Minerals and vitamins are called micro-nutrients as they are needed in much smaller quantities than the other nutrients. Vitamins are organic compounds that mainly help with the breakdown and use of food in the body. In 1994 the government produced a set of eight guidelines for a healthy diet called ?The Balance of Good Health?. The new Healthy Food Pyramid was developed by the Harvard School of Public Health in the United States (thanks guys!). Vegetables are an extremely important part of the healthy food pyramid as they provide essential vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and fibre. Fish, Poultry and Eggs The foods provide optimal sources of protein and essential fatty acids. Dairy Foods and Vitamin D Calcium and Vitamin D are essential for strong bones and healthy teeth. Rightio, I hope you were as excited by my overview of the Harvard School of Public Health's Updated Healthy Eating Pyramid as much as I was when I found it!!
Food is made up of a range of chemicals, the chemicals in food that our bodies uses are called nutrients. There are two main kinds of carbohydrate: starchy carbohydrates found in bread, pasta, rice, cereals, and sugars such as sucrose and fruit sugars.

Even if you know the exact nutritional content of your food, it is very difficult to try to eat precisely the recommended daily amounts. Protein in food is not used in the form it is eaten but is broken down during digestion into amino acids.
Minerals are inorganic chemicals that play an important part in such processes as the action of enzymes. Vitamins are classified into two groups ? fat soluble, such as vitamins A and D, and water soluble, such as vitamin C and the vitamin B complex. It is currently recommended that we get 50% of our energy from carbohydrates, of which 40% should be starchy carbohydrates.
A diet lacking fibre can lead to constipation and the development of high pressure in the digestive tract; this has been linked with a variety of diseases of the colon such as hiatus hernia. There are two main types ? saturated fats, which are usually solids and come from animal sources, and polyunsaturated fats, found mostly in seed oils, these are liquids at room temperature. Their solution was to get people to think in terms of food groups rather than nutrients, and then provide a simple rule of thumb for eating the right proportion of these food groups.
Starchy carbohydrates provide bulk to our diet and can also contain additional nutrients such as protein, vitamins and minerals. Excess intake of fats has become a serious health concern and saturated fats in particular have been found to raise blood cholesterol contributing to the risk of heart disease.

Fibre also binds to a number of chemicals that cause cancer, and so can provide some protection against cancer of the intestine. Current government advice recommends reducing the amount of fat in the diet, particularly saturated fats.
Nutrients are classified into five main groups, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. You then leave it in the crisper for up to a week, cook it in less than perfect ways (if they even make it out of the crisper) and then eat them. One particular carbohydrate called dietary fibre is often included as a separate nutrient, as is water, making seven types altogether.
If the body exhausts its available carbohydrate and fat, then protein from the diet or body tissue can be used as a source of energy. In general, people in the UK have about a third too little dietary fibre in their diets and should eat more whole grain foods, fruit and vegetables.

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