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Welcome to my blog,today we are going to discuss fully on why nutrition is important. After this topic readers should be able to:

  • describe the functions of dietary carbohydrates,proteins and fat.
  • outline the sources and functions of fat-and water-soluble vitamins
  • know why nutrition is important


some examples of nutrients include:

1. Carbohydrates

why nutrition is important in carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are mainly sugars and starches, which are found in a wide variety of foods, e.g. sugar, jam, cereals, bread, biscuits, pasta, convenience foods, fruits and vegetables. Chemically, they consist of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, the hydrogen being in same proportion as in water. Carbohydrates are classified according to the complexity of the chemical substances from which they are formed.

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Nutrition is important in monosaccharides because carbohydrates are digested In the alimentary canal and absorb as monosaccharide. Examples include glucose, fructose and galactose. These are Chemically, the simplest form of carbohydrates.

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these consist of two monosaccharide chemically combined, e.g. sucrose, maltose and lactose.


These are complex molecules made up of large numbers of monosaccharides in chemical combination, e.g starches, glycogen and cellulose. Not all polysaccharides can be digested by humans, e.g cellulose and other substances present in vegetables, fruits and some cereals pass through the alimentary canal almost unchanged.

functions of digestible carbohydrates

These include:

  • provision of energy and heat; the breakdown of monosaccharides, preferably in the presence of oxygen, releases heat and chemical energy for metabolic work-glucose is the main fuel molecule used by body cells
  • ‘protein sparing’; i.e. when there is M adequate supply of carbohydrate in the diet, protein does not need to be used to provide energy and heat, and is used for its main purpose, I.e. building new and replacement body proteins
  • Providing energy stores when carbohydrate is eaten in excess of the body’s need as it is converted to:

-glycogen-as a short-term energy store in the liver and skeletal muscles

-fat, that is stored in adipose tissue, e.g. under the skin.

2. Proteins (nitrogenous foods)

Why Nutrition Is Important In Proteins?

During digestion proteins are broken down into their constituent amino acids and it’s in this form that they are absorbed into the bloodstream. A constant supply of amino acids is needed to build new proteins, e.g. structural proteins, enzymes and some hormones.

Amino Acids

Why nutrition is important in amino acids?

These are composed of the elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Some contain minerals such as iron,copper,zinc,iodine,sulphur and phosphate. Amino acids are divided into two categories: essential and non-essential.
Essential amino acids cannot be synthesized in the body, therefore they must be included in the diet. Non-essential amino acids are those that can be synthesized in the body. The essential and non-essential amino acids are shown below in box 11.2.

Box 11.2 Essential and non-essential amino acids

Essential amino acids

  • Histidine (in infants only)
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine

Non-essential amino acids

  • Arginine
  • Asparagine
  • Aspartic acid
  • Cystine
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamine
  • Glutamic acid
  • Glycine
  • Hydroxyproline
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Tyrosine

Nitrogen balance

why nutrition is important in nitrogen balance?

Excess amino acid are broken down. The amino group (~NH2) is converted to the nitrogenous waste product urea and excreted by the kidneys. The remainder of the molecule is converted to either glucose or a ketone body depending on the amino acid supply does not meet body needs . This situation may arise either when dietary protein intake is inadequate,e.g. deficiency or absence of amino acids,or protein requirement is increased, e.g. during growth spurts and following injury or surgery.

Biological value of protein

why nutrition is important in biological value of protein?

The nutritional value of a protein, its biological value, is measured by how well it meets the nutritional needs of the body.
A balanced diet, containing All the amino acid required, may also be achieved by eating a range of foods containing protein of lower biological values, provided that deficiencies in amino acid Content of any one of the constituent proteins of the diet is supplied by another. A balanced vegetarian diet consist primarily of proteins which you are biological values, e.g. vegetables cereal and pulses.

Functions of proteins

amino acids are used for :

  • Growth and repair of body cells and tissue
  • Provision of energy. Normally is secondary function, this becomes important only when there is not enough carbohydrates in the diet and fat stores are depleted.
  • Synthesis of enzymes, Plasma proteins, antibodies (immunoglobulins) and some hormones
    When protein is eaten in excess of the body’s needs, the nitrogenous amino group is detached, i.e. it is deaminated,And escorted by the kidneys. The remainder is converted to fat for storage in the fat depots, E.g. in the fat cells of adipose tissue.

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