Nutrient Guide For All Ages

Nutrient Guide
Carbohydratesare the most important nutrients used by your working muscles.
Proteincontains amino acids – the building blocks – that your body uses to build and maintain muscles, bone, skin, blood and other organs.
Fatis the chief storage system of energy.
Vitaminshelp promote and regulate bodily processes and chemical reactions.
Mineralsenable enzymes to function.
Waterenables chemical reactions to take place.
The food that you consume provides essential chemical compounds called nutrients . Nutrients are the things in foods that our body needs to stay healthy and grow. Various nutrients are required by human body to carry out its vital activities and to sustain life. Of these nutrients, micronutrients include protein, fat and carbohydrates. Good nutrition is a term synonymous with maintenance of healthy body. It is necessary to strike a balance between the quantity and quality of the diet so as to sustain adequate nourishment. As per the diet – no food is fattening, it is either too much or too little. So always eat a “Healthy balanced diet” which should have proper proportions of “Protein, Carbohydrate, Fat, Vitamins and Minerals”. Never go for complete fat-free-diet because Vitamin ADEK are fat soluble vitamins which are very important for bony growth of the body and development of body.

• Importance of Proteins
• Importance of Carbohydrates
• Importance of Fats
• Importance of Fiber
• Importance of Vitamins
• Importance of Minerals

Importance Of Proteins

Much of the body’s structure is made up of proteins. The typical 80 Kg. man is composed of about 50 Kg. of water, 15 Kgs.of protein, 12 Kgs. of fat, 2.5 Kgs. of minerals, 500 gms.of carbohydrates and less than 30 gms. of vitamins. Since the muscles, heart, brain, lungs etc. are made up largely of proteins which are in constant need of replacement, protein power and the importance of protein foods are obvious. Protein is the basic chemical unit of the living cell, essential for their nutrition, growth and repair, and to provide heat and energy.

1 gram of protein yields 4 kcal. It is the body building material and as antibodies it helps the body to defend against infection. It is an essential component of the diet, especially during the growing years of infant and children, for fetal development during pregnancy and for lactating mothers. Protein foods contain all of the necessary amino acids required for proper nourishment.
Use the following chart to help select foods that are good sources of protein:
FoodGrams of Protein
6 oz. canned tuna40
4 oz. chicken breast35
3 oz. beef *26
3 oz. turkey25
3 oz. salmon23
8 oz. (1 cup) garbanzo beans15
8 oz. (1 cup) milk8
8 oz. (1 cup) yogurt10
4 oz. (1/2 cup) tofu10
4 oz. (1/2 cup) cottage cheese14
1 egg6
1 oz. cheddar cheese87
8 oz.(1 cup) pasta5
* A 3 ounce serving of beef (or chicken) is about the size of a deck of cards.
Importance of Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates contain the important vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are essential to our health and that help prevent heart disease and cancer. Unrefined carbohydrates are good one found in whole, natural foods, such as whole grains, legumes, rice, and starchy vegetables. They’re also called complex carbohydrates, so named for their molecular structure. Besides being packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, good carbs take longer to digest.

Refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, are found in packaged processed foods, such as store-bought baked goods, crackers, pasta, and white bread. Refined carbohydrates are made with white flour and contain little or no fiber. In fact, many products made with white flour are advertised as fortified with vitamins and minerals. But current evidence reveals that fortification with vitamins does not recreate the benefits of the natural vitamins that have been removed.
Foods rich in Carbohydrates:
FoodServing SizeCarbohydrates
(grams) per serving
Bread, cereal, grains:
Bagel1 whole38
Barley, pearled & uncooked1 cup158
Bread1 slice12-18
Breakfast cereal, hot1 cup18-31
Breakfast cereal, cold1 ounce18-24
Muffins1 whole27
Rice, uncooked1 cup41-50
Spaghetti, cooked firm1 cup39
Apricot, nectar1 cup36
Banana, sliced1 cup35
Blueberries, raw1 cup20
Dates, whole & pitted1061
Figs, dried10122
Grapefruit juice1 cup72
Beans, dry & cooked1 cup31-49
Refined beans, canned1 cup51
Carrots, cooked1 cup16
Corn, kernels1 cup34
Jerusalem Artichoke, raw & sliced1 cup26
Dairy products:
Milk, dried nonfat1 cup35
Yogurt, lowfat plain1 cup16
Yogurt, nonfat1 cup17
Nuts1 cup45
Cashews1 cup9
Chestnuts1 cup76
Importance of Fats

Fat is an important part of a healthy diet. It is the most concentrated source of energy of all the food compounds. There’s more and more evidence that many fats are good for us and actually reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. They also help our sugar and insulin metabolism and therefore contribute to our goals of long-term weight loss and weight maintenance. Within our body fats are vital as they are carriers of vitamin A,D,E and K and act as lubricant to help in bowel movement. And because good fats make foods taste better, they help us enjoy the journey to a healthier lifestyle. But not all fats are created equal–there are good fats and bad fats.

“Good” fats include monounsaturated fats, found in olive and canola oils, peanuts and other nuts, peanut butter, and avocados. Monounsaturated fats lower total and “bad” LDL cholesterol–which accumulates in and clogs artery walls–while maintaining levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, which carries cholesterol from artery walls and delivers it to the liver for disposal.

Omega-3 fatty acids–polyunsaturated fats found in coldwater fish, canola oil, flaxseeds, walnuts, almonds, and macadamia nuts–also count as good fat. There is evidence that omega-3 oils help prevent or treat depression, arthritis, asthma, and colitis and help prevent cardiovascular deaths.

If you’re not eating fish, it is important that you eat foods with alpha-linolenic acid, a type of fat that can be converted into omega-3 fats in your body. The richest sources of alpha-linolenic acid are flaxseed oil, English walnuts, canola oil and soy oil.

“Bad” fats include saturated fats–the heart-clogging kind found in butter, fatty red meats, and full-fat dairy products. “Very bad” fats are the manmade trans fats. Trans fats, which are created when hydrogen gas reacts with oil, are found in many packaged foods, including margarine, cookies, cakes, cake icings, doughnuts, and potato chips. Trans fats are worse than saturated fats; they are bad for our blood vessels, nervous systems, and waistline.

High fat foods:

Food% of Fat
Bread, Cereals, Grains:
Pasta, plain1-2
Beef, stewed & lean only15
Beef, stewed & lean; fat29
Ground beef19
Roast, rib & lean only15
Roast, rib & lean; fat31
Pork sausages31
Chicken breast, roasted without skin3
Turkey, light & dark, no skin5
Clams, crabmeat, oysters,shrimps1-2
Salmon, baked6
Salmon, canned9
Tuna, oil pack8
Tuna, water pack2
Cottage, creamed4
Cottage, lowfat2
Non-fat, skimthan 0
Other dairy products:
Vegetable oils100
Soyabeans, dry30
Egg yolk33
Fatty acids in oils or fats:
Fat or Oil…Saturated
fatty acids(%)
Polyun- saturated
fatty acids(%)
Kinds of fats & oils
Canola oil75322Monounsaturated
Corn oil132459Polyunsaturated
Olive oil14749Monounsaturated
Palm oil523810Saturated
Peanut oil174632Monounsaturated
Safflower oil91274Polyunsaturated
Soyabean – cotton seed oil182948Polyunsaturated
Lard394511Saturated *
Quantity of cholesterol you consume per plate:
FoodServingCholesterol (milligrams)
Beef, stewed, lean & fat3 ounces87
Beef, stewed & lean2.2 ounces66
Beef, ground & lean3 ounces74
Beef, ground & regular3 ounces76
Beef steak, sirloin3 ounces77
Bacon3 stips16
Pork chop, lean2.5 ounces71
Chicken breast, roast3 ounces73
Chicken leg, roast1.6 ounce3 ounces
Turkey breast, roast3 ounces59
Calims3 ounces43
Flounder3 ounces59
Oysters, raw1 cup120
Salmon, canned3 ounces34
Salmon, baked3 ounces60
Tuna3 ounces48
Tuna oil, canned3 ounces55
American1 ounce27
Cheddar1 ounce30
Cream1 ounce31
Mozzarella, whole milk1 ounce22
Mozzarella, part skim1 ounce15
Swiss1 ounce26
Whole8 ounces33
2%8 ounces18
1%8 ounces18
Skim8 ounces10
Other dairy products:
Eggs, large1213
Importance of fiber

Fiber is very good for health, it can help prevent certain types of cancer such as colon and stomach cancer and can also lower your cholesterol level. It helps a lot to digestive system and stops the harmful toxins hanging around the body. People who eat more fiber are less likely to become overweight. It satisfies the appetite because of its capacity to make you “feel full.”so choose fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains and oats and low fat nuts and seeds as snacks instead of high caloried snacks. Make fibre a main part of your meals. Try to have soups without straining, it may take some time for taste development. When you cut fat out of your diet, try replacing it with fiber. Fiber adds bulk to food, so you chew longer, eat more slowly, and feel full sooner.

