Caloric Foods

There are three types of caloric foods. They are proteins made of amino acids, carbohydrates made of sugars, and fats and oils made of fatty acids.

Proteins

Proteins are a special class of macronutrients, because they also provide the building blocks for tissue proteins, hormones and enzymes. The building blocks are called amino acids and the dietary source of amino acids is protein. Thus, dietary protein always provides amino acids, including all essential amino acids. No matter what food source, if it contains proteins, it contains all 20 amino acids. There are some differences in the proportions of amino acids from individual food groups known as the biological value of proteins.


Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are like proteins versatile energy dense foods. They are rapidly metabolized and unlike fats cannot be stored in large quantities in the body. Unfortunately, carbs cannot replace fats, because they are also important for tissue growth and regulation of metabolism. Besides carbohydrates are important components of the immune system contributing to the recognition of invading particles such as viruses and bacteria. An important functional aspect of carbohydrates is the determinants of blood groups A, B, and O.


Fats & Oils

Fats and oils have often a bad reputation but are as important as proteins and carbohydrates. Fats and oils are part of a large group of nutrients called lipids, many of which are found only in very small quantities, such as cholesterol, phospholipids, and fat soluble vitamins. In addition, some polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega fatty acids) play important roles in tissue growth, immune defense, and wound healing.

 


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