Nutritional components

Protein and carbohydrates as well as vitamins and minerals constitute nutrients, which are found in food and serve to build tissue and deliver energy to our bodies.



Nutrient percentage of daily energy supply should be measured as follows:


Optimal percentage of daily energy supply

Energy content


12% - 15%

1g = 4,1kcal (17,2 kJ)


25% - 30%

1g = 9,3kcal (38,9 kJ)


55% - 60%

1g = 4,1kcal (17,2 kJ)


Protein is made up of 20 different amino acids, some of which can not be generated by the body itself and must be delivered with food (essential amino acids). Since protein can not be stored by the body, it must be supplied daily in sufficient quantity.

There is a difference between animal proteins and plant proteins. Half of the daily protein supply should consist of animal protein. The recommended daily allowance for healthy adults is at least 0.8g per kg body weight.


Fat is primarily a supplier of energy for the human body. Moreover, fat is a carrier of liposoluble vitamins and essential fatty acids.

Natural fats consist of glycerin and fatty acids. Fatty acids are important for blood lipid levels and help prevent circulation diseases. Too much fat consumption leads to excess weight and raises the chances for different diseases such as high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis or heart attack. The recommended daily allowance for a healthy adult is 1g per kg of body weight.


More than half of daily energy intake consists of carbohydrates, which are available as starch and sugar in all vegetable food products. Carbohydrates are found in all grains, vegetables, potatoes, legumes, fresh fruit and dried fruit. They help maintain an even blood sugar level and a lasting feeling of satiety, and they break down slowly in the body.

Dietary fiber

Fiber is indigestible crude fiber (cellulose), mostly from the group of carbohydrates. It stimulates chewing and expands the amount of food in the intestines, without supplying calories, which increases satiation and improves digestion. Some foods that are rich in fiber are grains, bread, legumes, potatoes, fruit and vegetables. Foods low in fiber are sugar, sweets, white bread, cake, white pasta, meat, fish, eggs, sausage and milk products.


Alcohol delivers considerably more energy than carbohydrates, but no nutrients. Hard liquor is especially rich in energy. High amounts of alcohol can lead to illnesses such as high blood pressure, organ damage, fat metabolism disorders or addiction.

Vitamins and minerals

Minerals and Vitamins boost the immune system and help provide for a good metabolism. Minerals are subdivided into bulk elements (Calcium, Natrium etc.) and trace elements(iron, fluorine, iodine). Vitamins are subdivided into water soluble vitamins (B and C) and fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K). Fat soluble vitamins can be stored in the body, water soluble vitamins are immediately eliminated when they are not needed.

Vitamins are organic compounds (carbon compounds), without which no human or animal life would be possible. Many vitamins are very important for our growth, our vitality and our general well-being. Our bodies can't produce vitamins – with a few exceptions (vitamin D, but only in sufficient quantities). Therefore, the body is reliant on the vitamins in the food we ingest. Vitamins protect us from environmental forces and strengthen our immune system. They maintain many vital functions in our bodies and are, among other things, jointly responsible for: blood clotting, hematosis, skin and hair, heart, eyes, bones, nerves, vessels, hormones, growth and the control of our entire metabolism.

And so Vitamin D for example, plays an essential role regulating calcium levels in the blood and bones. Furthermore, the vitamin D system is important for the development and functioning of the nervous system and the muscle system. In order to produce vitamin D yourself, you can expose yourself to moderate sunshine.

Energy content of food


The abbreviation kcal comes from the Latin word “calor”, which means heat. A kilocalorie is the amount of energy necessary to increase the heat of one liter of water by one degree Celsius.


The term Joule traces back to the English physicist J.P. Joule. It is a measurement for energy: it corresponds to the work done in moving 1 kg one meter high in one second. Kilojoule has long been used internationally by the scientific community, and since January 1, 1978 it has been calculated in all EC countries with these values:.

1 kilocalorie = 4,184 kilojoule

1 kilojoule = 0,239 kilocalorie

Rule of thumb: kilocalorie values multiplied by a factor of 4 equal the kilojoule value

Energy content of nutrients

1 g protein 17 kJ (4 kcal)

1 g fat 37 kJ (9 kcal)

1 g (digestible) carbohydrates 17 kJ (4 kcal)

1 g alcohol 29 kJ (7 kcal)

1 g organic acids (fruit, milk, acetic acid) 13 kJ (3 kcal)

Nutrition tips

  • eat foods that are not too fat, not too sweet and not too salty
  • eat foods high in fiber
  • drink less alcohol
  • eat smaller portions
  • eat well-balanced meals with a variety of foods

Energy demand and input

Energy demand

A person's energy demands depend on various factors such as gender, age, body size, climate, daily activity and metabolism. It consists of basal metabolic rate and total energy expenditure.

The basal metabolic rate s the amount of energy expended to sustain the body's vital functions (breathing, circulation, metabolism) within a 24 hours period at complete rest and at a constant surrounding temperature.

The total energy expenditure focuses on the duration and difficulty of physical activity – divided into light, medium and heavy activity.

Energy consumption – body weight

On a daily average, you should only ingest as much energy as you need for physical activity and metabolic processes. If more is supplied than the body needs, then it turns to fat and the body gains weight.

The daily amount of energy supplied has to be measured in such a way that the body maintains or achieves normal weight.


Eating well depends not only on getting the right composition, but also on your portioning throughout the day. Today, it is recommended to have three main meals per day and snacks in between meals at mid-morning and afternoon. Having five smaller meals scattered over a day is by far more advantageous than the usual three large meals. Ravenous hunger can be better avoided this way and the main meals don't become too bulky. Five meals a day puts less strain on the digestive organs and improves digestive performance.