Nutritional Guidelines for Adults: Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle

Unit NUT 4.1: Principles of Nutrition

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Assignment 1

Task 1

Explain the appropriate healthy eating guidelines for an adult.

With reference to these guidelines, explain how they might differ from those of an adult for TWO of the following life-stages:

Baby, toddler, child, adolescent, pregnant female, breast–feeding female, elderly adult.

Your answer should include:


reference to the requirements for energy, hydration and key nutrients.

information for both males and females, with an explanation for any variation between them for the same life stage (if appropriate).

macro and micronutrients and their functions. (For micronutrients you should select THREE minerals and THREE vitamins for discussion).

the importance of energy balance and how this can be achieved

You should assume that each of your subjects has an 'average' BMI for that life stage. Appropriate units must be used throughout. In selecting which minerals and vitamins to include in your account, you should consider selecting micronutrients for which dietary requirements will vary for the different life stages you have chosen.

Healthy Eating Guidelines for an Adult (BMI 24.9)

Consumption of healthy food, beverages, snacks, and regular exercise helps one maintain a healthy body and weight. Making healthy lifestyle choices helps adults prevent health problems such as obesity and heart conditions associated with poor diets (Krebs-Smith et al., 2018). Nutritional guidelines for adults include:

Choose whole-grain such as wheat bread, pasta, oatmeal, and brown rice more often. Added sugar and solid fats pack contain a lot of calories which are unhealthy for one's body.

Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. These are essential sources of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Consuming vegetables and fruits lowers the chances of obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Limit the intake of sugars and soft drinks. Sugar should represent less than 10% of an adult's diet. Reducing it to less than 5% has additional health benefits (Whitelock & Ensaff, 2018). Salt intake of less than 5h per day prevents hypertension and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Limit the intake of lipids (fats). Eating fats and concentrated oils increase the risk of stroke and heart diseases for adults. Consumption of less than 30-35% of fats is healthy for one's body (Reedy et al., 2018).

Healthy Eating Guidelines for Adolescents

Eating healthy is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle at a young age. A lot of energy is required during adolescence as it is during this time that many body changes and developments occur. Eating recommendations for this group stage include;

Increase in fiber diets with reduced salts

Eat three meal a day that contains fruits, vegetable proteins, fewer fats with healthy snacks.

Drink a lot of water. Children in adolescence should avoid drinks with high sugar as this will only build up unnecessary calories in the body (Arcila-Agudelo et al., 2019).

The use of butter and heavy grains gravies should be avoided. Concentrated fats and oils increase fats around body muscles and organs and may lead to cardiovascular complications with time.

Lean on proteins. Lean meat and poultry are recommended as they have low fats, which are healthy for the body.

Healthy Eating Guidelines for a Weaning Baby (> or equal to 5th percentile and< 85th percentiles)

For breastfeeding babies and young children, the following healthy eating guidelines are recommended. Feeding babies with breast milk from birth up to six months is essential health-wise. Introduction of safe and nutritious complements at six months while continued breastfeeding until a child is two years old is critical for reducing communicable diseases and obesity (Nicklaus, 2017). Healthy diets start early in life which fosters healthy growth.

Healthy hydration guidelines according to the BNF

The BNF's new healthy hydration recommendations remind people to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid each day, including lots of water. The BNF guidelines also state that staying hydrated for various age groups requires more than simply choosing the right drinks; it also needs help to ensure the adequate fluid is taken (Nicklaus, 2017). Young children may not always notice when they are thirsty and may forget to drink, necessitating assistance from adults to ensure that they receive enough fluids, especially when they are active or in hot weather. The feeling of thirst in older individuals can be diminished, so it's especially essential for those who are ill or have limited mobility to have support and encouragement from those around them to drink enough.

Physical activity guidelines for healthy living

The 57th World Health Assembly adopted the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity, and Health. The approach urges governments to establish evidence-based food guidelines and guidelines for health-promoting physical activity, to reduce malnutrition induced by inactivity (WHO, 2018). Adults should do the following:

Every day, try to be physically active. Any action is preferable to none, and more is even preferable. 2 days a week, conduct strengthening routines that target all main muscles (legs, hips, back, belly, chest, shoulders, and arms). 150 minutes of moderate level activity or 75 minutes of high-intensity activity per week are recommended.

