Biology - Human Nutrition

  • Created by: Dan_23
  • Created on: 19-05-21 18:11


A nutrient is a substance needed by organisms to stay alive and healthy. A healthy human diet involves seven different kinds of nutrient:

  • carbohydrates
  • proteins
  • lipids(fats and oils)
  • minerals
  • vitamins
  • dietary fibre
  • water

Some foods are particularly rich in certain nutrients. The table shows why we need each nutrient, and some good sources of each one:

NutrientUse in the bodyGood sources Carbohydrate To provide energy Cereals, bread, pasta, rice and potatoes Protein For growth and repair Fish, meat, eggs, beans, pulses and dairy products Lipids (fats and oils) To provide energy. Also to store energy in the body and insulate it against the cold. Butter, oil and nuts Minerals Needed in small amounts to maintain health Salt, milk (for calcium) and liver (for iron) Vitamins Needed in small amounts to maintain health Fruit, vegetables, dairy foods Dietary fibre To provide roughage to help to keep the food moving through the gut Vegetables, bran Water Needed for cells and body fluids Water, fruit juice, milk

Energy needs

Each person needs a different amount of energy depending on factors such as:

  • gender (male or female)
  • age
  • amount of daily activity

If you look on the side of food packets you will see the food's energy content. This is usually measured in kilojoules, kJ. For example, a one-year-old baby needs 3850 kJ each day to continue to grow, whereas an adult Olympic swimmer in training needs 15,600 kJ each day.


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