Understanding Food as a Lifestyle Intervention

Welcome to “Understand Food as a Lifestyle Intervention”. In finding this Nutrihub short course, you will have no doubt read something about the subject matter, perhaps too much and this can leave some people confused. This course aims to simplify the complicated messages around food and describes the functional nature of different foods and nutrient categories that you can review at your own learning pace.

If we visit a supermarket and look at the main categories of food on display; meats, dairy products, vegetables, fruits, bakery goods, cereals etc., we can be sure that each of these principal groups is mainly composed of the following five components in various proportions: water, carbohydrate, fat, protein and fibre. These are termed the bulk (or macro) nutrients.

The proportions of the different bulk nutrients varies widely, such as lettuce, which may have a water content of over 90% and a substantial fibre content in the remainder; dried goods, like dried peas with almost no water content; butter, which is almost all fat; or granulated sugar, which is almost all carbohydrate.

For the purposes of this course, we will view water in food as a diluent of other nutrients. So if a food has a high water content, the content of all other nutrients in that food is reduced simply by the diluting effect of the water.