Reduce the amount of time you spend sitting or lying down, and do something active to break up long periods of inactivity (WHO, 2018).

Macro and Micro Nutrients

Macronutrients are essential carbohydrates, fats, and proteins needed in large amounts by the body for growth and development. Apart from providing calorific value to the body, macronutrients perform the following functions Carbs: They are present in starchy roots, tubers, and grains which produce four calories per gram, works by converting glucose into energy that is used by tissues and cells in the body. (Keikha et al., 2017). The second type of macronutrient is proteins sourced from fish, meat, cheese, milk, legumes, and nuts. They work by repairing tissue in the body, enhancing development and growth in children and pregnant women, and being used as substitutes in the absence of carbohydrates. Fats are obtained from meat, margarine, fish, dairy products, oils, and nuts, and function by enhancing average growth, improving vitamin A, D, E, and K, and providing cushioning for organs.

Micronutrients are essential vitamins and minerals required by the body to perform their normal functions (McGaughy et al., 2018). Mineral compounds include magnesium, which plays a role in cellular processes such as energy production, potassium important for blood pressure regulation, iron carrying oxygen in the blood, and calcium to strengthen teeth and bones. Thiamine (vitamin B1) is Important for nerve activity, part of an enzyme required for energy metabolism. In modest levels, it can be found in all healthy foods: pork, whole grain, or enriched slices of bread and cereals, legumes, nuts, and seeds are all good choices. Folic acid is another vitamin component of an enzyme required to produce DNA and new cells, particularly red blood cells. Most refined grains now include leafy green vegetables and legumes, seeds, orange juice, and liver (Fonseca et al., 2018). The third type of vitamin is a fat-soluble vitamin D. Calcium absorption is aided by this vitamin, stored in the bones. Egg yolks, liver, fatty fish, fortified milk, and fortified margarine all include it. The skin may produce vitamin D when exposed to sunshine.

Differences in Energy Requirements between Different Life Stages

Nutritional requirements vary from one life stage to another. During infancy and child development, recommended intakes are macronutrients, and most micronutrients are higher than those during adulthood. Nutrient needs such as vitamin D increase while energy and iron foods are reduced (Nicklaus, 2017). For women, getting enough calcium, iron, and folic acid is especially important. Women are more prone to weaker bones and osteoporosis than males due to hormonal changes linked with menstruation and childbearing. As a result, postmenopausal women require more calcium than their male counterparts (1000 mg for 51- to 70-year-old women compared to 800 mg for 51- to 70-year-old men). At other ages, calcium consumption recommendations are the same for both genders. Iron is a necessary mineral for the delivery of oxygen to all of the body's cells. Men require approximately 10 micrograms per day, whereas menstrual women require about 14 micrograms per day. Older women's iron requirements return to those of men.

Energy Consumption and Expenditure in Different Occupations

The body requires energy to stay alive, keep warm and move around. This energy is sourced from the foods and drinks we consume. The energy requirements vary from one individual to another depending on the occupation, age, sex, and physical activity level. The total of the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), thermic effect of food, and the energy expended in physical activity make up the energy expenditure (Fonseca et al., 2018). The BMR is used to calculate the substantial amount of energy used by the body in performing essential functions such as breathing. Energy is also used for movement, which depends on a person's weight—the heavier the person, the more energy required for exercise. Consumption of foods rich in macronutrients provides power to the body, which is used in performing different occupations in a day (Saarinen et al., 2017). It is essential to balance the energy sourced from expended foods in physical activities to maintain body weight. To lose weight, the energy expenditure must exceed the intake.

Task 2

For each of the three life stages, produce a day's menus (including snacks and drinks) that will meet the individual's energy, hydration, and nutrient requirements. Explain how the menus satisfy these requirements. You should also explain how the preparation of the meals on your menus can affect the nutrient content of the food.

A single day meal plan for adults

Wheat cereals are an essential source of carbohydrates that provide the body with energy to function normally. In an adult's diet, milk, beans, and fish help supplement proteins that can be used as a substitute energy source in the absence of carbohydrates. They also help repair damaged body tissues. Fruits and vegetables are important in older adults; they help reduce the risk of contracting diseases such as blood pressure and heart diseases (Van Woerden et al., 2019).

