What makes up “food”?
MACROnutrients - provide calories/energy
Carbohydrates - our #1 source of energy; the simplest form (glucose) is what our body prefers to use for fuel. Our brain and red blood cells ONLY use glucose!
Food sources: grains, starchy vegetables, fruit, dairy
Protein - our body’s building blocks for cell structure, muscles, hair, finger nails, and more!
Food sources: animal muscle, beans, nuts & legumes, dairy, soy, some vegetables
Fats (AKA Lipids) - a concentrated source of calories; provides energy storage, cell structures, antioxidant properties, and more!
Food sources: animal fat, dairy, plant oils, nuts & seeds
MICROnutrients - provide necessary chemical processes for proper functioning
Fat Soluble: A, D, E, K
Water Soluble: B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pentothenic Acid), B6 (Pyridoxine), B7 (Biotin), B9 (Folate), B12 (Cobalamin), and C
Larger amounts needed: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, sulfer
Trace amounts needed: iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, selenium, fluoride
Water - essential for digestion, temperature regulation, joint health, and nutrient absorption
Fiber - soluble & insoluble food material that helps lower cholesterol and move food efficiently through the digestive tract (food sources: whole grains, vegetables, fruit)
Nutrient Needs & Recommended Intakes
Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDR) - the evidence-based ranges for the percentage of total calorie intake should come from each macronutrient to meet energy and structural needs.
Micronutrient Needs - daily recommended intake of each vitamin and mineral is age, gender, and life-stage specific. See the recommended intakes HERE.
Water - needs vary, but generally aim for about half your body weight (pounds) in ounces of water intake per day. Choose foods (fruit, broth, etc) with high water content as well!
Fiber - for adults:
Women: 25 grams/day
Men: 38 grams/day
Putting it Together in a Meal: MyPlate & Portion Sizes
Determine Your Nutrition Needs:
Click “Start” to estimate your daily calorie needs and view your MyPlate plan for food group recommendations.
Common Diets & Eating Patterns
Popular/Fad Diets (Note: the patterns below are generally attempted/used for weight loss and are not followed for an indefinite amount of time.)
Evidence-Based Eating Patterns (Note: these patterns below are generally meant to be followed as a long-term eating plan for disease prevention and sustained good health.)
A note on weight loss…
…The AHA/ACC/TOS Guideline for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults recommends that any diet pattern that restricts caloric intake can induce weight loss. Considerations include chronic disease, nutrient supplementation, and personal choice.
The 8 Common Food Allergens