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Nutrients   

1     We carry out many tasks every day; some things we do require physical energy, but others demand mental energy. For example, we exert lots of physical energy in a gym class, but we use more mental energy while completing a math quiz. How can we make sure that we have enough energy for all the things we need to do? The answer lies in the foods we eat.
 
2     Food is essential to our survival. However, simply making sure that we eat every day is not enough to ensure that we feel well. Why is that? Well, the secret is not only to consume enough food, but also to maintain a balanced diet. In other words, it is not only important that we eat the right amount of food, it is also important that we eat a wide variety of foods. This ensures that we are getting all of the nutrients our bodies need.
 
3     Nutrients can be divided into two groups: nonessential and essential. The distinction between the two depends on whether we need to obtain them from food or not. For nonessential nutrients, such as cholesterol, we don't have to get them from food, because our bodies can produce them. For essential nutrients, such as fats, food is either the major source or the only source for us to obtain them. There are over 40 different types of essential nutrients, and scientists have categorized them into six groups: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water.

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