Water delivers nutrients to cells and eliminates waste from cells, making it necessary for cellular homeostasis (Häussinger, 2016). All transport mechanisms work in this medium, allowing exchanges between cells, interstitial fluid, and capillaries. It is critical for your health to drink adequate water daily. Dehydration, which may cause sluggish thinking, mood swings, overeating, constipation, and kidney stones, can all be avoided by drinking enough water.

meal for adolescents1 meal for adolescents2

As numerous body changes occur in adolescence, a numerous supply of macronutrients and micronutrients is required. This gives their bodies the energy necessary for growth and development. Fruit salad, vegetables, and apples are the primary sources of these micronutrients; white bread, milk, nut butter, eggs, and lean chicken comprise macronutrients (Van Woerden et al., 2019).

six months infant

Fruits are a great way to get your baby start on solid foods. They contain nutrients that supplement breast milk. These fruits contain natural sugar a good example is the mashed apples. Pears, bananas, and mangoes can also be used as substitute fruits. Breast milk is essential shortly after meals as it helps protect against allergies, sicknesses, and obesity in children (Van Woerden et al., 2019). Since it is easily digested, it is appropriate to breastfeed a weaning baby after their mills as it hastens the digestion process. Boiled mashed potatoes are absolute when it comes to weaning. It contains organic fats, vitamin c, and vitamin B6 that keep the skin smooth and creamy. When the baby starts solids, you may wish to supplement their meals with a few sips of expressed milk or water since some newborns require this to avoid constipation. Continue to nurse older infants and toddlers and provide water in moderation (4-6 oz per day).

Food Preparations and Impacts on Nutrient Composition

Food preparation procedures may reduce or add the number of nutrients composed in them. When cooking foods, exposure to high heat levels, light, and oxygen cause the most significant nutrient loss. Boling food under extreme temperatures inactivates the enzymes and stabilizes food so that it does not spoil. Although rising temperature causes enzyme activity to increase, there is a temperature limit beyond which enzymes cannot operate (Saarinen et al., 2017). The chemical links that maintain the structure of enzymes together begin to break down at temperatures near-boiling. Denaturation, or the loss of structure, is irreversible. Once enzymes have been heated to the point where the chemical bonds that hold them together have broken down, they will not spontaneously form again if the temperature drops.

In contrast to freezing, which does not affect enzyme structure, increasing temperatures after freezing restores enzyme function. However, this causes a reduction in nutrients, and with extended storage time, a more gradual decline occurs (Saarinen et al., 2017). The healthiest way to prepare vegetables is by steaming; boiling vegetables cause water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C, B1, and foliates to dissolve in the water.

How Food Sensitivities Affect Menu Designs

One man's food is another's poison, a familiar centauries old saying elaborating on how food sensitivity has different menu designs. Food sensitivities include food intolerances and allergies, challenging to diagnose (Tuck et al., 2019). Food sensitivity affects menu designs as these people are forced to consume what is available despite the health effects. In most cases, these individuals do not receive balanced diets due to their food intolerance and allergic reactions. An allergy to proteins, also known as casein, occurs when the body mistakenly thinks proteins are harmful and appropriately produces allergic antibodies for protection.

Task 3

For ONE of these menu sets, explain how the menu would be altered if the individual concerned was:

A vegan

A vegetarian

A member of one of the following religious groups: Hindu, Muslim, Jew.

What Needs to Change on the Meal Plans to Accommodate All the Three Groups?

For the meal plan to accommodate all three groups, there need to be significant nutritious and appropriate textures for all the developmental stages. Iron supplements such as fortified cereals and cooked plain beans legumes should complement the proteins obtained from meat. These foods are suitable for vegans, vegetarians, and Muslims (Nicklaus, 2017). These meals should be based around potatoes, bread, and pasta which are carbohydrate sources that these three groups can freely consume.

