Basic Tools in Nutrition

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BASIC TOOLS IN NUTRITION
The main nutrition tools are:
Food groups, dietary standards (RDA) and food exchange lists

Food groups or food guides
* Food guides translate quantitative nutritional requirements into simple, practical and non- technical language using available and common foods of the country. * Food groups are developed by nutrition experts as a quantitative tool in planning nutritious diets for the masses. * The three main food groups are:

1. Body-building foods: foods that supply good quality proteins, some vitamins and minerals. 2. Energy foods: mostly of rice and other cereals, starches, sugars and fats contribute the bulk of Calories. 3. Regulating foods: composed of fruits and vegetables that provide vitamins and minerals, particularly ascorbic acid and pro vitamin A.

DIETARY STADARDS
* Dietary standards are compilations of nutrient requirements or allowances in specific quantities. * Dietary requirement is the minimum amount needed for a nutrient to attain good health under specific conditions (age, weight, physical activity, sex, physiological condition, state of health status, etc). * Dietary allowance is the minimum requirement plus a safety factor or “margin of safety” to account for individual variations in body storage of nutrients, state of health, nutrient utilization, day to day variations within an individual, etc.

Recommended Dietary Allowance:
* The RDA, the estimated amount of a nutrient (or calories) per day considered necessary for the maintenance of good health by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council/ National Academy of Sciences. The RDA is updated periodically to reflect new knowledge. It is popularly called the Recommended Daily Allowance Nutrient density

* Nutrient density is a measure of the nutrients a food provides compared to the calories it provides. Foods low in calories and high in nutrients are nutrient dense, while foods high in calories and low in...
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