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1. Provide material to build things (like muscles)
2. Provide energy so those things can work (like gas in a car)
3. Regulate processes
Six nutrients are necessary for life (alphabetically):
3 Minerals (and elements)
7 Air - (my addition)
8 Radiation (my addition)
Everyone needs all six nutrients. Everyone needs different amounts. Amounts needed vary with genes, age, size, activity level, gender, diet, and lifestyle.
Notice each of the six are distinct and chemically different, though
all can appear in food.
With one exception, there are no carbohydrates in food from animals. The exception is lactose in milk. That is, there are no carbos in meat, poultry, eggs, etc.
What are they?
Carbohydrates are sugars. Some taste sweeter than others, but all are sugars. Sugars are made by plants as a result of photosynthesis.
The name "carbohydrate" comes from "carbo" (for carbon, chemical symbol "C") and "hydrate" (for water, chemical symbol "H2O"). The general chemical formula for a carbohydrate is Cx(H2O)y , meaning "x" atoms of carbon and "y" molecules of water. The chemical term for sugar is "saccharide".
There are two types: Simple and Complex. What makes them different are
the number of sugar molecules and how they are linked together.
|1 sugar molecule
|2 sugar molecules
|3 or more sugar molecules
|glucose (blood sugar)||sucrose (table sugar)||starch|
|fructose (fruit sugar)||maltose||dietary fiber|
|galactose (milk sugar)||lactose (from milk)|
Digestion works from right-to-left, complex to simple, polysaccharides to disaccharides to monosaccharides. In some cases, digestion can't proceed very far to the left, as with fiber, but digestion always moves leftward.
Lactose (from milk)
(from plants and beer malt)
Fiber is different from other complex carbos because of the bond between sugars. Fiber is barely digested as it passes through the the digestive system. It has little or no nutritional value, but does serve a different necessary function.
There is no fiber in food from animals.
There are two types, classified by whether they dissolve in water or not.
Excess fiber can cause gas and diarrhea. If too little water is consumed, bowel obstruction can occur.
A protein is a class of molecules. Proteins are made from amino acids. "Every protein has a unique, precisely defined amino acid sequence." A sequence of nucleotides in DNA are used to specify the sequence of amino acids to make a specific protein. The nucleotides in DNA are used to make a complementary set of nucleotides in RNA, which in turn are used to specify the amino acid sequence of the target protein.
The function of a protein is defined by its 3-dimensional shape (its
|#||Amino acid||Abr..||Symbol||Side Chain|
Fats, sometimes called "lipids", are used for two general functions:
1. In nutrition, for energy storage,
2. In biological structures, like cell walls and skin
I'll focus on the nutritional aspect of fats here.
Food contains three kinds of fats: triglycerides, phospholipids, and
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