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A balanced diet requires adequate water intake and the adequate intake of foods from five different nutrient groups. Three of those nutrient groups come under the heading of macronutrients.
Macronutrients are needed in large quantities, and required for structure, function and fuel. The three macronutrients are:
Carbohydrate is found in bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, vegetables, and fruit. They provide us with 4kcals per gram of easily assessable energy.
Protein is found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, and seeds. They provide us with 4kcals of energy per gram and are used for growth and repair of cells.
Fat is found in butter, cheese, and oils. It provides the most energy, 9kcals per gram. It has many functions such as the synthesis of steroid hormones and can only be broken down in the presence of oxygen (aerobically).
Alcohol provides 7kcals of energy per gram but is not technically a nutrient.