Body and limbs: Nutrition; ingredients

Despite the fact that we may consume thousands of different foods and food combinations over the course of our lives, they can still be properly systematized based on their ingredients. Conversely, this systematization helps to make the right choice of foods.

Food ingredients and their details

Ultimately, we do not consume our food from cans that contain the various nutrients individually, but we eat the nutrients combined in the form of foods. The components of food include, in addition to the main nutrients (carbohydrates or sugar, proteins or fats), also vital substances (such as vitamins and minerals) and water.
The main nutrients and vital substances are distinguished, among other things, by their caloric value. While vitamins and minerals cannot directly provide the body with energy through combustion, supplying energy is considered one of the most important tasks of basic nutrients.
The human organism can only function if it is continuously provided with energy in the form of main nutrients. It needs this energy to maintain body temperature and body functions and to perform. When energy is converted in the human body, approximately sixty percent is converted into heat energy and forty percent into chemical energy.


If you want to know how many grams of pure alcohol an alcoholic drink contains, simply multiply the percentage of the drink (volume percent) by the density of alcohol, which is 0.79. The result is the alcohol content of the drink in grams per 100 milliliters. Half a liter of 10°/o wine therefore contains 39.5 grams of alcohol, which alone has an energy content of 276.5 kcal. In the Netherlands, on average, more than 10% of daily energy needs are covered by alcohol.

Energy needs

The total daily energy requirement depends on various factors. Of great importance here are gender, age and the extent and intensity of physical activity.
The methods of obtaining and recording energy requirements for a given individual vary. The method of determining energy requirements from the sum of raw metabolism and increased metabolism and energy losses through digestion and conversion, as a purely arithmetic method, only indirectly takes into account a person’s personal metabolic conditions. Therefore, the values obtained in this way can only be considered a rough estimate.
The only way to determine energy needs in such a way that they correspond to the personal circumstances of a particular person is to create and analyze a nutritional protocol. To this end, all ingested foods, including drinks, are recorded in terms of quantity and energy content for a period of at least one week. If the body weight, measured at the same time and under the same conditions, has not changed during that time, the average value of the daily energy supply is a reliable quantity that can be regarded as a guideline value for the energy supply of this person under the circumstances at that time. .
We must take into account that weighing and recording each individual ingredient over a longer period of time is not one hundred percent reliable. Dietary behavior often changes simply by knowing that everything one eats and drinks is recorded in writing.
Consciously or unconsciously, a person often eats less than normal. Because the half bar of chocolate eaten at 10 p.m. does not fit well into the written protocol, someone may not eat it at all or may not write it down completely honestly. Apart from this potential source of inaccuracy, a nutritional protocol obviously takes time and becomes difficult when eating out.

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