Minerals are different from the other nutrients discussed thus far, in that they are inorganic compounds (carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and vitamins are all organic compounds). The fundamental structure of minerals is usually nothing more than a molecule, or molecules, of an element. The functions of minerals do not include participation in the yielding of energy. But they do play vital roles in several physiological functions, including critical involvement in nervous system functioning, in cellular reactions, in water balance in the body, and in structural systems, such as the skeletal system.
Because minerals have a very simple structure of usually one or more molecules of an element, they are not readily destroyed in the heating or cooking process of food preparation. However, they can leak out of the food substance that contains them and seep into the water or liquid the food is being cooked in. This may result in a decreased level of minerals being consumed if the liquid is discarded.
There are many minerals found within the human body, but of the sixteen (or possibly more) essential minerals, the amount required on a daily basis varies enormously. This is why minerals are subdivided into two classes: macrominerals and microminerals. Macrominerals include those that are needed in high quantities, ranging from milligrams to grams. Calcium, calcium: mineral essential for bones and phosphorous, and magnesium are macrominerals. Microminerals are those teeth necessary in smaller quantities, generally between a microgram and a milligram. Examples of microminerals include copper, chromium, and selenium. Dietary requirements for some minerals have yet to be established.
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WHAT IT IS A three-phase plan that has been likened to the low-carbohydrate Atkins program because during the first two weeks, South Beach eliminates most carbs, including bread, pasta, potatoes, fruit and most dairy products. In PHASE 2, healthy carbs, including most fruits, whole grains and dairy products are gradually reintroduced, but processed carbs such as bagels, cookies, cornflakes, regular pasta and rice cakes remain on the list of foods to avoid or eat rarely.