In a lecture of this type it is not necessary to discuss how the various nutrients in food are determined, but it may not be out of place to emphasise that it is misleading to use general terms, such as a broad statement that one food is more nutritious than another. The value of a food in a diet is dependent upon what actual nutrients it contains, and consideration should also be given to the nutrients supplied by the remainder of the diet normally consumed. A diet which provides all the required calories, ample fat, and good quality protein, mineral matter, etc., would be unsatisfactory if it still lacked other essential nutrients such as vitamins. Similarly, no one can live for long on a diet of high calorific value and rich in vitamins if it lacks protein which supplies the body with a wide range of essential amino acids. It is inadvisable to think only in terms of well‐known foodstuffs and simply to say, for example, that milk is very nutritious. Milk is only the excellent food that it is because in general it provides a wide range of essential nutrients such as fat, proteins which supply many amino acids, vitamins such as riboflavin, and useful minerals such as calcium, etc. It is advisable to think in terms of the actual nutrients rather than in terms of the foodstuff itself. Table 1 shows that bread provides a variety of important nutrients, i.e., substances which are essential to the diet if the body is to remain healthy and able to fulfil its normal functions.
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