Nutrients are the important constituents of diet which helps in regulation of various functions of the body. Protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins, etc. are important ingredients of food and lack of these in our diet has a negative effect on our body. “Balanced diet is the one which consists of all the required nutrients in adequate amount for proper maintenance and regulation of body functions.”
· A sufficient number of calories
· The daily requirement of protein should be met and it amounts to 15-20% of the daily energy intake
· Fat requirement should be limited to 20-30% of daily energy intake
· Carbohydrates rich in natural fibers should constitute the remaining food energy
Every person needs (i) Energy giving food
Body Building food (iii) Protective food from his daily diet. A balanced diet means a diet, which contains all the above constituents in needed quantity.
For different age groups, the composition and proportion of the nutrients varies. The proportion and percentage of the various constituents of diet depend upon the occupation, physical condition, sex, age and climate, generally a person requires about 3200 calories of heat energy in order to maintain the proper function of the body. These 3200 calories should be given by a proper combination of food elements.
Children, heavy workers, tall and fat persons require more food. Similarly, people living in cold countries consume larger quantity of food than people living in warm countries. Diet of man and boys is more than the diet of woman and girls. Persons, who do a lot of mental work, should take less carbohydrate but more proteins. Ex: A rickshaw puller requires extra calories than a sedentary working man.