Food and nutrients

The nutritional value of food

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Nutrients

What does food comprise?
Most food is made up of many different nutrients.
Your body needs large amounts of proteins, carbohydrates and lipids, and smaller amounts of vitamins and minerals.

What are proteins?
Proteins consist of a sequence of amino acids. Some are essential and can only be provided by what we eat.

What are lipids?
Lipids mainly consist of fatty acids, some of which are essential for brain development.

What are carbohydrates?
Fructose and glucose are simple carbohydrates. Starch and dietary fibre are complex carbohydrates, made up of sequences of simple carbohydrates.

What are vitamins?
Vitamins are essential for your body, but only in small amounts.

What are minerals?
Minerals, such as calcium and iron, are inorganic elements found in food.

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