nutrition : Defination, types and nutrition food chart pdf

What is Nutrition, Importance, Types, Food Nutrition Chart

(Last Updated On: April 3, 2018)

What Is Nutrition ?

Definition of Nutrition –  Nutrition, nourishment, or aliment, is the supply of materials – food – needed by organisms and cells to remain alive.

In science and human medicine, nutrition is the science or practice of consuming and utilizing foods.

Why is Nutrition Important

Consuming a balanced diet is essential for good health and well-being.

Food provides our bodies with the energy, protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals to live, grow and function well.

We want a large variety of different foods to produce the proper amounts of nutrients for good health.

Enjoyment of a healthy diet may be one of the good cultural pleasures of life.

The foods and dietary patterns that promote good nutrition are outlined in the infant feeding guidelines and Australian Dietary guidelines.

An unhealthy diet will increase the chance of the many diet-related diseases.

Types of Nutrition

A nutrient could be a source of nourishment, a component of food, for example, protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamin, mineral, fiber, and water.

♦ Macronutrients are nutrients we need in comparatively large quantities.

♦ Micronutrients are nutrients we need in comparatively little quantities.

Macronutrients is further split into energy macronutrients (that give energy), and macronutrients that don’t give energy.

Energy Macronutrients

Energy macronutrients give energy, that is measured either in kilocalories (kcal or calories) or Joules. 1 kilocalorie (calorie) = 4185.8 joules. Energy macronutrients include:

Carbohydrates – 4 kcal per gram

Carbohydrate molecules include monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, galactose), disaccharides, and polysaccharides (starch).

Carbohydrates are classified into 2 categories: simple and complex. simple carbohydrates are sugars whereas complex carbohydrates contain starch and dietary fiber.

Also Read : 15 Best Chest Workout With Dumbbells

Carbohydrate provides about 4 kcal (kcal = kilocalories = Calories) per gram (except for fiber) and is the energy that’s used first to fuel muscles and also the brain.

Soluble fiber (fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, brown rice, and oat, barley and rice brans) lowers blood cholesterol and helps to manage blood sugar levels while providing very little energy.

Insoluble fiber (wheat and corn bran, whole-grain bread and cereals, vegetables, fruit skins, nuts) doesn’t give any calories.

It helps to alleviate digestive disorders like constipation or diverticulitis and should help stop colon cancer.

Most calories (55-60%) should come from carbohydrates. Sources of carbohydrates include grain product like bread, cereals, pasta, and rice as well as fruits and vegetables.

Proteins – 4 kcal per gram

Protein from food is broken down into amino acids by the digestive system.

These amino acids are then used for building and repairing muscles, red blood cells, hair and other tissues, and for creating hormones.

Adequate protein intake is also necessary for a healthy immune system. because protein is a source of calories (4 kcal per gram), it’ll be used for energy if not enough carbohydrate is available due to skipped meals, heavy exercise, etc.

Main sources of protein are animal products like meat, fish, poultry, milk, cheese and eggs and vegetable sources like legumes (beans, lentils, dried peas, nuts) and seeds.

Fats – 9 kcal per gram

The fat in food includes a combination of saturated and unsaturated fat. Animal-based foods like meats and milk products are higher in saturated fat whereas most vegetable oils are higher in unsaturated fat.

Compared to carbohydrate and protein, every gram of fat provides over double the number of calories (9 kcal per gram). however, dietary fat will play a vital role in a healthy diet.

Fat cushions vital organs, maintains skin and hair, provides insulation, and is necessary for the production and absorption of specific vitamins and hormones.

Macronutrients that do not give energy

These do not give energy, however are still important:


Fiber consists mostly of carbohydrates. However, because it is not easily absorbed by the body, not much of the sugars and starches get into the blood stream.

Fiber could be a crucial part of nutrition, health, and fuel for gut bacteria.


Water is a very important nutrient for good health.

Most of our body weight (60-70%) is formed from water. Water helps to control our body temperature, carries nutrients and waste products from our cells, and is needed for our cells to function.

it’s recommended that adults drink 8 glasses of fluid daily (or more in hot weather or during physical activity). This fluid doesn’t have to be water alone.

Also Read :  7 Best Personal Training Certification Programs In USA

It can also be obtained from juice, milk, soup, and foods high in water like fruits and vegetables.

