewing, boiling, and steaming. And of course, do not forget about such an important component of a balanced diet as water. For an adult, the daily dose of water is approximately 2 liters. Water takes part in all processes of human life. Water delivers vitamins and minerals to where they are needed. She also takes part in digestion and assimilation of essential nutrients. It is useful to drink a glass of warm water on an empty stomach, this procedure starts the metabolism.

90,000 Energy flow and cycle of matter in ecosystems

By Nat WorldReading time 2 min Views 460Posted on Updated

Energy and nutrients or chemicals pass through the ecosystem. While energy flows through the ecosystem and cannot be recycled, nutrients circulate within the ecosystem and are reused. Both the flow of energy and the chemical cycle help determine the structure and dynamics of an ecosystem.

Producers and Consumers

Producers such as plants or phytoplankton use solar energy to synthesize nutrients through photosynthesis and are the source of all energy in the ecosystem. Producers also need nutrients or chemicals like nitrogen, phosphorus, and iron in order to grow. Nutrients and sugars are available to primary consumers (first order), herbivores that feed on producers, and secondary consumers (second order), carnivores that eat first order consumers.

Energy flow and circulation of matter

Diagram of energy flow and circulation of matter in an ecosystem

Energy flowing through an ecosystem cannot be recycled. It is available to living organisms in the form of sunlight, which is necessary for the process of photosynthesis. Consumers use the sugars, fats and proteins they get from the producers as a source of energy to grow and maintain their cells. They lose some of this energy in the form of heat (see diagram above) .Nutrients are processed by decomposition. When producers or consumers die, fungi and other destructors gain energy by recycling their debris and in the process returning essential nutrients such as nitrogen to the soil so that plants can use them again.

The availability of energy and nutrients can limit the productivity of an ecosystem. In the open ocean, for example, there is a lot of light on the surface, but little at depth. Moreover, nutrients such as nitrogen and iron are also scarce, so productivity is limited.In regions of the ocean where upwelling brings nutrients to the surface, such as off the coast of Chile in non-El Niño years, ecosystem productivity increases.

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Press release for the Day of Healthy Eating

“You are what you eat” – this catchphrase of Hippocrates, we have probably heard more than once, and involuntarily thought about the direct impact of the quality of food and our health.

Why is it so important to follow the rules of a healthy diet?

Our body receives all the necessary nutrients and energy from food. The need for them depends on a number of factors: age, gender, lifestyle, physical activity of a person, health status and other aspects.

Where to start? First of all, you need to make a firm decision to eat right and follow the simple rules of a healthy diet.

Useful information in catering:

  • You need to eat as needed.Our energy is spent both on basic needs (digesting food, breathing, heart work, thinking, etc.), and on physical activity that we use during the day. Therefore, adolescents often need more energy than older people; the need for nutrients increases during pregnancy, breastfeeding; physically busy people need more energy than office workers, for example. The average daily energy requirement is approximately 2,600 kcal for men and 2,000 kcal for women.
  • In the morning on an empty stomach, it is advisable to drink a glass of liquid at room temperature.
  • The amount of free liquid is not less than 1.5 liters per day (in the absence of contraindications). The best way to drink and use for cooking is bottled or filtered water at home. For drinking, you can use non-carbonated mineral water with the lowest degree of mineralization, freshly squeezed juices, tea, coffee.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Different food groups contain different substances, vitamins and minerals, and they all have their effect on the human body, therefore it is important not only the energy received, but also that it comes from different nutrients and the proportion of these substances is balanced.
  • The number of meals during the day is at least 4-5 times (3 main meals and 2 additional meals, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably raw). The main calorie content of the diet should be in the first half of the day.
  • The intervals between meals should not exceed 3.5-4 hours.
  • Eat slowly, chewing food thoroughly, get up from the table as soon as you feel full.
  • Bread is preferable to use grain or bran.
  • Eat as many seasonal foods as possible – they contain the maximum of nutrients. Winter vegetables and fruits grown in greenhouses or brought from afar, due to processing with chemicals and long-term storage, not only lose all their benefits, but also become saturated with nitrates.
  • The use of sugar and salt is also undesirable. If you really can’t refuse them at all, then instead of sugar, you can use honey, and use salt to a minimum, just adding a little salt to the dishes.Recently, sea and pink Himalayan salt has become popular, containing less sodium chloride and more nutrients.
  • Don’t forget about protein foods. It can make you feel full for a long time and is also rich in amino acids. Proteins are necessary for the body to build muscle tissue, replace obsolete cells. Protein-rich foods include various types of meat, fish, squid, shrimp, nuts, mushrooms, some legumes, eggs, and cottage cheese.
  • Cook properly.You can save all the nutrients in foods with minimal heat treatment. Meat and fish products must be thermally processed, as they may contain parasites. But at the same time, it is better to refuse frying in oil, the best ways are cooking, baking in the oven and steaming.
  • You can eat everything in moderation. There is a common misconception that everything is tasty or harmful, or leads to obesity. In fact, everything is not so bad: you can eat everything, but in the right quantities and with the right frequency.Special care should be taken with very salty, sweet and fatty foods, as well as alcohol.
  • Use natural and fresh food for cooking. Any semi-finished or long-term storage product with preservatives, flavor enhancers and dyes increases the burden on the body, prevents the elimination of toxins, and slows down metabolism.

