What is nutrition?
Nutrition provides your body with nutrients from food that it needs to stay healthy. The broad categories of nutrients include:
- Macronutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. These nutrients supply your body with the energy it needs to move, breathe, and maintain normal body temperature, among other things. Macronutrients are consumed in large amounts (grams).
- Micronutrients: vitamins and minerals. These nutrients help your body maintain proper fluid balance and keep your immune system strong, among other things. Micronutrients are consumed in smaller amounts (milligrams or micrograms).
Why is nutrition important?
Your body can’t make many of the nutrients it needs on its own, so you need to get them from food. These include:
- Essential amino acids found in protein (needed for healthy muscles, skin, and other organs, as well as hormone production)
- Essential fatty acids found in certain fats (needed for immunity and other functions)
- Essential micronutrients, including vitamins A, B, and C and minerals like potassium, magnesium, sodium, and iron (needed for healthy skin, eyes, nerves, and many other functions)
Eating a diet based on nutrient-dense foods can help you stay healthy now and as you grow older.
Wondering which foods provide which nutrients? Read our guides, which provide information on health benefits and nutrition facts for many of your favorite low-carb foods.
Ever get confused by hard-to-understand nutrition labels? How can you tell if a food is really low carb? Here, we provide resources that will help you to read nutrition labels like a pro.