Nutrition means getting all the energy that your body needs to survive. Your cells are virtually little factories that require different chemicals and compounds to produce energy. The cells need the energy to grow and fulfill their specialized functions. They get these chemicals from external sources, such as food. These chemicals are commonly known as nutrients, and we can divide them into different categories depending on their chemical structure and digestive health function. 1 In science and medicine, nutrition is the study of how the human body utilizes and responds to food. Nutritional science focuses mainly on how food is broken down in the body and how the body uses the nutrients obtained from this food. Nutrition and dietetics is the study of how people eat and how to avoid malnutrition in various populations by spreading nutrition education and nutrition facts. 2
The Evolution of Nutrition
Now, nutritional science also studies other impacts that nutrients can have on our bodies. In fact, according to Dr. Gundry — all disease begins in the gut. When you study nutrition it includes everything from food allergies, nutrient deficiencies, and even how certain diseases are affected by the food you consume. Essentially, nutrition is a vast field that looks at everything involving the way food and nutrients interact with our bodies.
Turns out, recent studies report that your diet can absolutely modify your intestinal microbiome, which will have a profound impact on your overall and digestive health. This impact can be positive or negative, depending on the abundance of good or bad bacteria in your gut. 3
Furthermore, these studies suggest your gut microbiome plays a role in modulating risk of an abundance of health issues including the following: Digestive issues, Obesity, Blood Sugar Regulation, Heart Health Issues4
Nutrients are usually broken down into two broad categories: macro- and micronutrients. Macronutrients are nutrients that the body requires in relatively large quantities. The body needs micronutrients in much smaller amounts than macronutrients.5
Macronutrients can also be divided up into two categories, namely nutrients that provide energy and nutrients that don’t. Nutrients provide energy to the body by being broken down into carbon dioxide and energy, which the body can use to power itself. All the macronutrients one can use for energy can be broken down into glucose, which is the primary energy source for the body. 6
Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy. 7 The body and brain both need glucose to produce energy, and without which they can’t function. Carbohydrates are formed by building blocks of simple sugars: glucose, fructose, and galactose. Simple carbohydrates, such as lactose, maltose, and sucrose, are combinations of the three simple sugars. These are quickly broken down by the body into glucose and provide a natural source of quick energy.
Long chains of simple sugars form complex sugars. Complex sugars are more difficult to break down and digest.8 An example of a complex carbohydrate is starch, which comes from lots of plant sources, including grains and potatoes.
Fats are usually known as the energy storage organ in the body, as they produce a lot of energy when they are broken down. All fats are composed of fatty acids and glycerol, and the type of fat is dependent on how these fatty acids are arranged. Certain fats are essential for many bodily functions. They are critical to hormone production, preserving brain health, vitamin absorption, and even bone growth.9,10,11
Also, some dietary fats support weight loss better than low-fat diets with the same amount of calories. What does that mean? For instance, the fat in MCT oil (a potent liquid coconut oil) and extra virgin olive oil have shown they can support weight loss. One study suggested that people who used a liter of olive oil per week instead of following a low-fat diet did, in fact, lose weight.12 The monounsaturated fats in avocados and avocado oil have a similar effect to olive oil. Another study showed how adding a single avocado each day to your diet also results in weight loss.13
Proteins are made up of amino acids that are joined in a long chain and then folded into a specific 3D structure. There are many different types of proteins in the body, many of which have essential functions. The body breaks down proteins into glucose in the event of an emergency, such as when the body has depleted its fat stores.14 But how do you know you’re getting enough protein in your diet? Are there symptoms of protein deficiency? Truth is it’s pretty rare (in the United States, at least) to not meet your recommended daily value of protein.
However, it is more common (in elderly adults) that protein doesn’t get synthesized properly in their liver. Turns out, albumin is 80% of all the protein in your body. But elderly individuals often have low albumin levels (even if their actual protein is sufficient). This is probably because they have intestinal permeability (aka holes in their gut wall) — so they can’t absorb protein in the way they need to. If you eliminate the gut-damaging components of lectin-rich foods (like bread, beans, cereals and so on), you can actually regenerate your gut wall and bring it back to optimum, nutrient-absorbing, digestive health.15 Therefore, you’ll eventually be able to process the nutrients your body needs.
Water doesn’t produce any energy for the body, but it is probably the most critical nutrient that you have to consume almost daily. Water is an integral part of the chemical reactions that take place in the body, without which you would die.16
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that isn’t broken down by the body very well and doesn’t provide much nutrition. The functions of fiber have more to do with ensuring your body absorbs other nutrients correctly and maintaining gut health. 17
Micronutrients can either be organic or inorganic nutrients that your body requires in small doses but cannot produce on its own.
Minerals are inorganic elements that our bodies need, such as potassium, selenium, iodine, and sodium. One can find minerals in most fruits, vegetables, nuts, and meat. Oftentimes, products are fortified with minerals to avoid population-wide deficiencies.
Vitamins are organic elements that we need and can’t produce ourselves. Vitamins can be broken down into water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, both of which are essential for our bodies to function correctly. 18
So, if you’re at a loss and wonder where to find cutting-edge, reliable nutritional guidance… turn to Dr. Gundry. He’s always adding new videos to his website, adding the most up-to-date research to his books, and refining and creating the most beneficial nutritional products.
Dr. Gundry has the most pertinent medical experience and never stops researching, experimenting, and creating tools for better health. In fact, Dr. Gundry, along with his colleague, Leonard Bailey, performed more infant and pediatric heart transplants than any other team in the world.
In the end, Dr. Gundry has discovered some pretty unconventional truths about human nutrition. He’s operated in more than 30 countries. The Gundry MD philosophy is a radical departure from the traditional dietary “wisdom” that has failed so many Americans over the past few decades. But his mission is to dramatically improve human health, happiness, and longevity through his unique vision of diet and nutrition.