Sources of fiber:
FoodAmount of fiber (in gms) in a
100g (3.5 ounce) serving
Bran bread8.5
Pita bread, white1.6
Pita bread, whole white7.4
White bread1.9
Bran cereal35.3
Bran flakes18.8
Wheat flakes9.0
Barley, pearled15.6
Cornmeal, whole grain11.0
Oatbran, raw6.6
Rice, raw & brown3.5
Rice, raw & white1.0-2.8
Rice, raw & wild5.2
Wheat bran15.0
Apple, with skin2.8
Apricots, dried7.8
Figs, dried9.3
Pears, raw2.6
Prunes, dried7.2
Prunes, stewed6.6
  – Baked, vegetarian7.7
  – Chickpeas, canned5.4
  – Lima, cooked7.2
Broccoli, raw7.7
Brussel sprouts, cooked2.6
Cabbage, white & raw2.4
Cauliflower, raw2.4
Corn, sweet & cooked3.7
Peas with edible pods, raw2.6
Potatoes, white & baked, with skin5.5
Sweet potato, cooked3.0
Tomatoes, raw1.3
Corn chips, toasted4.4
  – Almonds, oil-roasted11.2
  – Coconut, raw9.0
  – Hazelnuts, oil-roasted6.4
  – Peanuts, dry-roasted8.0
  – Pistachios10.8
Importance of Vitamins

They are the micronutrients since they are required in small quantities, but nonetheless availability in our diet is vital.


Vitamins are organic substances present in small amounts in many foods. They are required for carrying out vital functions of the body and many of them are involved in the utilization of major nutrients like proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Although they are needed in small amounts, they are essential for the health and well being of the body.

Fat soluble Vitamins:

 Vitamin A
 Vitamin D
 Vitamin E
 Vitamin K

Water soluble Vitamins:

 Vitamin B
 Vitamin C

Importance of Minerals

A large number of minerals are present in the body. Some of these form part of body structural components and some others act as catalytic agents in many body reactions.

• Calcium
• Phosphorus
• Iron
• Sodium
• Potassium


Calcium is an element found in bones, shells and limestone, among other materials.


 helps lower blood pressure and control heartbeat
 helps regulate muscle contractions
 plays a role in blood clotting
 prevents fatal bleeding from breaks in the walls of blood vessels
 maintains cell membranes
 aids in the absorption of vitamin B12
 activates enzymes such as lipase, the fat-splitting enzyme

Your bones furnish reserves of calcium to keep plasma constant at all times.

100 milligrams of calcium:

 Cottage cheese — 3/4 cup low-fat or creamed
 Broccoli — 1 cup cooked, frozen
 Navy or pinto beans — 1 cup cooked
 Taco — one small
 English muffin — 1
 Almonds — 1/3 cup
 Figs, dried — 4
 Frozen yogurt — 1/2 cup

A calcium intake of up to 2,500 milligrams is safe for healthy people.


Phosphorus is a mineral. It is a major component of bones and teeth and makes up part of DNA and RNA.

Phosphorus serves as the main regulator of energy metabolism in cells, helps the body absorb glucose and transport fatty acids, and is part of the buffer system that helps control the acid-base balance of the body.

Good Sources of Phosphorus:

FoodAmountPhosphorus (milligrams)
All-bran cereal8 oz. (1 cup)792
Pancakes3 pancakes430
Chili with beans8 oz. (1 cup)393
Chocolate pudding (instant)4 oz. (1/2 cup)379
Pinto beans8 oz. (1 cup)273
1 % milk8 oz. (1 cup)245
Cinnamon raisin rolls2 Hungry Jack rolls234
American cheese1 oz.211
Rib-eye beef3.5 oz. (less than 1/4 lb.)208
Fried shrimp3.5 oz. (less than 1/4 lb.)191
Macaroni and cheese8 oz. (1 cup)182
Bran flakes8 oz. (1 cup)174
White cake from a mix1 slice (1/12 of a cake)170
Almonds1 oz.150
Oatmeal (regular, quick)1 oz. (dry)132
Egg1 large egg90
Cola12 oz.63
Deficiencies of phosphorus are rare. Most men get at least 1,500 milligrams and women get more than 1,000 milligrams a day.


