The two general categories of food are macronutrients and micronutrients. Calories are the usual way that the energy content of a food is measured. Micronutrients are not a source of energy, so while they are essential to health, they do not have a calorie content number. Some other important components of food, such as water and fiber, do not supply energy, so they do not have a calorie content, but they too
are essential to or contribute to good health.

Micronutrients: vitamins and minerals
Vitamins are micronutrients that are essential for the proper function of the body’s metabolism. Only small amounts are needed to maintain health. Most Americans do not suffer from vitamin deficiencies, and high doses of vitamins may cause harm rather than improve health.
Minerals, such as calcium, iodine, sodium, and iron are essential to the structure and proper functioning of the body. For example, iron is an essential component of the hemoglobin that carries oxygen in red blood cells. Calcium is a major component of bones and teeth, and it also has a wide variety of other functions relating to blood clotting, nerve conduction, and muscle contraction. Sodium is essential to metabolism,
but high amounts of sodium in the diet increase the risk of high blood pressure, and CVDs.

There are three main types of macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Some nutrition experts also include alcohol, water, and fiber in the category of macronutrients. Relatively large amounts of macronutrients are needed in the diet to provide the energy necessary for physical activity, to support the body’s metabolism, and to build and maintain the structure of the body. Carbohydrates and proteins contain about four calories per gram of weight. Fats are calorie-dense, they contain nine calories per gram. Alcohol is also calorie-dense, it contains seven calories per gram.

This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in the book or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon). Copyright 2020 by J. Joseph Speidel.