Energy And Nutrient Guidelines

Time for reading: ~16 minutes Last Updated: August 09, 2022
Energy and Nutrient Guidelines

The body needs a certain amount of energy and nutrients to live fully.


Main consumption - an average of 4.2 k J per kilogram of weight per hour.

Determination of normal weight (mass)

To determine energy and nutrient requirements, normal weight must first be established. A weight index is calculated - Body-mass-index - BMI, which represents the ratio of body mass in kilograms to the square of body height in meters.

Normal mass according to BMI

BMI = Weight in kilograms /(height in meters)²

Normal BMI values ​​for adults

Women: 19 – 21

Men: 20 – 25

Example: A woman with a weight of 60 kg and a height of 1.70 m

BMI = 60 / ( 1.70 )² = 20.76

Energy needs

Man needs energy for:
- maintaining his temperature
- maintaining the body's functions (heart and brain activity, glands and muscles, exchange processes)
- For the body's activity.

The energy content of food products is measured in joules (1000 J = 1 kJ )

1g carbohydrates 17kJ
1g fat 37kJ
1g protein 17kJ
1g alcohol 29kJ

Human energy needs consist of the following components:


Basic energy consumption

The energy required by a person at complete rest in a lying position for 24 hours at a temperature of 20°C is referred to as reasonable consumption.


The main consumption depends on the following factors:

1. Age: young people and middle-aged people have about 10% higher energy needs than people in the older age group.
2. Gender: the main consumption in men is slightly higher in relation to height, weight and body composition.
3. Climate: high ambient temperatures reduce basal consumption
4. Activity: Athletes: have a higher basal consumption due to the greater relative proportion of muscle
5. Condition: Pregnant women also have an increased basal consumption of about 10% due to the growth of the child.

Power consumption at load is determined by:

1. Muscle activity

2. Concentrated mental activity. During the passage of various substances through the stem cells and during the processes of processing nutrients, about 12% energy loss is obtained.
3. Consumption at work - The various occupations are divided according to the respective energy consumption under load into light, medium, heavy and very heavy.

Women from 250k J to 650k J per hour Men from 315k J to 840k J per hour

4. Consumption during free time - For the energy consumption during loading in the time free from professional and educational duties, from 800 to 2000 k J are required .

Total energy needs

Adults with light physical activity have an average daily requirement of 7,500 to 9,000 kJ ( for women) and 9,000 to 11,000 kJ for men.

Example: A girl engaged in cooking (medium heavy work) with a weight of 60 kg and a height of 1.70 m:
Main consumption: 4.2 k J x 60 x 24 = 6048 k J
Consumption at work: 300 k J x8 = 2400 k J
Leisure consumption : 1000 k J = 1000 k J
Digestive activity : + 12% = 1133 k J

10,581 kJ + 10% for youth = 1,058 kJ

Total energy needs: 11,639 kJ

The energy supplied to the body should be evenly distributed throughout the day, because small amounts stimulate work capacity and do not lead to symptoms of fatigue.



Share in the daily energy contribution



Morning breakfast









Nutritional needs

It is important to cover not only the total energy needs with the food taken, but also to absorb all the nutrients in the right quantities. The total energy needs are covered with the nutrients, energy sources (carbohydrates, fats and proteins). They make up the following relative shares of the total energy needs (for example, in an adult - 11,600 k J ).



Relative share




6380 k J :17 k J = 375 g.



4060 k J : 39 k J = 104 g.




1160 k J : 17 k J = 68 g.

Along with the energy-rich ingredients, nutrients also contain those that do not supply energy (vitamins, minerals, trace elements, water and balance substances). With their help, the exchange of substances takes place.
The quality of nutritional products depends on the energy and nutritional content. For example, sugar has a high energy content, but is weak in terms of vitamins, minerals and balance substances.


In the course of all digestive and metabolic processes, enzymes play a major role as regulatory mechanisms.


They are formed in very small quantities by the hormonal glands and pass directly into the blood. They regulate all important processes in the body: growth, metabolism, reproduction. Hormones act in very small concentrations.
a) Insulin - is released from the pancreas; regulates and manages blood sugar levels.
b) Adrenaline - is formed in stressful situations and is involved in fat metabolism.
c) Thyroxine - released by the thyroid gland; regulates the main energy consumption.
d) Growth hormones - responsible for growth


These are protein substances that affect the chemical reactions in the breakdown of nutrients in the human body. Enzymes, with the participation of which the entire exchange of substances takes place, are divided into:
a) Digestive enzymes: they break down nutrients to their building blocks (simple sugars, glycerin and fatty acids, as well as amino acids).
b) Enzymes of exchange: they break down simple sugars, glycerin, fatty acids and amino acids in the cells in order to obtain energy or build from them specific substances for the body.
Almost 2000 types of enzymes are known. Their names end in – aza.

Enzymes involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates
Amylase breaks down starch into malt sugar
Maltase breaks down malt sugar into grape sugar (glucose)
Sucrase breaks down beet/cane sugar into grape and fruit sugar.
Lactase breaks down milk sugar into dextrose and galactose.
Cymase breaks down grape sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
Cellulase breaks down cellulose into dextrose

Enzymes involved in the breakdown of proteins
Peptidases break down proteins into amino acids.

Enzymes involved in the breakdown of fats
They break down fats into glycerin and fatty acids.

Digestion of food (metabolism) 

During the metabolism of food, energy is obtained. At the same time, a certain amount of building materials is formed and waste products are released.

In short, the path that food takes from absorption and into the body, breakdown and assimilation is:
- Acceptance of food
- Digestion: breakdown of nutrients by enzymes into small, simple building blocks in the digestive tract: mouth (saliva), stomach (gastric juice) , duodenum (secretion of the pancreas, bile), small intestine (secretion of the small intestine), colon.
- Resorption: passage of the basic building blocks of nutrients through the wall of the small intestine into the blood.
- Cellular metabolism (intermediate metabolism): obtaining energy and building specific substances in the cells.
- Separation of final waste products.



In different dietary forms, certain foods are taken to reduce the effects of metabolic disorders and not burden the body. In medicine (for overweight and underweight) and in the treatment of diseases, various forms of diets are used.

1.  Full portion

A full portion is the nutrition of a healthy person. In it, nutrients providing energy are tailored to actual needs. The selection and preparation of food products is limited. The "Ten rules for a complete diet" and the "food circle" help with the correct selection, combination and preparation.

a) Food circle - here food products are divided into seven groups.
- Group I - cereals, cereal products - Group V - milk, dairy products - Group II - vegetables, legumes - Group VI - fish, meat, eggs - Group III - fruits, nuts - Group VII - solid and liquid fats - Group IV – drinks    

The size of the segment indicates the importance of the complete nutrition groups.
- Choose food items from all seven groups daily!
- Groups 1 to 5 have priority!
- Consume less foods from groups 6 and 7!
- Consequentially change the food products of group 6!

b) Ten rules for complete nutrition

A variety of food is tasty and nutritious. Consume small portions of different food products! The more varied the menu you make, you will avoid insufficient supply of important nutrients or loading with undesirable substances in the food.
Too much fat makes you fat. Fat is a source of more than twice as much energy as carbohydrates or protein. Reduce fat consumption and cook with less fat. Be careful not only of visible fat, but also of fat hidden in meat, sausages , cheese, eggs, cream, nuts, sweets, ice cream and chocolate!
Too much salt dominates many taste nuances and can contribute to high blood pressure. greens and spices are preferred.
Sugar and sweets can cause tooth decay. An excessively large amount of sugar turns into fat and accumulates in the body. In addition, with a high consumption of sugar, food products rich in other nutritional ballast substances are reduced in the menu.
They supply important nutrients and ballast substances. Consume whole-grain bread and cereal-based meals daily. Whole-grain products such as unprocessed rice, cereal-based meals, noodles and whole-wheat pasta or muesli contain useful carbohydrates. Along with the digestively important ballast substances, they are also a source of vitamins and minerals.
These foods are at the center of your diet. Consume fruits and vegetables daily, some of them raw! Consume potatoes and legumes! From these products you get vegetable proteins, vitamins, minerals and ballast substances.
Plant proteins are just as important as animal proteins. Plant proteins in potatoes, legumes and cereals are suitable for complete nutrition. Fresh milk, low-fat dairy products and fish are also valuable sources of protein. The consumption of other products (meat, sausages and eggs), which contain relatively large amounts of fat and cholesterol, is limited.
Your body needs 2-2.5 liters of water. Quench your thirst with water, mineral water, vegetable juices, unsweetened fruit tea and diluted fruit juices! You can also enjoy black tea and coffee without sugar in moderation. Drink alcoholic beverages only as an exception! Alcohol harms your body and your liver and makes you dependent.
Instead of the usual three main meals, better – five smaller ones! Because a heavy meal puts a strain on the digestive organs and causes a feeling of fatigue.
Let the heat treatment be short, with little water and fat. This is how nutrients and the specific taste of food products are preserved. With long-term storage, wrong preparation, long-term boiling, heating and using too much water, the vitally important nutrients are broken down or dissolved in the liquid.

Therefore, the following rules:
- Prepare and cook immediately before consumption.
- Do not crush products more than necessary.
- Use little water and fat.
- Use the correct processing temperature.
- Use as short a heat treatment time as possible.
- Use the cooking water.
- Avoid keeping food warm.
- Keep food cold before reheating.

c) nutrients
- Carbohydrates - The daily need for carbohydrates can be covered by a combination of:
- Cereal portion, for example 30g (3 tbsp) muesli
- Bread, for example 300g (6 slices) of whole grain bread or 6 whole grain rolls;
- Garnishes, for example 150 g (9 tablespoons with a top) of cooked whole grain rice or 200 g (3 pcs. the size of a hen's egg) potatoes, or 100 g of raw legume products
- Fats - The recommended intake of linoleic acid (found in dairy products, meat, fish) is about 10g. With normal values ​​of the content in the blood, cholesterol consumption should not exceed 30 mg per day. Fat consumption should be in the ratio of 1/3 polyunsaturated fatty acids to 1/3 monounsaturated to 1/3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Daily needs can be covered by the combination of:
- 1/3 fat for spreading, for example 2 tbsp. (20 g) butter or margarine;
- 1/3 fat for cooking, for example 2 tbsp (20 g) sunflower or corn oil, resp. olive oil for baking and for salads;
- 1/3 ends up as hidden fat - therefore purposefully choose low-fat products.
- Proteins - Daily needs can be met by a combination of:
- Low-fat products, for example ¼ l (1 cup) yogurt 1% or ¼ ayran or ¼ l fruit yogurt;
- Low-fat cheese, up to 35%, for example 1c. l. topped with low-fat cottage cheese, or low-fat white cheese or 3 thin slices, Tilzither or Camembert, etc.
- Low-fat sausages, for example 3 thin slices of pork ham, turkey sausage, beef ham
- Low-fat meat or fish, for example turkey schnitzel, veal schnitzel, turbot, trout, white fish.
- Vitamins - Daily needs can be covered by additional consumption of:
- 1 to 2 pieces of fresh fruit;
- 250 g of fresh vegetables
- Minerals - If the food is selected according to the specified recommendations, the need for minerals is also covered. There is no reason to use mineral supplements unless a specific deficiency condition is established.

2. A light portion 

The light portion is a variant of the full portion. In the light portion, food products and methods of preparation that cause more than 5% of the symptoms of intolerance in the person are not used. Or food products that are perceived as intolerable by individuals are omitted.
a) Areas of application
- In case of inability or intolerance to certain food products.
- In acute gastrointestinal diseases.
- After surgical interventions in the gastrointestinal tract.
- General as basic nutrition in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract .
- Nutrition of elderly people .
b) Preparation of food products
- Stewing, boiling, preparation of dishes from minced (minced) meat and soufflé.
- Avoid baked products, frying in a lot of fat, boiled eggs, baked potatoes, fatty meat (pork, mutton, goose, duck), fatty types of sausages, canned fish in oil, highly salted and very acidic products, vinegar, mustard, turnip, black pepper, etc.
- Convenience products and fast food products are not suitable.
c) Energy - Energy requirements correspond to those of the full portion. The difference is that at least six meals a day must be taken. If digestion is not functioning optimally, good chewing and slow eating are especially important.
d) Nutrients
- Carbohydrates - The necessary consumption of carbohydrates and ballast substances corresponds to that of a full portion. Fresh, hard-to-digest whole grain products and leguminous foods are avoided because they cause gas formation. However, it is important to follow the ballast recommendation. A day's consumption of old, finely ground whole grain bread or muffin, oatmeal and millet represent an important contribution to providing the necessary ballast substances.
- Fat - Corresponds to that of the full portion. It is good to use easily digestible fats, for example butter and vegetable oils (sunflower oil). Highly heated solid fats should be avoided.
- Proteins - Corresponds to that of the full portion. Easily digestible are recommended, i.e. low-fat protein sources.
- Vitamins - Corresponds to that of the full portion. It is necessary to avoid the consumption of unripe, raw seed and stone fruits, as well as gas-inducing vegetables (cabbage, tomatoes, onions, leeks and garlic)
- Minerals - Corresponds to that of the full portion.
- Fluids - Fluid intake corresponds to that of the full portion. In addition, it is necessary to avoid carbonated and acidic drinks. Alcohol can be drunk only after consulting a doctor.

Food items suitable or unsuitable for a light portion






Old black bread, rusks

All fresh and high-fat types of bread and pastries



baked goods made from yeast dough from the previous day so as not to cause gas, kozunak, cottage cheese strudel or cottage cheese pockets; light sponge mixes: rolls, biscuits, cakes without stone fruits, soufflé: rice, semolina, cottage cheese, apples.

Puff pastry, cream and custard cakes, chocolate, nut and/or high fat pastries, fresh yeast dough


Stewed, boiled, mashed potatoes.

Baked or fried

Vegetables and salads

Cauliflower, broccoli, stewed cucumbers, carrots, beetroot, asparagus, spinach, lettuce and curly lettuce.

Legumes, mushrooms, white and red cabbage, cucumbers, sauerkraut, peppers, leeks, turnips, onions, olives



In the form of compote or fruit juice, some bananas, strawberries, raspberries, apples, pears, melons, tangerines, kiwis, peaches

Stone fruits - yellow and prunes, cherries, apricots, quinces, grapes, blackcurrants, blackberries, oranges, grapefruits, dried fruits, nuts


Meat and sausages

Lean meat, boiled, stewed or grilled, veal, young beef or pork, game or poultry, lean sausages, cold roast

Fatty, fried, smoked, spicy meats and sausages, goose, duck, salami, fatty sausages, sausages of the sausage type, sausages, etc.

Fish and fish products

Boiled, grilled, stewed, trout, pike, cod, turbot, pike, etc.

Fatty, fried, smoked, marinated fish, eel, herring, carp, tuna, molluscs and crustaceans


Soft boiled, for building soups, stirred

Hard-boiled, baked egg dishes

Milk and milk products

Whole and low-fat milk, ayran, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese up to 35% fat

Fat-rich varieties of cheese, whipped cream in large quantities

Eating disorders (PREMIUM)

Being slim today has become a fashion statement that many people suffer from, mostly women and young girls.
a) Latent food addiction - 1/3 of women constantly control the food they consume. This leads to eating disorders. They wage a constant struggle with their weight. They lack confidence in their own needs and body signals. Overeating and dieting are constantly alternated. Due to frequent diets, total energy consumption decreases. After finishing the diet, the weight increases faster. It is called "yo-yo" effects. Latent food addiction leads to the development of diseases. If self-control ceases to work, addiction to obesity or bulimia develops. The positive reactions of people from the environment in terms of self-control can stimulate the affected to even stronger self-control, leading to anorexia.

Anorexia (addiction to low body weight)

In the past, it was incorrectly believed that excessive and indiscriminate dieting led to anorexia. However, it has been established that anorexia is a mental illness that is not a consequence but a cause of eating disorders.
Among young people (90-95% of those affected are girls), anorexia is the most common eating disorder. Very often, before they begin to "regulate" food, anorexics have greatly increased anxiety. The problems are most often related to the family sphere, intimate life, the unsatisfactory attitude of friends and peers. These people think that if they lose weight, they will be happier, more liked, their life will change in a positive direction. The restrictive regime is a strict diet, voluntary fasting, induced vomiting, lots of physical exercise, etc. Following such a regime, they become purposeful and focused, and as a result, they begin to methodically shed pounds.
Before symptoms worsen, patients receive positive feedback about their appearance from friends and acquaintances, which reinforces their belief that this regimen helps them be happier, feel strong, and control high anxiety. They are very critical of themselves.

Anorexia is a mental illness leading to high mortality. The number of cases of suicide among patients is increased compared to the rest of the population. Psychotherapeutic help with this disease is absolutely necessary. Today, the chances of successful treatment are about 60%. In one third of cases, anorexia becomes chronic. It is about a way of thinking and behaving, a way of reacting to a problematic situation, which will be activated anew. This necessitates a rather long treatment, which is more intense at the beginning, and later is reduced and gradually disappears.

Bulimia (food addiction with vomiting)

This eating disorder occurs mostly in young women between the ages of 15 and 30. This is the other side of the same disease – anorexia. Eating in huge quantities, the sick prefer foods rich in fat and sugar, and then they themselves cause vomiting.
And here the reason lies in the psychological field. Patients with bulimia strive for traditional masculine values ​​(strong self-awareness, directed at success and achievement, self-discipline, independence). Successes are perceived poorly. However, failures are the center of attention. A sense of self-esteem is strongly dependent on figure and weight. With psychological help for this disease, there are also good chances of successful treatment. However, the average duration of the disease is about 7 years.
- Food addiction with obesity
An external sign of this disease is excess weight. It is due to regular overeating or dieting procedures followed by eating huge amounts of food. Patients swallow their feelings inside themselves. Eating is not a response to feeling hungry. 


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