Canteen Manager Training Part 1

Nutrients

Page last updated: 08 October 2013

There are 6 essential nutrients that the body needs to function properly. Nutrients are compounds in foods essential to life and health, providing us with energy, the building blocks for repair and growth and substances necessary to regulate chemical processes.

There are six major nutrients: Carbohydrates (CHO), Lipids (fats), Proteins, Vitamins, Minerals, Water.

Looking at the AGHE, what food groups are the primary sources of each of the following ?

Proteins: meat, dairy, legumes, nuts, seafood and eggs
Carbohydrates: pasta, rice, cereals, breads, potatoes, milk, fruit, sugar
Lipids (most commonly called fats): oils, butter, margarine, nuts, seeds, avocados and olives, meat and seafood
Vitamins: common vitamins include the water soluble B group vitamins and vitamin C and the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K

    • Fruits and vegetables are generally good sources of Vitamin C and A and folic acid (a B group vitamin)
    • Grains and cereals are generally good sources of the B group vitamins and fibre
    • Full-fat dairy and egg yolks are generally sources of the fat soluble vitamins A, D and E
    • Milk and vegetable or soya bean oil are generally good sources of vitamin K, which can also be synthesised by gut bacteria
Minerals: (sodium, calcium, iron, iodine, magnesium, etc.): all foods contain some form of minerals.
    • Milk and dairy products are a good source of calcium and magnesium
    • Red meat is a good source of iron and zinc
    • Seafood and vegetables (depending on the soil in which they are produced) are generally good sources of iodine
Water: As a beverage and a component of many foods, especially vegetables and fruits.