Nutrients – what and why?!

Everyone is talking about nutrition. People are becoming so health conscious that when a group of people meet, at one point or the other, their conversation turns to food and all you can hear is about the foods that are fattening or the food that is helps you slim down,the calories in a food,who advised what ..the list is endless. But not everyone who is so conscious about their intake is really aware of what they talk, meaning, the terms they use-calories,fat,protein and so on just seems to be ‘terms’ without them actually knowing what they really mean.

If you are wondering why I am talking about this all of a sudden ,then I must tell you what prompted me to write this post. A couple of days back, I was chatting with a close friend of mine. The topic steered towards blogging and my friend jokingly remarked that I seemed to have forgotten that I am a Dietitian since I just blog recipes! That set me thinking and now I plan to share some stuff which I think everyone will like to know-Yes,its about the nutrients..

My future posts in this series which I would like to call ‘Nutrients-Demystified’ is a small attempt to provide light to those words[which I was talking about earlier] that are making waves among us..

I am sure this series is going to bring back a lot of memories from my collage days but I assure you that this series will not be too technical like classroom theory, but more of stuffs that we can relate to…

Now just a small intro about nutrients….

Nutrients are the chemical substance present in the food that we eat and they are present in all the foods we consume and in varying proportions, some being rich in one or more nutrients while the other may lack it or have it in minute quantities.

There are quite a few foodstuffs that provide only one nutrient – like sugars which provide only carbohydrate while ghee provides only fat.

Depending on the concentration the nutrients are classified as


These three are also called proximate principles. These 3 nutrients form the main energy source for the body upon oxidation. Along with water, the proximate principles form the bulk in the diet.

Another group of nutrients-Vitamins and minerals ,are also very essential for the role they play in regulating the metabolism and the usage of the proximate principles. They are not energy sources but are equally important.

In order to survive, we need all these nutrients in varying amounts, to live, grow and thrive.Hence the diet must be well balanced so as to provide a proper balance of nutrients. Not only that, the diet must also be eaten in a sufficient quantity daily to get the proper supply of nutrients for proper body functions…

Does all this seem confusing? Worry not. The first nutrient is just about to be demystified in my next post….