The rules of a healthy diet are not as difficult as it seems. You just need to realize the benefits for the body that it can give a person, and make proper nutrition a good habit.

On the basis of the state institution “Gomel City Center of Hygiene and Epidemiology” “direct” lines will be organized:

– the head of the department of public health Kebikov Denis Aleksandrovich August 14, 2020 from 09.00-10.00 by phone 21-02-17 on the topic “Healthy eating”,

– hygienist Zinovich Alla Ivanovna August 12, 13, 14, 2020 from 09.00-10.00 by phone 25-49-06 on the topic “Features of nutrition in the summer.”

Sociologist OOZ
I.N. Drozd

Metabolized energy

One of the reasons animals need nutrition is to obtain nutrients to provide energy to the cells of the body. Animals can get energy from fats, proteins and carbons. Fats provide twice as much energy as the same weight of proteins or carbons. Therefore, food with a high percentage of fat usually provides more energy for the animal.

But not all energy in food is used by animals. The total amount of potential energy in food is called gross energy (RE).Gross energy is determined by the amount of heat given off by food during combustion. However, finding balanced formulas and trying to determine the amount of energy that food can provide to an animal is of little value.

After food is eaten, most of it is digested and absorbed by the digestive tract. The remainder is excreted in the stool. The part of it that is absorbed by the animal is called digestible energy (PE). Factors affecting RE and PE percentages include fiber content, ash amount, ingredient quality and processing during production.While some fibers, such as chicory root, can be fermented and used by animals, most fibers are not digested, but they play an important role in maintaining consistency of stool and a healthy digestive tract. Most of the minerals in food are not absorbed. Such nutrients are usually not absorbed in large quantities in order to protect animals from reaching toxic levels. Consequently, a significant portion of the minerals will be released. In addition, minerals do not burn, that is, they do not provide energy.Many ingredients are processed before entering the factory. Some of these ingredients, especially meat dishes, will not be digested if not properly processed. Factory processing is very important, especially for starchy ingredients. If food is not cooked properly, the starch will not be digested efficiently.

Once PE enters the animal, it can be used by tissues. A certain portion of PE is used to eliminate metabolic protein products, which are converted into urine and excreted in the urine.Metabolizable energy (ME) is what remains of the PE minus what is required for urine excretion. ME, which is used by animal tissues to trigger the biochemical reactions needed to sustain life, also includes the heat given off by the animal.

Measurement of the amount of ME in food requires a digestibility study. Such studies entail measuring the daily food intake of the animals and measuring the amount of stool produced. Such tests can be costly.Another way to determine ME is to count the amount of fats, proteins, and digestible carbons (starch) in food. Multiplying by 8.5 grams of fat / kg food, 3.5 grams of protein / kg of food, and 3.5 grams of carbohydrates / kg of food, and adding these sums, you get the amount of ME per kg of food. The calculation of the ME is usually 10-15% values ​​for high energy food and higher values ​​for low energy food than the values ​​obtained from the actual measurements. It can be observed that food with an ME value of 3200 kcal / kg or less will have a low energy content, 3500 kcal / kg will be a medium food, and 3800 kcal / kg or higher will be considered a high energy food.

Another ME value on the bag refers to the number of measuring cups that will help the owner of the animal. To measure ME in a measuring cup, the density of the food must be determined. So, if 100 grams of food with an energy density of 3500 kcal / kg can be measured in a cup, then it is easy to determine that a cup contains 3500 kcal of ME.

