The human body requires six essential nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. These nutrients perform at least one of three different functions:
- Regulate metabolic processes
- Provide energy
- Build and repair tissues
Sugars, sugar alcohols, starches, and fibers are found in a wide variety of different food groups. The National Academy of Sciences recommends consuming 45-65% of your calories as carbohydrate to promote optimal functioning of your body.
After water, protein is the most important nutrient for your body. It forms the basis for all muscle tissue and is the major component of almost all enzymes. Protein can even serve as an energy source in certain circumstances, though its role in building and repairing tissues is much more prominent. The recommended range for protein intake is 10-35% of total calories, which easily covers the needs of most individuals.
There are unhealthy fats and healthy fats. The unhealthy fats—saturated and trans fats—tend to be more solid at room temperature (like a stick of butter). The healthy fats—monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats—tend to be more liquid (like vegetable oil). The recommended intake level is 20-35% of daily calories. Fat intake, like many other nutrients, needs to be tailored to your individual goals.
When your diet fails to achieve an optimal intake of vitamins from food, you can supplement with vitamin products. Vitamins are important for energy production, antioxidant protection, blood formation, and much more.
Minerals have many functions in your body. You get them from eating plants and animals and from drinking water. They are excreted readily, which means you need a constant source of minerals daily.
Water is the most important nutrient for your body. Water comprises about 60% of total body weight in the average adult male and about 50% in the average adult female. Drinking fluids is the number one way to get enough water, but you also acquire water through the food you eat. The third way to obtain water is through the metabolism of food. When carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are broken down for energy, water is produced in the process.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Tsuda to discuss weight-loss options and a nutrition plan that is right for you.