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Nutrient Facts

This useful guide walks you through the nutrients tracked by MyFoodDiary. You will learn what the nutrients are, how the body uses them, how much you should consume, and what happens when you eat too much.

Calcium is a soft, grey mineral which makes up a large portion of the earth’s crust and the human body.  It is necessary for living creatures to survive.  Unfortunately, the diets of most Americans (50-75%) do not contain enough calcium.

Read the facts about Calcium

A calorie, or kilocalorie, is a unit used to measure energy.  Specifically, a calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise 1 kg of water by 1 degree Celsius.  Calories in our diet come from fat, protein, carbohydrates, and alcohol. 

Read the facts about Calories

Carbohydrates are energy-providing nutrients.  The body receives 4 calories per 1 gram of carbohydrates consumed.  Carbohydrates are separated into simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates, and starch.

Read the facts about Carbohydrates

Cholesterol is a fatty, waxy substance that is transported throughout the body in the blood stream.  The liver produces around 75% of the cholesterol in the body while the remaining 25% comes from the foods that we eat.

Read the facts about Cholesterol

Fats are an essential part of the diet.  Fat-soluble vitamins, such as Vitamin A, could not be absorbed without some fat in the diet.  Fat also supplies the body with energy.

Read the facts about Fat

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate.  It is the portion of plant food that cannot be digested by the body.  Since it is not digested, it does not contribute any calories to the diet.

Read the facts about Fiber

Iron is a mineral that is required for our bodies to function properly.  Most of the iron in our body is found in the blood as hemoglobin, which is a protein used to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues.

Read the facts about Iron

Proteins are large compounds made by combining smaller amino acids.  Proteins in the diet are known as macronutrients, and contribute energy (calories) to the body.

Read the facts about Protein

Sodium, unlike other minerals, has a distinct and appealing taste.  It is commonly found in table salt, which is 40% sodium. The other portion of table salt is made of chloride.

Read the facts about Sodium

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate and can either be a monosaccharide or disaccharide. Sugar is the only source of energy for the brain and red blood cells.

Read the facts about Sugar

Saturated Fat

Saturated fat is a fat which is usually solid at room temperature and is fairly stable. These fats have negative health effects

Read the facts about Saturated Fat
Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant.  Antioxidants are chemicals which may help reduce risk of cancer.  Since vitamin A is fat-soluble it is not needed in daily, large quantities.

Read the facts about Vitamin A
Vitamin C

Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid, which is the form of vitamin C found in most foods.  It is a water-soluble vitamin and cannot be stored in the body.  Most plants and animals can produce their own vitamin C, but humans cannot.  For this reason, humans must eat ample amounts of vitamin C every day.

Read the facts about Vitamin C

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