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II. What we need to eat

What is an essential nutrient? What makes a nutrient essential? Different species have different requirements Nutrients essential for man Conditional requirements     Previous Page Next Page

What is an essential nutrient?

The classical definitions:

Nutrient: Substance in food that provides structural or functional components or energy to the body.

Essential nutrient: Substance that must be obtained from the diet because the body cannot make it in sufficient quantity to meet its needs.

Are substances like dietary fiber even nutrients, much less essential? Some of these substances are demonstrably desirable in the diet, but do not meet the classical definitions given above.


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