Nutritional analysis

Nutritional analysis

Macronutrients: Protein

  • Essential for growth and repair of body tissues.
  • Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.
  • There are 22 amino acids, 9 of which are essential and obtained through diet.
  • Sources include meat, dairy, eggs, nuts, and legumes.

Macronutrients: Fats

  • Saturates, unsaturated and trans fats are the three types of fats.
  • Fats are a secondary source of energy.
  • Required for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
  • Unsaturated fats help lower levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol.
  • Trans fats, found in processed food, are harmful to health.

Macronutrients: Carbohydrates

  • Main source of energy for the body.
  • Divided into two types: Simple carbohydrates and Complex carbohydrates.
  • Complex carbs (e.g. whole grains) are healthier and release energy slowly.

Micronutrients: Vitamins, Fat-soluable

  • These include vitamins A, D, E, and K.
  • Absorbed along with fats in the diet.
  • Stored in the liver and fatty tissues - potentially leading to toxicity if consumed in excess.

Micronutrients: Vitamins, Water-soluable

  • These include vitamin C and the B vitamins.
  • Not stored in the body and hence required regularly from diet.
  • Important for immune function, energy production and blood clotting.

Micronutrients: Minerals and Trace Elements

  • Essential for a variety of bodily functions like bone health (calcium), oxygen transport (iron) and thyroid function (iodine).
  • Found in a wide variety of foods like dairy, meats, vegetables, and nuts.

Fibre and Water

  • Fibre adds bulk to our diet and helps in digestion.
  • Adequate water intake is vital for maintaining hydration, aiding digestion, nutrient absorption, and waste elimination.

Healthy Eating Guidelines

  • A balance of protein, carbs, and fats are required for a healthy diet.
  • Including a variety of fruits and vegetables ensure intake of vital vitamins and minerals.
  • Limiting sugars, salts, and unhealthy fats.

Nutritional Needs for Different Ages

  • Children require a nutrient-dense diet for their growth.
  • Adults require a balanced diet to maintain health and prevent chronic diseases.
  • Older adults might require nutrient-dense but fewer calories relative to their decreased activity levels.

Diet Related Health Problems

  • Excess sugar intake can lead to obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
  • High salt intake may result in high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • Deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals can lead to various disorders. For example, iron deficiency leads to anaemia.

Energy Needs

  • Energy requirements vary based on age, gender, weight, and level of physical activity.
  • Balanced energy intake and expenditure is important to maintain a healthy weight.

Nutritional Analysis

  • Involves analyzing the nutritional content in food.
  • Can aid in planning balanced meals and meeting dietary needs.
  • Tools like the ‘traffic light system’ on food packaging help in understanding nutritional content.