A calorie is a unit of energy. In nutrition and everyday language, calories refer to energy consumption through eating and drinking, and energy usage through physical activity. Calories are essential for human health; the key is taking on the right amount. Everyone requires different amounts of energy per day depending on age, size and activity levels. The number of calories food contains tells us how much potential energy they posses. Below are the calorific values of the three main components of the food we eat: 1 gram of carbohydrates contains 4 calories, 1 gram of protein contains 4 calories, 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories.


A nutrient is a component in foods that an organism uses to survive and grow. Organic nutrients consist of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and vitamins. Inorganic chemical compounds such as dietary minerals like iron may also be considered nutrients.

Total Fat

Sum of saturated and unsaturated fats in food.

Saturated Fat

Type of fat containing of fatty acid molecules where all of the carbons are attached to each other with single bonds. They can be found in butter, meat, egg yolks, and coconut or palm oil.

Unsaturated Fat

A type of fat containing a high percentage of fatty acid molecules with at least one double bond, regarded to be healthier than saturated fat. Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats are unsaturated fats.

Polyunsaturated Fat

Fatty acids which contain two or more unsaturated (double) carbon bonds. They can be found in walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and flax oil, fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, albacore tuna and trout, corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil.

Monounsaturated Fat

Fatty acids which have one unsaturated (double) carbon bond. They can be found in oils such as olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, safflower oil and sesame oil. Other foods include avocados, almonds, cashews, peanuts, and sesame seeds.

Trans Fat

An unhealthy hydrogenated fatty acid, which has been linked to heart desease.


A white mushy substance found in food such as animal fats, oils, and egg yolks. It increases the risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis.


It is a mineral and one of the chemical elements in salt.


It is a mineral and electrolyte which can be found in food such as beans, dark leafy greens, potatoes, squash, yogurt, fish, avocados, mushrooms, and bananas.

Total Carbohydrate

Total carbohydrates consist of dietary fiber, sugars and starches. Breads, pastas, rice, tortillas, peas, corn, potatoes, beans and legumes are all good sources of starch.

Dietary Fiber

It has a small amount of calories because it can't be digested or absorbed by the alimentray tract. Soluble fiber helps with lowering blood cholesterol levels, and insoluble fiber helps with bowel function.


A sweet substance, lactose is found in dairy products, and fructose is found in fruits and vegetables. The unhealthy high fructose corn syrup (high proportion of fructose) might be added to foods.


Nitrogenous organic compounds, composed of one or more long chains of amino acids. Foods are high in protein: eggs, almonds, chicken and turkey breast, oats, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, milk, broccoli, lean beef, quinoa, lentils, pumpkin seeds, salmon, tuna, shrimp, brussels sprouts, peanuts.