An Overview Of What Nutrition Is All About

iStock-605778322_field_img_carousel_774_350We often hear of nutritionists advocating for healthy eating habits. Indeed, the benefits of healthy recipes are well documented. From nutrition sites such as, we can learn all about food trends, balanced diets, what to eat and what to avoid. Such nutritional information is essential if we are to make informed decisions about food and lifestyle. Read on to uncover more about nutrition.

What is nutrition?

Nutrition refers to the science that studies nutrients and substances in food and how they affect the aspects of growth, maintenance, immunity, and reproduction. It covers all aspects of nourishment from food intake, absorption, assimilation to excretion. Nutrition also focuses on how we can prevent diseases and body problems by consuming a healthy balanced diet.

Types of nutrients

Before we delve into the six major nutrients essential for good body health, we will first subdivide them into two major categories; macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are those we need in large supply while micronutrients are those we require in small quantities.


Carbohydrates – Simple carbohydrates or monosaccharides include galactose, fructose, and glucose. We also have Complex or polysaccharides such as starch. Generally, complex carbohydrates take longer to break down than monosaccharides.

Proteins – Our digestive tract breaks down food rich in protein into amino acids. There are over 20 types of amino acids some of which should be consumed while others can be synthesized by our bodies.

Fats – There are many types of fat some of which are desirable while some are not. However, fats play an important role in our bodies. They assist in hormone production, joint lubrication as well as the absorption of vitamins.

Water – Approximately 70 percent of the human body is composed of water. Water is vital for the processes that happen in our bodies. Health experts recommend that we should consume at least one liter of water a day to keep our bodies adequately hydrated. However, the amount of water an individual should consume should be guided by their state of health, dietary habits and the level of physical ability. Apart from hydration, water also helps in temperature regulation and in waste secretion.

Fiber – We get fiber mostly from vegetables. Though not easily absorbed by the body they help clean up the digestive tract.


Minerals — These are chemical elements that are essential for body function. Examples include iodine, potassium, chloride, sodium, calcium, and phosphorus.

Who is a nutritionist?

A nutritionist is simply a food expert! They are well informed about the aspects of nutrition. Today, these experts work in many sectors but mostly in the field of food science and technology. To become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), you must have a degree in nutrition and dietetics from an accredited university.

You will find food scientists and nutritionists in food manufacturing firms where they carry out various forms of research. However, there’s still a large number of nutritionists who work as journalists publishing nutritional content. Like nutritionists, dieticians also work in many sectors such as healthcare, education as well as private practice.