Academic Master

Health Care

functions and classification of nutrients


The human body requires molecules ingested in food, digested, and broken down into essential parts utilized by the body for growth and development, energy production, and reproduction. These particles are what are referred to as nutrients. Nutrients are classified into two major categories: micronutrients and macronutrients.

Macronutrients are the molecules the body requires in large amounts; they comprise carbohydrates, proteins, and fats (lipids). The macronutrients are digested and broken down into essential parts which are utilized by the body. Carbohydrates are broken down into monosaccharides such as glucose. Proteins are converted to amino acids while fats are broken down into fatty acids and glycerol. Macronutrients are obtained from different sources; carbohydrates can be obtained from foods like grains, cereals, and potatoes. Proteins are derived from meat, beans, and eggs while fats can be obtained from butter and oils (Litchford, 2014).

Macronutrients are utilized by the body for immediate energy needs

Among the three macronutrients, carbohydrates are utilized by the body for immediate body energy needs. The body’s basic carbohydrate unit is a monosaccharide known as glucose (Litchford, 2014). Glucose is converted into energy the body needs to support its functions and physical activity. Carbohydrates can be further classified into two main categories: simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are comprised of sugars found naturally in milk, fruits, and vegetables, whereas complex carbohydrates consist of foods rich in fiber, such as cereals, whole grains, and legumes (Bender, 2014).

What happens to the excess macronutrients?

Most often, we usually ingest more macronutrients than our bodies require. When excess macronutrients than what our body needs are ingested, the body uses several mechanisms that convert the excess nutrients for storage in cells and muscles. For carbohydrates, the excess glucose is immediately converted into glycogen for storage in the liver and muscle cells.  When excess fats that are required by the body are ingested, the excess triglycerides are stored in fat cells known as adipocytes. In case of excess proteins, the amino acid is converted into either fats or glucose for storage.

Energy utilization during starvation

During periods of severe defiance in nutrient intake, the body starts utilizing its energy stores to support life. At first, the body breaks down the stored glycogen in the liver and muscles into glucose, after the glycogen stores are depleted the body starts decomposing the stored fats into glycerol and fatty acids. If starvation continues, the body’s fat reserves are exhausted, and it switches to proteins as its energy source. The primary sources of proteins that break down are the muscles, which results in wasting and weight loss (Li, Chen, & Gibson, 2013).

Advice to somebody with High fat, low carb, and high protein

A balanced diet is vital for one’s health and well-being, in a case where a person has a high fat and protein intake and low carbohydrate intake, I would advise them to observe a balanced intake of macronutrients. The person should increase the number of cereals and grains ingested and increase their fruit consumption as these are the primary sources of carbohydrates. On the other hand, people should reduce their meat, eggs, and protein intake and reduce the amount of oils and butter ingested as these are critical sources of fats. These practices will significantly improve their health status, ensuring that their bodies have all the required macronutrients and proportions.



Calculate Your Order

Standard price





Pop-up Message