Caffeine-containing beverages (coffee, tea, cola) do not count because caffeine is a diuretic, creating us lose water. a great plus for water as compared to the other fluids is that it hydrates our body without extra calories.


Micronutrients are needed in smaller quantities:


Minerals are found in a range of food types.

Dietary minerals are the other chemical parts our bodies need, other than carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen.

People with a well-balanced diet can, in most cases, get all the minerals they have from what they eat.

Minerals are sometimes added to certain foods to form up for any shortages.

The best example of this is iodized salt – iodine is added to stop iodine deficiency, that affects about 2 billion individuals, globally; it causes mental retardation and thyroid gland problems.

Iodine deficiency remains a serious public health problem in over half the earth.

Experts at the University of Florida say that 16 key minerals are essential for human biochemical processes:


What it does – a systemic (affects entire body) electrolyte, essential in co-regulating ATP (a vital carrier of energy in cells in the body, also key in creating RNA) with sodium.

Deficiency – hypokalemia – will deeply affect the nervous system and heart.

Excess – hyperkalemia – can also deeply affect the nervous system and heart.


What it does – key for producing stomach acid, necessary in the transport of molecules between cells, and important for the right functioning of nerves.

Deficiency – hypochloremia – low salt levels, which, if severe, is terribly dangerous.

Excess – hyperchloremia – usually no symptoms, linked with the excessive fluid loss.


What it does – a systemic electrolyte, and essential in control ATP with potassium. necessary for nerve function and control body fluid levels.

Deficiency – hyponatremia – causes cells to malfunction; very low sodium will be fatal.

Excess – hypernatremia – can also cause cells to malfunction, very high levels can be fatal.


What it does – necessary for muscle, heart, and digestive health. Builds bone, assists in the synthesis and performance of blood cells.

Deficiency – hypocalcaemia – muscle cramps, abdominal cramps, spasms, and overactive deep tendon reflexes.

Excess – hypercalcemia – constipation, muscle weakness, impaired conduction of electrical impulses in the heart, calcium stones in the urinary tract, impaired kidney function, and impaired absorption of iron, leading to iron deficiency.


What it does – necessary for the structure of DNA, a transporter of energy (ATP), the component of the cellular membrane, helps strengthen bones.

Deficiency – hypophosphatemia, an example is a rickets.

Excess – hyperphosphatemia, often results in kidney failure.


What it does – processes ATP; needed for good bones and management of correct muscle movement. many enzymes rely on magnesium to figure properly.

Deficiency – hypomagnesemia – muscular twitching and cramps, irritation of the nervous system with spasms of the hands and feet, constipation, and larynx spasms.

Excess – hypermagnesemia – nausea, vomiting, impaired breathing, low blood pressure. Very rare, but might occur if the patient has renal problems.


What it does – needed by several enzymes. necessary for reproductive organ growth. also necessary in gene expression and control the nervous and immune systems.

Deficiency – short stature, anemia, increased pigmentation of the skin, enlarged liver and spleen, impaired reproductive function, impaired wound healing, and immune deficiency.

Excess – suppresses copper and iron absorption.


What it does – needed for proteins and enzymes, particularly hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying compound in blood.

Deficiency – Anemia.

Excess – iron overload disorder; iron deposits will form in organs, particularly the heart.


What it does – a cofactor in enzyme functions.

Deficiency – wobbliness, fainting, hearing loss, weak tendons, and ligaments. Less usually, is a cause of diabetes.

Excess – interferes with the absorption of dietary iron.


What it does – component of the many enzymes.

Deficiency – anemia or pancytopenia (reduction in the number of red and white blood cells, as well as platelets) and neurodegeneration.

Excess – will interfere with body’s formation of blood cellular components; in severe cases, convulsions, palsy, and eventually death (similar to arsenic poisoning).


What it does – needed for the biosynthesis of thyroxine (one form of thyroid hormone).

Deficiency – developmental delays, enlarged thyroid gland (in the neck), and fatigue.

Excess – will affect the function of the thyroid gland.


What it does – the essential cofactor for antioxidant enzymes.

Deficiency – Keshan malady – myocardial necrosis (tissue death in the heart) resulting in weakening of the heart; Kashin-Beck malady – break down of cartilage.

Excess – garlic-smelling breath, gastrointestinal disorders, hair loss, sloughing of nails, fatigue, irritability, and neurological harm.


