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Balanced Diet - nutrional analysis software package


What is a
Balanced Diet

Food Nutrient Terms
DRVs for Fat and

Modifying your Diet
Food Energy Balance
Vitamins and Minerals
Trans-Fatty Acids
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Vitamin B6, Niacin
and Thiamin

Vitamin E
A Final Word

Nutrients Covered

Food is needed to supply energy and nutrients that are necessary for our bodies to function. We obtain energy from the macro nutrients (food energies) - fat, carbohydrate and protein (alcohol also provides energy). The macro nutrients also supply substances that are necessary for the chemical processes that enable our bodies to use the energy and maintain themselves, for which the micro nutrients - vitamins and minerals, are also necessary. The amount of energy that a food provides is measured in kilo calories (kcal) ie. 1000 calories, which is more often than not, shortened to just Calories. Different foods consist of different combinations and quantities of the macro and micro nutrients. The macro nutrients supply different amounts of energy for the same weight ie. fat provides 9 kcal per gram, carbohydrate 3.75 and protein 4 (alcohol provides 7 kcal per gram). Therefore different foods supply different amounts of energy and nutrients for the same weight. The micro nutrients do not supply us with energy (or so small an amount that it is not worth measuring). The quantities of micro nutrients that our bodies require are very small, and are measured in fractions of a gram. These are milli grams (mg) which equals 1 thousandth of a gram and micro grams (µg) which equals 1 millionth of a gram.

The Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom, were published in 1991, and are reproduced by permission of the Controller of HMSO. The Panel on Dietary Reference Values was set up in 1987 by the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy (COMA) to review the Recommended Daily Amounts (RDAs) of food energy and nutrients which had been published in 1979. The DRVs differ in a number of ways from the RDAs. Previously only ten nutrients had been covered in detail. The DRVs cover around forty. The terms have also been changed since the word 'recommended' has led many to believe it represents the minimum desirable intake for healthy life. In reality the RDA is substantially more than the needs of the great majority of the population, as is the RNI, the effectual replacement of the RDA. The quantities of fat, carbohydrate, protein, alcohol, vitamins and minerals, contained in the foods that you have selected, are determined from the official UK food tables, McCance & Widdowson's 'The Composition of Foods - fifth edition' and are reproduced by permission of the Controller of HMSO covering nutrient data for 1188 food items.

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