Celebrate National Food Day by Learning About Nutrients

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Food and Nutrition Updates

Food and Nutrition Updates


October 2021

A lunch bowl containing rice, chicken avocado, and assorted vegetables.

Food provides energy to fuel your body. Did you know there are three main nutrients (called macronutrients) that provide us with energy from calories? For National Food Day, learn the basics about the macronutrients, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and why they are important for the body:  

  • Carbohydrates are sugars that the body uses to provide energy to our muscles, tissues, and organs. Some common foods that contain carbohydrates include grains, beans, milk, vegetables, and fruits. There are two types of carbohydratessimple and complex. Complex carbohydrates contain fiber, which helps with digestion and cholesterol levels, and include whole grains like brown rice, beans, and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. 
  • Protein helps the body to grow and keep its cells and muscles healthyProtein can be obtained from animal products such as beef, eggs, and dairy and plant products such as soy, beans, and whole grains 
  • Fat allows to the body to absorb certain vitamins and store extra energyChoose foods with unsaturated fats, such as avocados, olives, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish.  

Don’t forget about vitamins and minerals! While they do not give us energy, they are also needed to keep the body working normally. Every person has different nutrient needs depending on age, height, weight, activity level, and other physical conditions. Use the Food and Nutrition Information Center’s DRI Calculator to estimate the amount of calories, macronutrients, vitamins and minerals that your body needs each day