The major nutrients—protein, carbohydrate, and fat—provide the body with energy. This energy keeps your heart beating, your brain active, and your muscles working. The energy is measured in calories.
|Protein has 4 calories per gram||Provides energy; builds and repairs body cells; part of various enzymes, hormones, and antibodies||Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, milk and milk products, grains, seeds and nuts|
|Carbohydrate has 4 calories per gram||Provides energy needed by the brain, nervous system, and red blood cells||Breads, cereal grains, pasta, rice, fruit, starchy vegetables, milk, sugar|
|Fat has 9 calories per gram||Provides energy; carries other fat-soluble nutrients (vitamins); part of cell membranes, membranes around nerves, hormones, bile (for fat digestion)||
Meat and poultry, some fish, milk and milk products that are not fat-free, nuts and seeds, oils, butter, margarine, salad dressing, some candy, some desserts
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator|
|Last Revised||October 21, 2011|
Last Revised: October 21, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
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