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Describe the components of a balanced diet.
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P6 - Describe the components of a balanced diet.
Carbohydrates are a main source of energy; they are the body's fuel. Most of a balanced diet should be made from carbohydrates. If eaten in an excess of the dietary requirements carbohydrates are easily stored as fats in the cells. Sources of carbohydrates such as starch are rice, potatoes, wheat and other cereals. Sugars are also carbohydrates, sources of sugars are refined sugar - sucrose, which is a food sweetener and preservative and fruit sugars - fructose. If the diet lacks carbohydrate stores of fat are mobilised and used as an energy source.
Protein is not a direct source of energy in the body, it is used primarily for growth and repair of body tissues although can be used as an energy source as a last resort. Proteins fulfil a wide variety of roles in the body they are broken down in the stomach and intestines to amino acids which are then absorbed. The body can only form 8 amino acids to build proteins from the diet must provide Essential Amino Acids (EAA's) which are synthesised into proteins which can be structural.
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