provides an overview of nutrition, nutrient food sources and the functions
of vitamins and minerals in the body.
are needed to provide energy so the body functions properly. The number
of calories in a food depends on the amount of energy the food provides.
The number of calories a person needs depends on age, height, weight,
gender, and activity level. People who consume more calories than they
burn off in normal daily activity or during exercise are more likely to
gram = 9 calories
1 gram = 4 calories
gram = 4 calories
1 gram = 7 calories
should account for 30% or less of the calories consumed daily, with saturated
fats accounting for no more than 10% of the total fat intake. Fats are
a concentrated form of energy which help maintain body temperature, and
protect body tissues and organs. Fat also plays an essential role in carrying
the four fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E, and K.
Excess calories from protein and carbohydrates are converted to and stored
as fat. Even if you are eating mostly "fat free" foods, excess
consumption will result in additional body fat. Fat calories in food are
readily stored, while it takes energy to transform protein and carbohydrates
to body fat. The only proven way to reduce body fat is to burn more calories
than one consumes.
tends to increase blood cholesterol levels. Most saturated fats tend
to be solid at room temperature, with the exception of tropical oils.
found mostly in meat and dairy products, as well as some vegetable
oils, such as coconut and palm oils (tropical oils). Butter is high
in saturated fat, while margarine tends to have more unsaturated fat.
tends to lower blood cholesterol levels
found mostly in plant sources. (safflower, sunflower, soybean,
tends to lower LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol)
found in both plant and animal products, such as olive oil,
canola oil, peanut oil, and in some plant foods such as avocado
intake should not exceed 300 milligrams a day. Individuals differ on their
absorption of dietary cholesterol, what is important is ones level
of blood cholesterol. High blood cholesterol has been linked to the occurrence
of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a buildup of fatty deposits in
the coronary arteries and other blood vessels, and is a leading cause
of heart attacks.
cholesterol is only found in foods from animal sources,
including meat, fish, milk, eggs, cheese, and butter. You may have heard
the terms HDL and LDL discussed in relation to blood cholesterol and heart
disease. HDL and LDL are lipoproteins, substances found in the bloodstream,
that transport cholesterol and triglycerides in the body.
HDLs help remove cholesterol from the blood, protecting you
from heart disease (atherosclerosis).
LDLs are thought to deposit cholesterol in artery walls,
increasing your risk of heart disease (atherosclerosis). Most abundant
type, LDL carries approximately 65% of the total circulating cholesterol.
High levels of LDL are associated with atherosclerosis.
are a major source of energy and should account for 50% to 60% of calories
consumed each day.
monosaccharides and disaccharides
found in fruits (sucrose, glucose, fructose, pentose), milk
(lactose), and soft drinks and sweets.
found in whole grain cereals, flour, bread, rice, corn, oats,
potatoes, and legumes.
FIBER Sources of fiber from highest to lowest are highfiber
grain products, nuts, legumes (kidney, navy, black and pinto beans), vegetables,
fruits, and refined grain products.
may help lower blood cholesterol by inhibiting digestion of fat and
cholesterol; helps control blood sugar in people with diabetes.
found in peas, beans, oats, barley, some fruits and vegetables
(apples, oranges, carrots), and psyllium.
helps prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulosis
found in bran (wheat, oat, and rice), wheat germ, cauliflower,
green beans, potatoes, celery
account for 10% to 20% of the calories consumed each day. Protein is essential
to the structure of red blood cells, for the proper functioning of antibodies
resisting infection, for the regulation of enzymes and hormones, for growth,
and for the repair of body tissue.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are found in a variety
of foods. Meat, milk, cheese, and egg are complete proteins that have
all the essential amino acids. Other sources of protein include whole
grains, rice, corn, beans, legumes, oatmeal, peas, and peanut butter.
For those who do not eat meat, eggs, or dairy products, it is important
to eat a variety of these other foods in order to get enough protein.
is recommended to be less than 3,000 milligrams daily. One teaspoon of
table salt contains about 2,000 milligrams of sodium. The difference between
"sodium" and "salt" can be confusing. Sodium is a
mineral found in various foods including table salt (sodium chloride).
Table salt is 40% sodium.
