The Art of Nutrition

The information gathered here is from an American webpage, it a great guide to Nutrition all in one place, the guidance is mainly the same as the UK Nutritional Guidance. From a Chefs point of view whose looking to balance the Nutritional values in there recipes it work  very well, a dietitian would probably require more information. Follow the Link to the main site.

Another great sit for information is the British Nutrition Foundation. Follow the Link to BNF


Protein is a macronutrient that forms the building blocks of the human body. It is necessary for the growth and repair of all tissues, along with many other functions including forming hormones and enzymes. A deficiency in protein leads to muscle atrophy and impaired functioning of the body in general.

How much protein do you need?

The recommended daily intake of protein is between 46-63 grams for most adults, with pregnant and lactating women needing up to 65 grams per day. 

The Daily Value (%DV) for protein is set at 50 grams per day, which is an average that works for most people. 

High protein foods include lean chicken, lean pork, fish, lean beef, tofu, beans, lentils, low-fat yogurt, milk, cheese, seeds, nuts, and eggs.


Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients required by the body for proper functioning and good health. The main function of carbohydrates is to provide energy to the body including the brain, which also runs on glucose.

Healthy high carb foods like whole grains, plus fruits and vegetables (which are also classed as carbohydrates) are an essential part of a balanced diet and eating plenty of these foods reduces the risk of many diseases, including heart disease, type II diabetes, obesity, and some cancers.

The daily value (%DV) for carbohydrates is 300 grams. 

On the other hand, excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates like sugar or corn syrup, can increase our risk of the same diseases.


Potassium is an essential nutrient used to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. It also plays a critical role in the transmission of electrical impulses in the heart.

A deficiency in potassium causes fatigue, irritability, and hypertension (high blood pressure). Unless you are on dialysis or have a special condition, an overdose of potassium from natural sources is nearly impossible. Signs of high potassium blood levels include weakness, paralysis, and heart palpitations. 

High potassium foods include leafy green vegetables, fish, white beans, avocados, potatoes, acorn squash, milk, mushrooms, bananas, and cooked tomatoes. 

The current daily value (%DV) for potassium is 4700 milligrams (mg)

Dietary fibre 

Dietary fibre or "roughage" is an essential nutrient required for proper digestion of foods and helping you feel full. 

Health benefits of fibre include reduced blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and a decreased risk for stroke, diabetes, and various gastrointestinal diseases. 

High fibre foods include beans, lentils, avocados, chia seeds, acorn squash, green peas, collard greens, broccoli, oranges. 

The current daily value (DV) for dietary fibre is 25 grams.


Iron is an essential mineral used to transport oxygen around the body in the form of haemoglobin. A slight deficiency in iron causes anaemia (fatigue/weakness), and a chronic deficiency can lead to organ failure. 

Conversely, too much iron leads to the production of harmful free radicals, and interferes with metabolism, causing damage to organs like the heart and liver. 

The body is able to regulate the uptake of iron, so overdose is rare and usually only occurs when people take supplements. Iron from natural food sources, like the ones listed below, are considered safe and healthy.

Foods high in iron include fortified cereals, beef, shellfish, dried fruit, beans, lentils, dark leafy greens, dark chocolate, quinoa, mushrooms, and squash seeds. 

The current daily value (DV) for iron is 18 milligrams (mg). 

Vitamin D 

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin required by the body for the absorption of calcium, bone development, immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. 

A deficiency of Vitamin D can lead to rickets, a weakened immune system, increased cancer risk, poor hair growth and osteomalacia. 

Excess vitamin D can cause the body to absorb too much calcium, leading to increased risk of heart disease and kidney stones. 

Vitamin D is fat soluble, which means you need to eat fat to absorb it. Foods high in vitamin D include fish, mushrooms exposed to sunlight, fortified milk, fortified milk substitutes, fortified tofu, fortified yogurt, fortified breakfast cereals, fortified orange juice, pork chops, and eggs.

Vitamin D is also made by the body when skin is exposed sunlight and is therefore called the sunshine vitamin. This accounts for approximately 90% of our total vitamin D, with only 10% coming from food. Depending on where you live, 20 minutes of sun exposure a day is enough to meet your vitamin D requirements.

The current Daily Value (%DV) for vitamin D is 20μg (micrograms) and the toxicity threshold is thought to be 250 to 1000 μg/day.  

Vitamin B12 

Vitamin B12, or Cobalamin, is necessary for making DNA and for creating energy in our cells.  A deficiency of vitamin B12 leads to anaemia, fatigue, mania, and depression. A long-term deficiency can cause permanent damage to the brain and central nervous system. 

Vitamin B12 is created by bacteria and can only be found naturally in animal products, however, synthetic forms are widely available and added to many foods such as packaged cereals.

Vitamin B12 can be consumed in large doses since excess B12 is stored in the liver for use when supplies are scarce. Stores of B12 can last for several years, which is why it takes a long time before people realize they have a deficiency in their diet.

High vitamin B12 foods include clams, fish, crab, low-fat beef, fortified cereal, fortified soymilk, fortified tofu, low-fat dairy, cheese, and eggs. 

The daily value for vitamin B12 is 2.4μg per day.


Magnesium is an essential mineral required by the body for muscle and nerve function, maintaining heart rhythm, building strong bones and energy production. The secretion and action of insulin also require magnesium.

A deficiency in magnesium can lead to numbness, muscle cramps, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms. 

Conversely, consuming too much magnesium typically causes diarrhoea and nausea as the body attempts to excrete the excess. 

High magnesium foods include dark leafy greens, seeds, beans, fish, whole grains, nuts, dark chocolate, yogurt, avocados, bananas and more. 

The current daily value (DV) for magnesium is 420mg.