Using the food charts
  Important basics  
  Fat-soluble vitamins  
Water-soluble vitamins  










- Food Charts -


The food composition charts list values for all significant nutrients in many foods. Additional charts of special interest are also included. Many of the values listed are based on those in The Composition of Foods by A.A. Paul and D.A.T. Southgate (U.K.), and Tables of Composition of Australian Foods by S. Thomas and M. Corden. In addition, values from our own laboratories in the Department of Human Nutrition at Deakin University and other Australian sources are included.

Values for nutrients in food can vary widely and depend on such things as: the growing environment, the particular variety or breed, the method of processing, the storage temperature and time etc. The values given in the charts are a good indication of nutritional value. You can see at a glance which foods are rich or deficient in particular nutrients.

The charts:

  • enable you to know what nutrients are present in which foods
  • show which foods are particularly good or poor sources of nutrients
  • give a quick comparison of the nutrient content of different foods
  • allow you to estimate your own intake of a particular nutrient and compare it with that recommended (the RDI). In doing so, remember that the nutrient value given is a best estimate only, and also that recommended intakes have been developed for groups of people amongst whom there is wide individual variation.

There are 50 charts, each for one nutrient or other component of foods. Each is preceded by an introduction giving the characteristics of that particular food component. You will see that:

  • the charts give nutrient values for 414 different foods. The same 414 foods are listed on most charts but there are some charts for which less information is currently available. The lists of foods in these charts is therefore shorter. In these cases, remember that if a food item is not included in the list, it does not necessarily mean that there is none of that particular component in that food.

  • the foods are grouped in categories, such as Soups, Vegetables, etc. (see Figure 43B). You can find the same food in the3 same place in each chart. This allows a scan through each chart so that all nutrient values for a particular food can be quickly located and compared. This can be useful for assessing the nutritive value of a particular food. (For example, confectionery is very high in kilocalories and carbohydrate but a scan through other charts quickly shows it contributes insignificant amounts of other nutrients. In contrast, while a steak and kidney pie is also high in kilocalories and carbohydrate it also provides protein: several elements, vitamins B-l, B-2 and niacin.)

  • each food, where practicable, is given an average serving size to help you work out your daily intake for a particular nutrient.


The following sections should help you get the best use out of the charts.

   Food Charts
Using the Food Charts
- Average Serving Size
- Nutrient Intake
- Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
- When you cannot find the information
- Some Examples
- Figure 43: Notes for use of charts