Nutrition Lesson #3

What is Nutrition?

It is the science that links foods to health and disease. It includes the ingestion, digestion, absorption, transportation and excretion of that food.

First there is food, and then there are nutrients. Food provides energy through calories. Nutrients are the substances obtained from the food we eat that are vital for growth and maintenance of a healthy body. There are 6 sources of these nutrients. They are carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water.

I am going to go over each of these on a different day on my website and I will always link to the back posts so those of you that are new can catch up.

Two weeks ago we talked about Carbohydrates; you can read that post here.

Last week we talked about Lipids, you can read that post here.

Today we are going to go over Proteins, so let’s jump in.  Good things to know about them:

  • They contain 4 calories per gram
  • They are the building blocks for your muscles, CT, enzymes, immune antibodies and some hormones.     They support structures inside your bones and general maintenance of your body.
  • They are essential to help regulate your body’s fluid balance (to prevent edema) and maintain homeostasis and a consistent pH balance.

Proteins are made up of amino acids. Like carbs and lipids, protein is made up of carbon and hydrogen and they include oxygen. Proteins like to play nice so they invite nitrogen to come along too. There are 20 amino acids that your body needs to utilize in order  for protein to perform all its roles in the body. Eleven of these are nonessential, meaning that our body can make them in sufficient quantities. However, 9 of these are essential because the body cannot produce them in sufficient quantities or is unable to provide the complete makeup of the protein. Eating a balanced diet can provide us with both sets of amino acids so that our bodies can properly maintain good health.

A couple of things to remember:

  • Eating protein in larger amounts than what your body needs will not increase the process of building muscle or any of the other processes in which protein plays an active role. However, eating too little can definitely have an impact and will prevent these processes from occurring.
  • If you are not getting enough protein in your diet, your body will begin to break down your muscles, heart, liver and blood proteins to supply the body with its demands. The brain is the only vital organ that will resist protein breakdown.

Sources: Beef, Pork, Turkey, Chicken, Milk, Cottage Cheese, Cheese, Eggs, Nuts and Nut Butters, Protein (whey, soy and egg).


Leave a Reply

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