Our bodies need nutrition to function correctly and healthily. If we don’t get all the necessary nutrients, over time, things start to go wrong. These things can vary enormously from person to person. It could show in your skin, your mood, your bowel function, headaches, poor fertility, all manner of things! Good nutrition also protects us from chronic diseases such as those that affect our heart and kidneys.
Nutrients can be grouped into two main areas:
1) Bulk nutrients: this group of nutrients are where we get the “bulk” of our nutrition, and can be further split into 3 main groups, which themselves can be split again and then again!! But only nutritionists need to know and understand how they further divide down into their chemical structures. For most of us, just knowing the next two levels is enough.
Protein groups include amino acids, branched-chain amino acids, essential amino acids
Fat groups include: Saturated fats, unsaturated fats, essential fats
- Carbohydrate groups include: alcohol, dietary fibre, simple sugars/carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates.
2) Micronutrients: these are the small elements we get from various foods and we only require in our diets in tiny amounts, sometimes the amount is so small that they are called “trace” elements!! We further subdivide these into two areas: