Nutrients from food are absorbed by the body as it passes through the digestive system:

Nutrients are essential for cell growth, maintenance and repair.
Nutrients provide energy to enable your body to function efficiently.
Nutrients, along with fiber and water, are essential to your good health.
Although nutrients can work alone, each depends upon the others to be the most effective.

Good nutrition means knowing your nutrients. Your body needs a variety of nutrients to remain healthy. In fact, there are six categories of nutrients which our bodies need each day:
* carbohydrate,
* protein,
* fat,
* vitamins,
* minerals, and
* water.

Provides 4 calories per gram. Energy; preferred fuel for most body functions.
Primary fuel during high-intensity exercise.

40 to 55 percent of total calories for bodybuilders or those trying to get lean.
50-60 percent for sedentary people.
55-65 percent for endurance athletes.

Whole grains, breads and cereals. Fibrous fruits and vegetables.
Anything refined, pastries, breads, sugars and cereals. Syrup, candy, soft drinks, and desserts.

Provides 4 calories per gram. Growth and maintenance of body tissue; building of enzymes, hormones and antibodies; maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance and acid-base balance.

0.5 gram/pound of body weight if sedentary.
0.6 grams to 0.8 grams per pound for endurance and strength athletes.
1.0 to 1.2 grams per pound for bodybuilders (30% to 40% of total calories).

Extra-lean meats, protein powders (whey), chicken, turkey, fish (tuna), skim milk, soy and certain nuts.
High-fat dairy, hard cheese, fatty meats, liver, etc.

Provides 9 calories per gram. Energy; maintenance of body temperature; protection of organs; to make hormones; provide essential fatty acids; carry fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). 10 to 25 percent of total calories, depending on fitness goals and bodytype.

Olive oil, canola oil, fish oils, flax seeds and flax oil (mono-unsaturated).
Butter, margarine, shortening, animal fat (saturated).

Water reduces fat deposits in the body, flushes out waste and toxins, helps maintain muscle tone, moisturizes skin, and may even suppress appetite. It also carries nutrients, provides joint lubrication and shock absorption, and helps in regulating body temperature. 8 to 12 cups/day, more when exercising. Drinking water, fruit and veggie juices, milk, soup, non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic beverages.

IMPORTANT: Many people would lose weight if they did nothing but stop drinking. Alcohol is the only form of calorie your muscles cannot burn for fuel, it slows your metabolism, and also stimulates your appetite for fatty foods.

The reason alcoholic beverages are high in calories is due to the alcohol, which contains 7 calories per gram. Although carbohydrates are found in alcoholic beverages (usually 5-12 grams), there are no carbohydrates in the alcohol itself, as they are two different molecules.



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