Iron is part of haemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of the blood. Iron-deficient people get tired easily because their bodies are starved for oxygen. Iron is also part of myoglobin, which helps muscle cells store oxygen. Without enough iron, ATP (the fuel the body runs on) cannot be properly synthesized. As a result, some iron-deficient people become fatigued even when their hemoglobin levels are normal. Although iron is part of the antioxidant enzyme catalase, iron is not generally considered an antioxidant, because too much iron can cause oxidative damage.

The most absorbable form of iron, called “haeme” iron, is found in oysters, meat, poultry, and fish. Non-haeme iron is also found in these foods, as well as in dried fruit, molasses, leafy green vegetables, wine, and most iron supplements. Acidic foods (such as tomato sauce) cooked in an iron pan can also be a source of dietary iron.

A common adult dose is 100 mg per day. When iron deficiency is diagnosed, the doctor must also determine the cause. Usually it’s not serious (such as normal menstrual blood loss or blood donation). Occasionally, however, iron deficiency signals ulcers or even colon cancer. Many premenopausal women become marginally iron deficient unless they supplement with iron. Even so, the 18 mg of iron present in most multiple-vitamin/mineral supplements is often adequate.


Healthy American adults should eat no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. This is about 1 teaspoon of sodium chloride (salt). To illustrate, the following are sources of sodium in the diet.

1/4 teaspoon salt=575 mg sodium
1/2 teaspoon salt=1,150 mg sodium
3/4 teaspoon salt=1,725 mg sodium
1 teaspoon salt=2,300 mg sodium
1 teaspoon baking soda=1000 mg sodium
Common sources of sodium

When you must reduce the amount of sodium (salt) you eat, be aware of both natural and added sodium content. Table salt is sodium chloride. It’s 40 percent sodium by weight. When you buy prepared and packaged foods, read the labels. Watch for the words “soda” (referring to sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda) and “sodium” and the symbol “Na.” These products contain sodium compounds.

Some drugs have high amounts of sodium. Carefully read the labels on all over-the-counter drugs. Look at the ingredient list and warning statement to see if the product has sodium. A statement of sodium content must be on labels of antacids that have 5 mg or more per dosage unit (tablet, teaspoon, etc.). Some companies are now producing low-sodium over-the-counter products. If in doubt, ask your doctor or pharmacist if the drug is OK for you.

Most spices naturally contain very small amounts of sodium.

How to reduce the sodium in diet?

 Choose fresh, frozen or canned food items without added salts.
 Select unsalted nuts or seeds, dried beans, peas and lentils.
 Limit the amount of salty snacks you eat, like chips and pretzels.
 Avoid adding salt and canned vegetables to homemade dishes.
 Select unsalted, fat-free broths, bouillons or soups.
 Select fat-free or low-fat milk, low-sodium, low-fat cheeses, as well as low-fat yogurt.
 Specify what you want and how you want it prepared when dining out. Ask for your dish to be   prepared without salt.
 Use spices and herbs to enhance the taste of your food.

Potassium (K):

Potassium is a trace mineral essential for growth and good health.

Potassium in the human body helps to:

 keep normal water balance between the cells and body fluids
 maintain normal blood pressure
 transmit nerve impulses
 enable the contraction of muscles
 ensure proper functioning of cellular enzymes

Potassium Content of Foods:

Very Good SourcesAbout 400 milligrams or more
Banana1 medium banana
Cantaloupe8 oz. (1 cup)
Orange juice8 oz. (1 cup)
Baked potato1 medium potato
Tomato juice8 oz. (1 cup)
Honeydew melon8 oz. (1 cup)
Nectarine1 large nectarine
Dates4 oz. (1/2 cup)
Dried beans8 oz. (1 cup) cooked
Winter squash4 oz. (1/2 cup) cooked
Good SourcesApproximately 200-400 milligrams
Collard greens4 oz. (1/2 cup)
Milk8 oz. (1 cup)
Spinach4 oz. (1/2 cup), frozen or boiled
Broccoli4 oz. (1/2 cup)
Raw tomato1 medium tomato
Cooked tomatoes4 oz. (1/2 cup)
Avocado1/2 avocado
Prunes4 prunes
Daily consumption of 2,000 to 6,000 milligrams of potassium is a safe range for the general population

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