Food and Nutrition


Eat well plate

makes healthy eating easier to understand by giving a visual representation of the types and proportions of foods needed for a healthy and well balanced diet.

Fruit and veg, carbs- potatoes, bread rice pasta, milk and dairy foods, high fat or sugar foods or drinks, protein- meat fish eggs beans

By food groups not nutrients

Messages include

  • less sugar, fats and salt
  • more fibre

Five a day- fruit and veg of different colours- contain different nutrients

6g salt a day

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Vitamins B1,2,3- B12- B- Folate

Vitamin B1,2,3- Thiamin, Riboflavin and Niacin

  • heps release of energy from Carbohydrates
  • needed for normal growth in children
  • Functioning and maintainenance of nerves
  • Sources: Red meat, fortified breakfast cereals, potatoes, bread, yeast extract

Vitamin B12

  • helps the formation of RBC
  • Anemia can be result with formation of incorrect blood cells
  • May be deficient in vegetarian diet
  • Sources: Red meat, foods of animal origin, milk, eggs, yeast

Vitamin B- Folate (found in foods in natural form) or folic acid when added to food

  • important for the formation of blood cells
  • Recommenede din early stages of pregnancy to prevent neural tube defect- spina bifida
  • Pregnant women should take a supplement of folic acid everyday
  • Sources: yeast extract, leafy greens, spinach
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Vitamin C

Vitamin C- ascorbic acid

  • Increases the absorptopn of non-haem iron
  • maintains body's  connective tissue
  • important for wound healing
  • repairing bones and teeth
  • sources: fruit, especially citrus fruit, oranges, lemons, green veg and tomatoes
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Fats and oils

Can be hard fat or oil liquids at room temp

Saturated fats

  • animal sources: butter, hard cheese, lard. meat- no more than 11% of our food energy
  • health problems like coronary heart disease, strokes and high cholestrol

Unsaturated fats

  • Sources: Olive oil, margerine, rapeseed oil
  • Includes monounsaturates and polyunsaturated fats that can lower cholestrol levels


  • Concentrated source of energy
  • Needed for all body cells
  • Provides us with fat soluble vitamins- A,D,E and K
  • Insulation- stored under skin and keeps us warm
  • Protection of internal organs
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How to lower fat

  • Eat fewer fatty foods- avoid chips, pastry pies, puddings and fried foods
  • Try cooking with less fat- use non-stick frying pans and only a little fat to fry
  • Grill, boil, steam or bake foods rather than frying
  • Remove visible fat from meat
  • Cut down on fatty snacks- try healthy snacks like fruit or veg sticks
  • Choose lower fat versions of foods- milk, yoghurt
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Proteins are macronutrients with long chains of amino acids made up of Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxgygen, Nitrogen

Body can make dispensable amino acids- indispensable must be provided through diet


  • Need for Growth, Repair of tissues, muscles and cells
  • Structure of red blood cells
  • Helps resist/ fight infection

If we eat more than we need the excess is used as a source of energy

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Proteins- complementation

Proteins from animal sources- milk, eggs, meat, cheese ect

Contain all essential amino acids and have a High Biological Value (HBV)

Proteins from plant sources- peas, beans, lentils, cereals, pulses ect.

These foods may lack one of the essential amino acids and have a Low Biological Value (LBV)

Mixtures of vegetable protein complement each other by supplying the full range of amino acids

Vegetarian meals often supply two complementing proteins if grains and pulses are used

Eg. rice and dhal (lentils), beans on toast.

