First Time User? Sign Up Now
First Time User? Enroll now.
Home > Health Library > Major Nutrients in Food
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 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
Current as of: November 7, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineRhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Current as of:
November 7, 2018
Medical Review:Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Rhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
4420 Lake Boone Trail
REX Women's Center
Raleigh, NC 27607
11200 Governor Manly Way
REX Healthcare of Wakefield
Raleigh, NC 27614
1515 SW Cary Parkway
Cary, NC 27511
1400 Timber Drive East
Garner, NC 27529
6602 Knightdale Boulevard
Knightdale, NC 27545
UNC REX Healthcare4420 Lake Boone TrailRaleigh, NC 27607, USA919-784-3100
Chosen for Excellence
Co-Worker & Physician Login
UNC Health Talk
Copyright 2019 UNC Health Care. All rights reserved.