Knowing the ME value of an animal’s food can help maintain proper body condition and keep animals from obesity. However, DOE requirements for pets vary for each individual animal due to genetic differences, activity, environment and individual behavior.So, knowledge of the ME value of food is important, but more detailed information about an individual animal is needed in order to provide it with the required amount of food.

Ron Rompala, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

90,000 Evaluation of dietary quality using stable isotopes

Diet quality refers to both the amount of nutrients and the intake of specific nutrients from food to support vital functions, growth, physiological status (such as pregnancy and lactation), physical activity, and protection from infections.The quality of the diet is also reflected in the variety of food groups consumed. In resource-limited situations, the diet consists mostly of plant-based foods that may be deficient in essential nutrients such as protein, vitamin A, iron and zinc.

Inadequate intake of high-quality protein and micronutrients (especially zinc and iron) is associated with stunted growth, mortality and infections in infancy and early life, decreased learning ability in children, and therefore decreased productivity in adults.As economic conditions improve, the diet changes to include more animal products, fats and oils, sugar and highly processed foods. This is called dietary change, and it can have long-term health consequences, such as an increased risk of being overweight or obese, and the development of noncommunicable diseases later in life.

The IAEA supports the use of stable isotope techniques to assess dietary quality and health effects, with particular emphasis on the following:

  • Assimilation and retention of provitamin A, iron and zinc in the body from fortified foods or bio-fortified foods (accumulation of higher levels of minerals and vitamins during plant growth), or mixed diets.Stable isotope methods are useful for evaluating food fortification programs or dietary diversification strategies.
  • Bioavailability of protein from plant-based foods to maintain and optimize protein quality in diets.
  • Body composition (adipose and muscle tissue) is associated with changes in the quality of the diet. Low quality diets (nutritional deficiencies or high fat and sugar) are more likely to promote fat gain, which in turn may predispose people to obesity and the risk of noncommunicable diseases later in life.
  • Assessment of vitamin A status. Changes in vitamin A stores indicate the impact of interventions to prevent vitamin A deficiency.

How does the body convert fat into energy, and how efficiently does it happen?

Fats are the most energetic nutrients. Breaking one gram of fat produces more ATP molecules than breaking down a gram of protein or carbohydrates. ATP serves as the universal energy currency of the cell: any energy-consuming process in a living organism can be expressed in the number of ATP molecules required for its flow.

Therefore, fats are used as an energy reserve for the body: excess nutrients obtained from food during the day are deposited in the form of fat droplets in adipocytes – adipose tissue cells. Between meals, the fatty acids that make up fats can enter the bloodstream and be used as an energy source. This happens in the process of lipolysis – the cleavage of a fatty acid from a triglyceride (fat) molecule. Lipases that break down fatty acids are activated by adrenaline or glucagon, two hormones that boost metabolism when nutrient deficiencies occur, such as fasting or intense physical exertion.Fatty acids bind to albumin and are carried by the blood to cells that need energy.

Fatty acids are transported inside the cells by a special transporter. In the cytoplasm of the cell, coenzyme A is attached to the fatty acid: then, in the form of acyl-CoA, the fatty acid is transferred into the mitochondria, the energy station of the cell. There, the beta-oxidation process takes place – 2 carbon atoms are detached from the long carbon chain of the fatty acid, until the entire chain is split completely into two-carbon fragments in the form of acetyl-CoA.The acetyl-CoA molecules formed during beta-oxidation enter the citric acid cycle, where, in the process of obtaining ATP, they are completely split into water and carbon dioxide; for each turn of the cycle, about 10 ATP molecules are formed in the cell. The overall energy efficiency of the process will depend on the length of the fatty acid carbon chain.

If carbohydrates are eliminated from the diet, fatty acids can be used differently. In this case, ketone bodies are formed from them in the liver cells, which enter the bloodstream and can be used as an alternative source of energy to glucose.

The breakdown of fats is a more laborious and time-consuming process than the use of carbohydrates. During physical exertion, in the first few seconds, accumulated ATP is used to obtain energy, then glucose circulating in the blood begins to be consumed, after which glycogen stored in the muscles begins to break down. After about 10-20 minutes of active physical activity, the breakdown of fats begins to play an increasingly important role in providing the body with energy.