To understand nutrition we need to know about nutrients. In this article we will look at the nutrients in our food and drink and why they are important for our health. You can find information on the following:
- Macronutrients and micronutrients
- Carbohydrate, protein and fat (macronutrients)
- B vitamins, folate and vitamin C (water-soluble vitamins)
- Vitamins A, D, E and K (fat-soluble vitamins)
- Minerals (calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, iodine, selenium, phosphorus and fluoride)
- Vitamin and mineral supplements
How do we know how much of each nutrient we need at each stage of life, from birth to older age?
In the UK, we have a set of Dietary Reference Values (DRVs). These are the expert estimates of the quantities of energy and nutrients needed to support adequate growth, development and health, while reducing the risk of deficiencies and diseases like heart disease, stroke and cancer.
More information on the DRVs for the UK population can be found in the PDF attachment below.
Of course, people eat foods and not single nutrients but it is the amount and the combination of these nutrients in the foods we eat that can have an effect on our health.
In this web section we will be looking at the nutrients in our food and drink.