The 5 main nutrients, the sources and the uses for them in the body

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  • Created by: R_Hall
  • Created on: 07-05-11 13:55


  • Protein is the number 1 nutrient, as it is needed for growth and repair of body cells
  • Proteins contain essential amino acids
  • There are 2 types of protein- high biological value and low biologial value

High Biological Value (HBV)

  • Found in meat, fish, eggs, soya, Quorn and milk

Low Biological Value (LBV)

  • Found in pulses, beans, peas, lentils, nuts and cereals
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  • Carbohydrate rich foods are the main energy providers
  • There are 3 types of carbohydrates: Complex, Starches and Sugars


  • Wholegrain foods are high in complex carbohydrates (brown rice, wholegrain bread)
  • Wholegrain foods maintain stable blood sugars


  • Found in rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and cereals


  • Found in sugar, honey, jam and fruits
  • Too much of these foods can cause changes in blood sugar levels; making you energetic then tired. Excess sugars are stored in the muscles and the liver, ready for use, but if they are not used they are stored as fat
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Fats and Oils

  • Fats and oils are essential for warmth and energy
  • Although they are essentials, a diet too high in fats and oils can cause problems, such as obesity, high cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and halitosis (bad breath)


  • Fats are solid at room temperature- butter, margarine, lard and dripping


  • Oils are liquid at room temperature- are found in corn, sunflowers, peanut, sesame and olives
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  • Iron rich foods include cereals, meat, dried fruit,green leafy vegetables (such as spinach), eggs and dark chocolate
  • Iron helps to make red blood cells. Blood carries oxygen to the body, without iron, there would be no oxygen
  • A diet low in iron can lead to anaemia, the symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia include lethargy, headaches, heart palpitations and shortness of breath


  • Calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth and to clot the blood
  • It is found in milk, cheese, yogurt, vegetables, cereals and bread
  • In elderly people, the lack of calcium can result in osteoporosis, making the bones weak and more likely to fracture or break
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Vitamin A

  • Vitamin A helps to prevent "night blindness" and keeps a moist mucous membrane in the nose
  • Carrots, oranges and spinach are high in vitamin A

Vitamin B

  • Vitamin B is the group of vitamins thiamine, niacin and riboflavin
  • It is needed to release the energy from carbohydrates and are found in liver, meat, nuts, oats and tuna

Vitamin C

  • Vitamin C is used to make connective tissue, to maintain a healthy immune system and to help the body absorb iron
  • Citrus fruits and berries are high in vitamin C
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Vitamins 2

Vitamin D

  • Vitamin D is needed to help calcium build healthy and strong bones and teeth
  • It is found in eggs, fish and margarine
  • It can also be made by the body through sunshine on the skin
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