Nutritional components can be divided into two types:
- Those that contain calories – carbohydrates, proteins, and fats - the body can use to make energy
- Those that do not contain calories – vitamins, minerals, and water – the body does not use to make energy but are needed for life-sustaining processes.
The odd man out in this case is fiber. The body does not break down fiber or produce energy from it. However, fiber is important for our microbiome. This community of bacteria in our microbiome can break it down fiber and use it to help us use our energy, indirectly.