Nutrition is defined as the biochemical and physiological process by which an organism uses food to support its life
Also defined as the action of ingesting food to use it as energy, it is clear that nutrition is essential for the survival and evolution of an organism.
Nutrition is extremely important, playing 5 important functions. These are:
- Regulate metabolism and chemical reactions
- Provide energy for biochemical processes and body functioning
- Provide necessary nutrients
- Body and physical structure
- Proper function of all the organs and structures in our organism
Calorie is defined as the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of 1g of water (H20) by 1ºK (Kelvin).
Based on this assumption, we can calculate the calories of each product by assessing calorimetric analysis (don't try it at home, they are complicated and too sofisticated)
Why are calories important?
If we look to our body as a mass balance, there are two main consequences that can happen after a caloric intake:
1) YOU INGEST MORE CALORIES THAN YOU BURN
This phenomenon is called caloric surplus. The energy that ur body doesn't used will be store (mainly as fat). If kept over time, it will lead to an uavoidable weight gain.
2) YOU INGEST LESS CALORIES THAN YOU BURN
This is called caloric deficit, and it will lead to the body consuming more energy that we are providing through diet, eventually leading to weight loss (consequently fat loss)
When we talk about nutrients, we can separate them into two main classes (depending on the amount required)
These molecules are needed in big amounts, and they take up the majority of the organic matter in our diets. There are three, which are:
It's important to include all three classes to ensure a right metabolic function.
There are some other nutrients that should be provided in much less amounts. These are called micronutrients, and can be classified in two main classes: