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Nutrition Homework

Due Thursday, Jun 28

Background Information

 A balanced diet is important because different foods contain different combinations of important nutrients. No single food can supply all the nutrients one needs to maintain good health. We should not exclude certain food groups or assume that one is better than another.

  • For example, oranges provide vitamin C, but no vitamin B12; cheese provides vitamin B12, but no vitamin C.

Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in food supply energy, which is measured in calories.

  • Carbohydrate – provides four calories per gram
  • 2. Protein – provides four calories per gram
  • 3. Fat – provides nine calories per gram (So, foods that are high in fat are also high in calories)

In order to stay at the same body weight, people must balance the amount of energy (calories) in food eaten with the amount of energy (calories) the body uses. Achieving this balance doesn’t need to occur absolutely every day, but should be achieved generally, such as over a few days’ time.

Physical activity is an important way to burn food energy. Most Americans spend much of their day doing activities that require little energy. In addition, many Americans of all ages now spend a lot of leisure time each day being inactive or sedentary (watching TV/videos or playing computer/video games). In order to burn excess energy/calories we need to spend less time doing sedentary activities (sitting) and spend more time being active (walking to the store or around the block and climbing stairs rather than using elevators). Less sedentary activity and more vigorous activity may help reduce body fat and disease risks.

 The kinds and amounts of food people eat affect their ability to maintain weight. High-fat foods contain more calories per serving than other foods and may increase the likelihood of weight gain. However, even when people eat less high fat food, they still can gain weight from eating too much of foods high in starch, sugar, or protein. Choose sensible portion sizes. Eat a variety of foods. Fruits, vegetables, pasta, rice, bread, and other whole-grain foods are filling but are lower in calories than foods rich in fats or oils.

The pattern of eating may also be important. Snacks provide a large percentage of daily calories for many Americans. Unless nutritious snacks are part of the daily meal plan, snacking may lead to weight gain.






Food and Nutrients

Food Sources

 Water § Cools your body when exercising § Helps you digest food § Helps transport nutrients in your body

Examples: Water, drinks without caffeine, fruit, soup

Carbohydrates § Provides energy § Can be stored for energy later § Gives foods sweetness and texture § Provides vitamins, minerals, and fiber

Examples: Whole grains, fruits, vegetables

Protein § Builds and repairs muscle § Helps your body grow § Provides energy

Examples Meat, poultry, fish, beans, nuts, milk, milk products, eggs, tofu

Fat § Provides energy § Can be stored for energy later § Makes you feel less hungry § Makes food taste good § Helps keep your skin smooth

Examples Vegetable oil, meats, nuts, milk products

Vitamins § Helps you see at night § Helps your body get energy from food § Helps you heal cuts and bruises § Helps fight infections and colds

Examples: Vegetables, fruit, fish, whole grains, milk, milk products

Minerals § Helps your blood carry oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and other parts of your body § Helps build strong teeth and bones

Examples: Whole grains, lean meat, milk, vegetables, fruit, cheese, beans




Fat is an important part of our diets.

  • Fat helps in the absorption and transport of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins
  • A, D, E, and K.
  • Fat is the primary way energy is stored in the body.
  • It makes foods taste good.
  • Some fats (which come from plant sources) are essential for healthy skin and hair.

The problem is that most Americans consume too much of the wrong type of fat. Every year over half a million people die in this country from heart disease; heart disease is the leading cause of early death and disability in the United States. Many studies have shown a strong relationship between heart disease and high intake of saturated and trans fats. The good news is that if we decrease the dietary fat, we can reduce our risk of heart disease.


Different types of fat:

  • Saturated Fat (for example, butter or lard) tends to be a solid at room temperature and comes primarily from animal sources (meat and dairy); high intake of saturated fats increases the risk for heart disease. Foods high in saturated fat tend to raise blood cholesterol.
  • Unsaturated Fat (fat that is usually liquid at room temperature), such as canola oil, olive oil, safflower oil and vegetable oil decreases the risk for heart disease. Plant foods, for the most part, tend to have a higher proportion of unsaturated fat.
  • Cholesterol - The body makes the cholesterol it requires. Cholesterol also is obtained from food. Dietary cholesterol comes from animal sources such as egg yolks, meat (especially organ meats such as liver), poultry, fish, and higher-fat dairy products. Many of these foods are also high in saturated fats. Choosing foods with less cholesterol and with less trans and saturated fats will help lower your blood cholesterol levels. The Nutrition Facts Label lists the Daily Value for cholesterol as 300 mg. You can keep your cholesterol intake at this level or lower by eating more grain products, vegetables, and fruits, and by limiting intake of foods that contain cholesterol.
  •  Trans Fat is produced during the hydrogenation of vegetable oils. Hydrogenation hardens oils to make them spreadable (e.g., margarine) and improves shelf life. Through hydrogenation. unsaturated or liquid fat can be converted to trans fat or more solid forms. Margarine, for example, is made by hydrogenating liquid oil, such as soybean oil, until it becomes more saturated and remains solid at room temperature. There is growing evidence that hydrogenated fat (a major source of trans fat) found in high amounts in stick margarine may also increase the risk of heart disease. Trans fat raises the body’s LDL level (commonly known as the “bad” cholesterol) and lowers the HDL levels (the “good” cholesterol). In a typical American diet, trans fat is found mostly in foods that contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, particularly in baked goods such as cookies and crackers. If hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil is used, it will be listed in the ingredient list on the food package. Some trans fat is also found in animal fat.

 Although all food labels provide % Daily Value for nutrients, the following describes how the % Daily Value for one specific nutrient (fat) is calculated.

  • For a particular food, divide the number of grams of fat per serving by 65. (65) is used because it is recommended that a person eating a 2,000-calorie. In your, daily diet consume no more than 65 grams of fat each day.
  • For example: A serving of tuna salad has 14 grams of fat; 14 ÷ 65 = 0.22; 0.22 x100 = 22%. Therefore a serving of tuna salad contains 22% Daily Value for fat for a person who eats 2,000 calories a day.

Reading food labels is an effective way to compare the fat and nutrient content of various snack foods. The place to find out whether a food is relatively high or low in a nutrient is the % Daily Value column on the Nutrition Facts label on food packages. The % Daily

Value for total fat and saturated fat are important.

  • If, for individual foods, the % Daily Value is 5 or less for total fat or saturated fat, the food is considered low-fat (low in total fat or saturated fat). The more foods chosen that have a % Daily Value of 5 or less for total fat and saturated fat, the easier it is to eat a healthier daily diet. The overall daily goal should be to select foods that together do not exceed 100% of the Daily Value for total fat and saturated fat.


Why should you have a balanced diet?


How many calories come from 1 gram of carbohydrates? Protein? Fat?


How can individuals burn food energy?


What does being sedentary mean?


What is the difference between calorie dense foods and nutrient rich foods?


For the following food sources, provide 2 functions and 2 examples of each.

  • Water
  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Fats
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals


What is the problem with Americans consumption of fat?


What are the different types of fat? Give an example of each. Which fats should you choose? Which fats should you try to avoid? Why?


What are the fat-soluble vitamins?



One slice of cheese pizza contains approximately 10 g of fat? How many calories of fat is this? What percentage of your daily value of fat is this?


Timothy Brady

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