What it does – a vital part of 3 important enzyme systems, xanthine oxidase, aldehyde oxidase, and sulfite oxidase. it’s a significant role in the uric acid formation, in carbohydrate metabolism, and sulfite detoxification.

Deficiency – might have an effect on metabolism and blood counts, but as this deficiency often happens at the same time as other mineral deficiencies, it’s hard to mention that deficiency caused which health problem.

Excess – there is little data on toxicity.


These are organic compounds we need in little amounts.

An organic compound is any molecule that contains carbon.

It is known as a vitamin when our bodies cannot synthesize (produce) enough or any of it, thus we want to get it from our food.

Vitamins are classified as water soluble (they is dissolved in water) or fat soluble (they will be dissolved in fat).

For humans, there are four fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and 9 water-soluble vitamins (eight B vitamins and vitamin C).

many of us say that they feel more energetic when consuming vitamins, however, vitamins are not a source of energy (calories).

Also Read : 

Vitamins are best consumed through a varied diet instead of supplement because there’s very little chance of taking too high a dose.

Below is a list of vitamins, and a few of their roles. Note that most often vitamin overdose symptoms are associated with supplementation or impaired metabolism or excretion, not vitamin intake from foods.

Vitamin A

Chemical names – retinol, retinoids, and carotenoids.

Solubility – fat.

Deficiency disease – Night-blindness.

Overdose malady – keratomalacia (degeneration of the cornea).

Vitamin B1

Chemical name – thiamine.

Solubility – water.

Deficiency disease – beriberi, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.

Overdose malady – rare hypersensitive reactions resembling anaphylactic shock once an overdose is due to injection.

Vitamin B2

Chemical name – riboflavin.

Solubility – water.

Deficiency disease – ariboflavinosis (mouth lesions, seborrhea, and vascularization of the cornea).

Overdose malady – no well-known complications. Excess is excreted in urine.

Vitamin B3

Chemical name – niacin.

Solubility – water.

Deficiency disease – pellagra.

Overdose malady – liver harm, skin problems, and gastrointestinal complaints, and other problems.

Vitamin B5

Chemical name – pantothenic acid.

Solubility – water.

Deficiency disease – paresthesia (tingling, pricking, or insensibility of the skin with no possible long-term physical effect).

Overdose malady – none reported.

Vitamin B6

Chemical names – pyridoxamine, pyridoxal.

Solubility – water.

Deficiency disease – anemia, peripheral neuropathy.

Overdose malady – nerve injury, proprioception is impaired (the ability to sense where components of the body are in space).

Vitamin B7

Chemical name – biotin.

Solubility – water.

Deficiency disease – dermatitis, enteritis.

Overdose malady – none reported.

Vitamin B9

Chemical name – folinic acid.

Solubility – water.

Deficiency disease – birth defects.

Overdose malady – the enhanced risk of seizures.

Vitamin B12

Chemical names – cyanocobalamin, hydroxycobalamin, methylcobalamin.

Solubility – water.

Deficiency disease – megaloblastic anemia (a defect in the production of red blood cells).

Overdose malady – none reported.

Vitamin C

Chemical name – ascorbic acid.

Solubility – water.

Deficiency disease – scurvy, which may cause a large variety of complications.

Overdose malady – vitamin c megadose – diarrhea, nausea, skin irritation, burning upon urination, depletion of copper in the body, and the higher risk of kidney stones.

Vitamin D

Chemical names – ergocalciferol, cholecalciferol.

Solubility – fat.

Deficiency disease – rickets, osteomalacia (softening of bone), recent studies indicate higher risk of some cancers, autoimmune disorders, and chronic diseases

Overdose malady – hypervitaminosis D (a headache, weakness, disturbed digestion, enhanced blood pressure, and tissue calcification).

Vitamin E

Chemical name – tocotrienols.

Solubility – fat.

Deficiency disease – very rare, might include hemolytic anemia in newborn babies.

Overdose malady – dehydration, vomiting, irritability, constipation, build from excess calcium.

Vitamin K

Chemical names – phylloquinone, menaquinones.

Solubility – fat.

Deficiency disease – greater tendency to bleed and bruise.

Overdose malady – might undermine effects of warfarin.

Most foods contain a mixture of some or all of the seven nutrient classes. we need some nutrients frequently, and others less frequently.


Reference :

American Society For Nutrition



Rating: 5.0/5. From 2 votes.
Please wait...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *