2.1.1  Macronutrients

‘Macro’ means large; as their name suggests these are nutrients which people need to eat regularly and in a fairly large amount. They include carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fibre and water. These substances are needed for the supply of energy and growth, for metabolism and other body functions.

Metabolism means the process involved in the generation of energy and all the ‘building blocks’ required to maintain the body and its functions.

Macronutrients provide a lot of calories but the amount of calories provided varies, depending on the food source. For example, each gram of carbohydrate or protein provides four calories, while fat provides nine calories for each gram.

2.1  Classification of essential nutrients

2.1.2  Micronutrients