The Six Classes of Food: Functions, Sources & Examples

This article explains the classes of food, their functions, sources and examples.

Whether you’re an athlete looking for fuel or a sedentary person just trying to stay healthy, you need to eat. But what do you put into your body in order to get the most out of it?

In this article, we’ll explore the six classes of food and their various functions. We’ll also look at where these foods come from and which sources are best for each type of eater.

Meaning of Food

Food is any substance consumed to provide energy or nutritional support for a living organism. Food is usually of plant or animal origin and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals.

Since the dawn of time, man has been fed on food. Man has never gone without food for an extended period of time. Food has existed from the beginning of time. To thrive, all plants and animals require nutrients to survive.

The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism’s cells to provide energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.

In this post, we’ll look at the various classes of food, as well as some examples and functions. If you want to learn something today, I strongly advise you to study this article thoroughly.

Also Read: 5 Best Essential Oils For Skin Care

The Six Classes of Food

  1. Carbohydrates
  2. Proteins
  3. Fats and oil
  4. Mineral salts
  5. Vitamins
  6. Water
S/NClasses of FoodSourcesFunctions
1.Carbohydrateyam, garri, cassava, yam
flour, maize, wheat, potato
Provides the body with
2.Proteinsmeat, beans, fish, soya
beans, eggs, peanuts,
cheese, chicken.
For growth and repair
of body tissues.
3.Fats and oilspalm oils, groundnuts oil,
butter, margarine, sardine,
pork, egusi oil,
cod liver oil
Provides the body with
heat and energy for
daily activities.
4.Mineral saltsmilk, meat, liver, cheese,
vegetable and sea foods
Proper functioning of
the body.
5.Waterrain, spring, brooks,
vegetables, fruits,
beverages and tea
For easy digestion and
maintenance of body
6.Vitaminsliver, eggs, fish, oil,
citrus, and tomatoes
For protection against

1. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the most important type of food for athletes. They provide energy for physical activity and help you feel full after eating. Carbohydrates come in six different types: simple, complex, sugar, starch, fiber, and sugar alcohols.

Simple carbohydrates include things like sugar and glucose. Complex carbs have more than one type of molecule in them, and they include things like whole grains, oats, and beans. Sugar alcohols are a type of carbohydrate that doesn’t contain sugar. They include things like maltitol and xylitol.

Starch is a type of carbohydrate that’s made up of two types of molecules: amylose and amylopectin. Fiber is a carbohydrate that doesn’t provide energy but can help you feel full longer after you eat it. It includes things like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Healthy sources of carbohydrates include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, oatmeal, brown rice, and barley. Avoid sugary drinks, processed foods with added sugars, and sweetened breakfast cereals.

Sources of Carbohydrates: The healthiest carbohydrate sources are unprocessed or slightly processed whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes, which provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a variety of phytonutrients.

White bread, pastries, sodas, and other highly processed or refined meals are all unhealthy sources of carbs. These foods are high in easily digestible carbohydrates, which can cause weight gain, obstruct weight loss, and promote diabetes and heart disease.

2. Proteins

Proteins are the building blocks of every living thing. They are essential for growth and maintenance, and play a role in everything from muscle contractions to cell function. There are six main types of proteins: animal, plant, dairy, soy, grain, and legume. Each has its own unique properties and benefits.

Animal proteins include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and cheese. These are the most nutrient-dense sources of protein and contain all the essential amino acids needed for human nutrition. Animal proteins are typically high in cholesterol and saturated fat, so it’s important to balance them with other healthy foods in your diet.

Sources of Proteins: Plant proteins include seeds, nuts, and legumes. These proteins are high in fiber and low in calories, making them a healthy choice for weight loss diets or those trying to maintain a healthy BMI. Plant proteins also contain all the essential amino acids needed for human nutrition.

Dairy proteins include milk, cheese, yogurt, and eggs. These proteins are high in calcium and protein, which can help build strong bones and muscles. Dairy products are also a good source of vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

3. Fats

Fats are a type of food that come from animal or plant sources. They are used to provide energy and help the body absorb other nutrients. Types of fats include saturated, unsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Saturated fats are most harmful to the body because they can increase the risk for heart disease and other chronic illnesses. Polyunsaturated fats can be good for the heart because they don’t raise blood cholesterol levels as much as saturated fats.

