Nutrient Metabolism Overview
In this chapter, I want to give readers a very brief and simplified overview of human metabolism and nutrient use. Which, for those who know a lot about the topic will realize, is an understatement of vast proportion. The complexities of human metabolism can and do fill up hundreds of pages in physiology books and this chapter should be taken with that in mind.
Is a Calorie a Calorie?
Simply put, the debate comes down to this: all that matters is caloric balance (calories in versus calories out) or do the source of those calories matter? The short and simple answer, of course, is ‘No’. The longer answer is what this article is about.
Calories, Nutrients or Food?
In this article, I want to look at a somewhat fundamental aspect of general nutrition; that is the distinction between calorie intake, nutrient intake, and food intake. This is relevant for the simple fact that the average person doesn’t think in terms of calorie intake, and they probably don’t think in terms of nutrient intake. Rather, they think in terms of eating food; thus it’s important to examine the distinction between those three ‘categories’ of intake.