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Effects of Withdrawal and Restriction of Food Groups on Nutrient Profile

Foods groups contain nutrients that are essential for growth. The absence or restriction of nutrient intake from food groups presents serious health effects. These include indigestion, skin disorders, stunted growth, and even dementia. The amount of nutrients consumed depends on age. However, at times one's body cannot absorb certain nutrients even if one is consuming them (Guo & Katta, 2017). Deficiency in iron food such as meat and eggs can lead to anemia which in turn causes fatigue and weakness. Vitamin A deficiency due to the absence of foods like liver, beef, and fortified milk causes preventable blindness in children and may even lead to death in pregnant women. Protein deficiency causes swelling, fatty liver, and stunted growth in children. However, iron deficiency due to lack of meat and eggs can be compensated for by increased green leafy vegetables. Vitamin A can be compensated with foods like mangoes, potatoes, and leafy green vegetables.

Essential and Non Essential Amino Acids, Biological Value, and Complementary Proteins

Amino acids are organic compounds consisting of nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The body needs 20 different amino acids to grow and function properly. Of these 20, only nine are classified as essential: histidine, phenylalanine, valine, threonine, isoleucine, lysine, tryptophan, methionine, and leucine (Zhang et al., 2017). Unlike the nonessential ones, these acids need to be ingested and cannot be made by the body. The essential amino acids are obtained from meat, eggs, and poultry. They are crucial in muscle building and regulating immune functions. The nonessential amino acids such as arginine must be supplemented through diet to meet cancer demands. Two incomplete proteins must be combined to provide the body with all nine essential amino acids (Garcia-Marcos, 2021). A good example of complementary proteins is rice and beans to form cysteine and methionine.


Arcila-Agudelo, A. M., Ferrer-Svoboda, C., Torres-Fernàndez, T., & Farran-Codina, A. (2019). Determinants of adherence to healthy eating patterns in a population of children and adolescents: evidence on the Mediterranean diet in the city of Mataró (Catalonia, Spain). Nutrients, 11(4), 854.

Fonseca, D. C., Sala, P., Ferreira, B. D. A. M., Reis, J., Torrinhas, R. S., Bendavid, I., & Waitzberg, D. L. (2018). Bodyweight control and energy expenditure. Clinical Nutrition Experimental, 20, 55-59.

Garcia-Marcos, M. (2021). Complementary biosensors reveal different G-protein signaling modes triggered by GPCRs and non-receptor activators. Elife, 10, e65620.

Guo, E. L., & Katta, R. (2017). Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use. Dermatology practical & conceptual, 7(1), 1.

Keikha, M., Bahreynian, M., Saleki, M., & Kelishadi, R. (2017). Macro-and micronutrients of human milk composition: are they related to maternal diet? A comprehensive systematic review. Breastfeeding Medicine, 12(9), 517-527.

Krebs-Smith, S. M., Pannucci, T. E., Subar, A. F., Kirkpatrick, S. I., Lerman, J. L., Tooze, J. A., ... & Reedy, J. (2018). Update of the healthy eating index: HEI-2015. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 118(9), 1591-1602.

McGaughy, K., & Reza, M. T. (2018). Recovery of macro and micro-nutrients by hydrothermal carbonization of septage. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 66(8), 1854-1862.

Nicklaus, S. (2017). The role of dietary experience in the development of eating behavior during the first years of life. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 70(3), 241-245.

Reedy, J., Lerman, J. L., Krebs-Smith, S. M., Kirkpatrick, S. I., Pannucci, T. E., Wilson, M. M., ... & Tooze, J. A. (2018). Evaluation of the healthy eating index-2015. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 118(9), 1622-1633.

Saarinen, M., Fogelholm, M., Tahvonen, R., & Kurppa, S. (2017). Taking nutrition into account within the life cycle assessment of food products. Journal of Cleaner production, 149, 828-844.

Fonseca, D. C., Sala, P., Ferreira, B. D. A. M., Reis, J., Torrinhas, R. S., Bendavid, I., & Waitzberg, D. L. (2018). Bodyweight control and energy expenditure. Clinical Nutrition Experimental, 20, 55-59.

Whitelock, E., & Ensaff, H. (2018). On your own: older adults' food choice and dietary habits. Nutrients, 10(4), 413.

Zhang, J., Pavlova, N. N., & Thompson, C. B. (2017). Cancer cell metabolism: the essential role of the nonessential amino acid, glutamine. The EMBO journal, 36(10), 1302-1315.

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