Sources of Fat and Oil: Beef, lamb, pork, butter, cream, milk, cheeses, coconut oil, palm oil, and cocoa butter all include saturated fats. Saturated fat must be replaced by unsaturated fat. Eat more fish, avocados, nuts, and seeds, as well as plant-based oils and spreads like flaxseed oil and soya spread.

4. Minerals

Minerals are natural elements that can be found in the soil. Plants absorb them, and we consume them, or animals eat them, and we eat them. As a result, minerals can be obtained from both animal and vegetable sources.

Minerals play a variety of tasks, from structural to regulatory, such as calcium in bones and teeth and sodium and potassium in fluid balance and muscle contractions.

Because minerals are “elemental,” they cannot be easily destroyed by heat, light, or air, they do not decay in the same way as vitamins do.

Sources of Minerals: Minerals include calcium and iron amongst many others and are found in meat, cereals, fish, milk & dairy foods, fruit & vegetables, and nuts.

5. Vitamins

Vitamins are imperative for warding off infection and remaining solid. The body needs these micronutrients to bolster its capacities. There are 13 fundamental vitamins that the body ought to work appropriately, counting vitamins A, C, B6, and D. Vitamins are fundamental for solid vision, skin, and bones. Vitamins lower the chance of lung and prostate cancer, and they’re effective cancer prevention agents. Vitamins like vitamin C boost the safe framework and offer assistance the body recuperate.

Eating a varied and well balanced food is encouraged. Eating routines should include meals brimming with vegetables and natural products, if this is done, you would not need to take nutrient enhancements. Vitamins are complex natural substances found in our nourishment which bolster nearly each framework within the body, counting the resistant framework, the brain and other frameworks.

Also Read: How To Smell Good Naturally Without Deodorant

This nutrients are perplexing regular substances found in our sustenance which support almost every system inside the body, and offer assistance to the body to utilize carbohydrate, fat and protein. They are additionally engaged with controlling development, making red platelets and shielding the body from unsafe free revolutionaries. Without a doubt, a modest quantity of nutrients and minerals are needed to empower the body to work appropriately and forestall sickness. Nutrients K and D can not be fabricated by the body and should come from our food.

A person may typically obtain all of the vitamins they require through a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins. Those who consume fewer fruits and vegetables and those who have digestive problems, on the other hand, may need to take a vitamin supplement to avoid or reduce a deficiency.

Sources of Vitamins: Eat foods that are as fresh and unprocessed as possible to acquire extra vitamins in your diet. Choose fruits and vegetables that were grown near you rather than those that had to go halfway around the world.

Cooking veggies as light as possible while maintaining their crunchy texture is a good idea. Slow cookers and long cooking methods should be avoided. Vitamins are best preserved by microwaving, steaming, or pressure-cooking veggies.

6. Water

Water, along with carbs, proteins, and lipids, is one of the most significant macronutrients. We can survive without food for a little longer (about 8 weeks) than we can without water (only a few days). Water causes a 12 percent loss in body weight, which is usually lethal.

Our bodies are made up of about 65 percent water, which helps with absorption, digestion, excretion, and nutrient circulation.

Water is also necessary for maintaining and spreading our body’s temperature. Our bodies’ working joints and eyes are also lubricated by water.

It also aids in the flushing of toxins, the supply of vitamins to cells, body hydration, and clogging prevention.

Lack of fluids may cause you to become tired, making fixation and execution more difficult. It plays a larger role in the body’s absorption, body temperature regulation, reproduction, food transit, oxygen transport, and other chemical issues.

Also Read: Aki Hausa (Tiger Nuts) Benefits & Name In English


There are six classes of food: carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Carbohydrates provide energy for the body, proteins provide amino acids which the body needs to create enzymes and hormones, fats are necessary for the body to absorb and use other nutrients, vitamins provide the body with essential nutrients, minerals provide the body with ammunition it needs to function properly and water helps keep everything moist.

In conclusion, The six main classes of foods are;

  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Fats and Oil
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Water

Leave a Comment