Nutrition refers to the foods that we eat and the types of nutrients they contain. As you undoubtedly know, healthful nutrition requires a balance of different nutrients in appropriate amounts. In contrast, malnutrition is a deficiency or imbalance in the consumption of food, vitamins, and minerals. As a matter of convenient communication, many nutrition experts divide the essential (required) nutrients into two major categories:

1.Macronutrients—usually include those nutrients that we need in large amounts, such as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Water and minerals that we need in large quantities to remain in good health are often included among the macronutrients. For example, sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus are sometimes considered to be macronutrients.

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2.Micronutrients—usually include nutrients that we need in very small amounts, such as vitamins and some minerals. Minerals in this group include iron, iodine, zinc, manganese, cobalt, and a few others. Mineral micronutrients are also called trace elements.


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