Proteins, fats and carbohydrates – macro nutrients or "energy nutrients" – provide the body with fuel in the form of calories.
Carbohydrates, the main source of energy, are divided into two types: simple carbohydrates and sugars (monosaccharides) and complex carbohydrates (polysaccharides), including starches, which can be found, for example, in potatoes and whole grains.
Proteins are necessary for tissue growth and their repair and assist in the production of antibodies, hormones and enzymes necessary for all chemical reactions occurring in the body. The main sources of protein are meat, fish, dairy products, poultry, legumes, nuts and eggs.
Food fats protect internal organs, provide them with energy, protect the body from colds and help it absorb some vitamins. There are three types of fats: saturated, found in meat, dairy products and coconut oil; monounsaturated – in olives and peanuts; polyunsaturated – in corn, cotton and sesame oils, soybeans and sunflower oil.
Food also supplies the body with important trace elements, which we call vitamins and minerals. They are necessary only in scanty quantities, but the lack of even one of them can cause a serious illness. With a few exceptions, the body itself does not produce vitamins and minerals and receives them mainly from food.
13 vitamins and about 20 minerals are considered necessary for health. Nutritionists have developed standards – the necessary and permissible doses of vitamins within, which may vary depending on the individual human need. Safe and necessary doses of daily intake or the established minimum of daily requirement have been determined for the nutrients necessary for life that do not yet have a norm.
The Body also needs dietary fiber – indigestible part of plant food. A diet high in fiber reduces the risk of various gastrointestinal diseases, helps to preserve the health of the cardiovascular system and can reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer.