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Major Nutrients in Food

Overview

Nutrients are substances in food that provide energy or that help your body work as it should. Nutrients are used to build and repair body tissues.

The major nutrients are protein, carbohydrate, and fat. They provide the body with energy. This energy keeps your heart beating, your brain active, and your muscles working. The energy is measured in calories.

  • Protein has 4 calories per gram.
  • Carbohydrate has 4 calories per gram.
  • Fat has 9 calories per gram.

Vitamins, minerals, and water are nutrients too. To work well, your body also needs these nutrients.

Credits

Current as of: September 8, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Rhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator