The Principles of Diet



In view of the difficulties that will have to be faced when catering in war-time it is more than ever essential to bear in mind the importance of well-balanced meals.

Good feeding means the provision of essential materials in the right proportion. The diet must supply;- 1. Protective material for the maintenance of health. 2. Building material for growth and repair of the body. 3. Fuel material to provide the energy required for muscular work, and for the production of heat.

Foods are made up of one or more of the following;- proteins, fat, carbohydrate, mineral matter, vitamins, roughage and water.

These constituents may be grouped according to their function as follows;- Protective material- vitamins, mineral matter, roughage, water. Building materials - protein, mineral matter. Fuel material - fat, carbohydrates (starches and sugars).

Vitamins. The most important of these from the point of view of diet planning are A.D.B1. B2. and C.

Mineral matter. The most important of the the forms of mineral matter, from the point of view of diet planning are calcium, phosphorus, iron and iodine.

Roughage. Roughage is the name given to the indigestible matter in foods of vegetable origin which is excreted unchanged. Roughage plays a useful part in stimulating the movement of the large intestine.

Protein. Protein can be obtained from both animal and vegetable sources. That from animal sources is called first-class protein, that from vegetable sources second class protein. First class protein is of better quality. In "hard-times" it may be necessary to increase the quantity of vegetable protein in the diet and to reduce the quantity of animal protein. In the case of children, however, who have not only to repair worn-out tissue, but also to create new tissue, ie to grow, every effort must be made to maintain the necessary supply of animal protein. The folloing table shows the richest sources of the more important constituents of the diet.




Vitamin A. Animal fats (except lard), fish roe, Dark green vegetables, e.g. Spinach, Dark cabbage leaves, Dark lettue leaves, Dandelion leaves, Nettle leaves, carrots, tomatoes, halibut liver oil, cod liver oil.

Vitamin D. Animal fats (except lard), Halibut liver oil, cod liver oil.

Vitamin B1. Pulse vegetables, nuts, wholemeal flour, oatmeal, eggs, liver, heart, kidney, yeast products e.g. marmite, bemax.

Vitamin B2. Foods of animal origin, whole meal flour, yeast products, e.g. marmite, bemax.

Vitamin c. Raw liver, raw green vegetables, tomatoes, young raw carrots, citrus fruits, e.g. oranges, lemons, grape fruit. Raspberries, blackberries, and most other fruit to a lesser extent.

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