This site was initially developed for Workshop Houston's Summer 2012 Program as a component of the course "The Science of Nutrition".

Nutrition 101: "Macronutrients"

The Science of Nutrition

Nutrition 101: Food Is Fuel

Lecture  1: Macronutrients

 Biomedical Root Words to Know

1) Bio- life, living

2) Calori- heat

3) Hydro- water

4) Macro- large

5) Philo- loving, attracted to

6) Phobo- fearing, repelled by

Terms to Know

1) Macronutrients- include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and are classified as such because they have caloric value and the body has a large daily need for them.

2) Nutrients- any ingested chemicals that are used for growth, repair, or maintenance of the body; they fall into six major classes: water, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, minerals, and vitamins.

3) Carbohydrates- a class of organic molecules consisting of a carbon (C) backbone with attached oxygen (O) and hydrogen (H) atoms. “Carbo” means carbon and “hydrate” means water or H2O; the body’s primary source for energy, otherwise known as the “master fuel”; provide 4 calories per gram of energy to the body.

4) Proteins- consist of a series of amino acids; individual amino acids are molecules composed of atoms of carbon (C), hydrogen (H), and nitrogen (N); build muscle and provide 4 calories per gram of energy to the body.

5) Amino Acids- molecules that serves as the building block for proteins; composed of atoms of carbon (C), hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), and nitrogen (N).

6) Fats- molecules that belong in a group of compounds known as lipids; lipids are organic, carbon-containing compounds that are hydrophobic (water-insoluble) and lipophilic (fat-soluble), and have physical characteristics of feeling greasy to the touch; fuels the body during long periods of cardiovascular activity as well as when the body is at rest; provide 9 calories per gram of energy to the body.

7) Hydrophobic- term used to describe molecules or compounds that will not dissolve in water.

8) Lipophilic- substances that dissolve in or absorb fats.

Reading Assignment: African American Dietary Patterns at the Beginning of the 20th Century
Robert T. Dirks and Nancy Duran, pages 1881-1884.


Heather Hedrick Fink, L. A. (2009). Practical Applications in Sports Nutrition. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Saladin, K. S. (2007). Anatomy & Physiology: The Unity of Form and Function. New York: McGraw Hill.


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