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A vegetarian diet

  • Mainly based on plant foods
  • No foods or food products where an animal, bird, fish etc. has been killed

Reasons for following a vegetarian diet

  • Do not want to eat flesh from dead, animals, birds or fish
  • Disagree with raising and killing animals, birds or fish (consider it cruel)
  • Consider the vegetarian diet to be healthier
  • Religious reasons
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Types of vegetarians

Lacto-ovo vegetarian- eat animal products eg eggs (ovo) milk- an animal hasn't had to die

Lacto vegetarian- as above but no eggs

Vegans- do not eat any animal food products, only eat plant foods

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Vegetarian dietary and nutritioal needs


  • Iron from plant foods are less easily absorbed by the body- Plant sources of iron: fortified breakfast cereals, leafy greens, broccoli, nuts, seeds, kale, pulses
  • If the need for iron is high (after period) a vegetarian iron supplements eg. blackstrap molasses
  • Vitamin C- Helps the body absorb iron


  • Plant based HBV foods like soya beans and quinoa
  • Complementing LBV foods
    • Lentil soup and bread
    • Nut stirfry and egg pasta
    • Hummus and bread
  • Quorn- egg protein

Vitamin B12

  • Vegans may take supplement
  • Found in dairy products and eggs- also yeast extract, soya, milk, fortified breakfast cereals
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Convenience foods

Foods that have been prepare in ways to make them easier to use- cans, bottles, forzen, chilled or dried


  • Saves time compared with preparing fresh food
  • Can save money
  • Quick to prepare and cook
  • Consistent taste, colour, flavour
  • Can be stored in case fresh food isn't available
  • Easy to use- few cooking skills required
  • Long shelf life
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Substances added to processed food producy by manufactures

  • Natural- made from natural products, such as beetroot juice
  • Nature identical- made to the same chemical formula as natural products
  • Artificial (synthetic)- made entirely from chemicals

Additives have to be approved as safe before use by the European Union (EU)

Additives approve by the EU are given an E number

Additives have to be listed on food labels

Additives are linked to health problems and behaviour problems- cancer, hyperactive behaviour

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Functions of additives


  • To increase shelf life
  • To prevent growth of micro-organisms
  • To prevent or slow down natural spoilage


  • To improve the natural colour/ change the colour

Flavourings and sweeteners  

  • To enhance (improve) the natural flavour of a food
  • Creat new products with unusual flavours eg. drinks and sweets

Emulsifiers and stabilisers

  • Stop ingredients from separating, improve texture, shape and consistency


  • To improve the texture and mouth feel of products like yoghurt
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Dietary advice to prevent CHD

Coronary heart disease

  • Follow current dietary guidelines
  • Eat fruit and veg- antioxidants and fibre in them help prevent damage to arteries by keeping cholestrol low
  • Choose low fat foods
  • Limit saturated fat intake
  • Grill or bake foods rather than frying
  • Trim fat off foods (meat)
  • Reduce the amount of fat spread on foods 
  • Reduce salt intake-use othe flavourings- cut down salty snacks
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Dietary advice for diabetics

  • Follow current dietary guidelines
  • Limit sugar intake
  • Eat complex carbohydrates to release glucose slowly into the body, so it does less damage and the body has time to deal with it
  • No need to buy specially made diabetic foods
  • Control intake of fat and salt to help prevent heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Increase fruit and vegetable intake to provide antioxidants
  • Read food labels to become aware of what foods contain look for chemical names of sugars eg. sucrose, dextrose, glucose syrup
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Pregnant women

  • Increase requirements for energy to keep themselves and the developing baby healthy
  • Folic acid supplement before getting pregnant to help prevent neural tube defects in their baby and their spine eg.spima bifida. Eat lots o food rich in folate eg. potatoes, fruit, beans seeds, fortified breakfast cereals
  • Eat plenty of fibre and drink lots of water to prevent constipation and diverticular disease- common in pregnancy as slows down hormones in the intestine
  • Limit the amount of energy dense foods- control weight
  • Iron and vit c (absorb iron)- baby needs a supply of iron enough to last it through its first 3-4 months. Iron supplements to prevent anaemia
  • Calcium and vit D- milk, yoghurt, green leafy veg-mineralise bones, avoid fizzy drinks
  • Eat regular balanced meals and follow current dietary guidelines
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Foods to avoid during pregnancy

  • Raw or partly cooked eggs- salmonella bacteria
  • Pates, soft cheeses- Listeria bacteria
  • Raw or lightly cooked meat
  • Liver, liver products and Vitamin A supplements
  • Alcohol
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