Introduction  
  What is food?  
  What happens to the food we eat?  
Our nutrient needs
  Energy balance  
  Nutritional status  
  Laws & labels  
  Additives & colours  
  Toxicity in food  
  Processing food  
  Stability of food nutrients  
  Storage life of foods  
  Food- associated health problems  

- Our nutrient needs -

Hunter-gatherer cracking mungongo nutsThe human diet has evolved from that of the hunter-gatherer, through that of the subsistence agriculturalist, to that of the urban-dweller in an industrialized society. The differences between the former diet and the so-called 'affluentFind out more about this term' diet of developed countries are shown in Figure 5. The increased intake of macronutrients and decreased intake of dietary fibre have been accompanied by increased incidence of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. A more healthful diet, relatively higher in carbohydrate and dietary fibre, and lower in fat and alcohol, is advocated by most nutritionists.

The amounts of nutrients suggested for a healthful diet cover quite wide ranges of values, which are compatible not only with survival, but also with optimal health. Not only do individuals differ from each other in their nutrient needs, but also any one person's requirements may change with age, as shown in Figure 6.

Food Facts
Our nutrient needs
- How our nutrient needs are assessed
- Recommended dietary intakes
Figures:
5: How the human diet has changed
6: Our nutrient needs change with age
7: Recommended dietary intakes for different groups
8: Recommended daily dietary intakes in some developed countries
9: Estimated safe and adequate range of daily dietary intakes
10: How to check your intake of a particular nutrient
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