People with high blood pressure (hypertension) may be instructed by their
doctor or dietitian to reduce sodium intake. High blood pressure can increase
the risk of heart attack, stroke, or kidney disease. The body needs a
small amount of sodium to help maintain normal blood pressure and normal
function of muscles and nerves. High sodium intake can contribute to water
Sodium is found in table salt, baking soda, monosodium glutamate (MSG),
various seasonings, additives, condiments, meat, fish, poultry, dairy
foods, eggs, smoked meats, olives, and pickled foods.
is essential for maintaining proper fluid balance, nerve impulse function,
muscle function, cardiac (heart muscle) function
Sources: bananas, raisins, apricots, oranges, avacadoes, dates, cantaloupe,
watermelon, prunes, broccoli, spinach, carrots, potato, sweet potato,
winter squash, mushrooms, peas, lentils, dried beans, peanuts, milk, yogurt,
MINERALS are required for the regulation of the body's metabolic
functions, and are found naturally in the foods we eat. Many foods are
fortified in order to provide additional nutrients, or to replace nutrients
that may have been lost during the processing of the food. Most people
are able to obtain satisfactory nutrition from the wide selection of foods
available in the United States.
If a person is not able to eat a variety of foods from the basic food
groups, then a vitamin and mineral supplement may be necessary. However,
except for certain unusual health conditions, very few persons should
need more than 100% of the Recommended Daily Allowance for any single
nutrient. Large doses of vitamin and mineral supplements can be harmful.
Vitamins come in two varieties: fat soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble
vitamins can be stored in the body for long periods of time, while excess
amounts of water-soluble vitamins are excreted in the urine.
needed for new cell growth, healthy skin, hair, and tissues, and vision
in dim light
sources: dark green and yellow vegetables and yellow fruits,
such as broccoli spinach, turnip greens, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes,
pumpkin, cantaloupe, and apricots, and in animal sources such as liver,
milk, butter, cheese, and whole eggs.
promotes absorption and use of calcium and phosphate for healthy bones
sources: milk (fortified), cheese, whole eggs, liver, salmon,
and fortified margarine. The skin can synthesize vitamin D if exposed
to enough sunlight on a regular basis.
protects red blood cells and helps prevent destruction of vitamin
A and C
sources: margarine and vegetable oil (soybean, corn, safflower,
and cottonseed), wheat germ, green leafy vegetables.
necessary for normal blood clotting and synthesis of proteins found
in plasma, bone, and kidneys.
sources: spinach, lettuce, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, wheat
bran, organ meats, cereals, some fruits, meats, dairy products, eggs.
C (Ascorbic acid)
an antioxidant vitamin needed for the formation of collagen to hold
the cells together and for healthy teeth, gums and blood vessels;
improves iron absorption and resistance to infection.
sources: many fresh vegetables and fruits, such as broccoli,
green and red peppers, collard greens, brussel sprouts, cauliflower,
lemon, cabbage, pineapples, strawberries, citrus fruits
needed for energy metabolism and the proper function of the nervous
sources: whole grains, soybeans, peas, liver, kidney, lean
cuts of pork, legumes, seeds, and nuts.
needed for energy metabolism, building tissue, and helps maintain
sources: dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish, grains,
broccoli, turnip greens, asparagus, spinach, and enriched food products.
needed for energy metabolism, proper digestion, and healthy nervous
sources: lean meats, liver, poultry, milk, canned salmon, leafy
needed for cell growth
sources: chicken, fish, pork, liver, kidney, whole grains,
nuts, and legumes
promotes normal digestion; essential for development of red blood
sources: liver, yeast, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes,
and some fruits
needed for building proteins in the body, red blood cells, and normal
function of nervous tissue
sources: liver, kidney, yogurt, dairy products, fish, clams,
oysters, nonfat dry milk, salmon, sardines
needed for healthy bones and teeth, normal blood clotting, and nervous
sources: dairy products, broccoli, cabbage, kale, tofu, sardines
needed for the formation of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from
the lungs to the body cells
sources: meats, eggs, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes,
whole grains and enriched food products
needed for healthy bones and teeth, energy metabolism, and acidbase
balance in the body
sources: milk, grains, lean meats, food additives
needed for healthy bones and teeth, proper nervous system functioning,
and energy metabolism
sources: dairy products, meat, fish, poultry, green vegetables,
needed for cell reproduction, tissue growth and repair
sources: meat, seafood, and liver, eggs, milk, whole-grain
needed for energy metabolism
sources: egg yolk, liver, kidney, yeast, broccoli, lean beef,
skim milk, sweet potatoes, molasses
needed for synthesis of hemoglobin, proper iron metabolism, and maintenance
of blood vessels
sources: seafood, nuts, legumes, green leafy vegetables
needed for enzyme structure
sources: whole grain products, fruits and vegetables, tea