Which is least considered an essential component of daily nutritional requirements?

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Which is least considered an essential component of daily nutritional requirements?

  • Daily nutritional requirements of:
  • Proteins
  • Vitamins
  • Fats
  • Carbohydrates
daily nutritional requirements

All options listed are considered essential components of daily nutritional requirements, as they provide the body with energy, building blocks, and vital substances for health and well-being. However, some of them may be more essential than others, depending on the amount and type of each nutrient.

Daily nutritional requirements of Carbohydrate intake:

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the recommended intake of carbohydrates for adults is 45 to 65 per cent of the total daily nutritional requirements energy intake. Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for the body, especially the brain and the nervous system. However, not all carbohydrates are equally beneficial. The WHO advises limiting the intake of free sugars to less than 10 per cent of total energy intake, and ideally less than 5 per cent, for additional health benefitsFree sugars are sugars that are added to foods and beverages by the manufacturer, cook, or consumer, or sugars that are naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices, and fruit juice concentratesFree sugars can contribute to excess calorie intake, dental caries, obesity, and noncommunicable diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Fats intake:

The recommended intake of fats for adults is 20 to 35 per cent of total energy intake. Fats are essential for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), the production of hormones, the insulation of the body, and the protection of the organs. However, not all fats are equally beneficial. The WHO advises limiting the intake of saturated fats to less than 10 per cent of total energy intake, and trans fats to less than 1 per cent of total energy intake. Saturated fats are fats that are solid at room temperature, such as butter, cheese, and animal fats. Trans fats are fats that are artificially modified to be more solid, such as margarine, shortening, and partially hydrogenated oils. Saturated fats and trans fats can increase the risk of high cholesterol, heart disease, and stroke.

Protein intake:

The recommended intake of protein for adults is 10 to 35 per cent of total energy intake. Protein is essential for the growth, maintenance, and repair of the body’s tissues, such as muscles, skin, hair, and nails. Protein also provides the building blocks for hormones, enzymes, antibodies, and other important substances. However, not all protein sources are equally beneficial. The WHO advises choosing lean, low-fat, or plant-based protein sources, such as fish, poultry, eggs, beans, nuts, and soy1. These protein sources can provide other nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, and calcium, that are beneficial for health. Excessive intake of protein, especially from animal sources, can increase the risk of kidney disease, osteoporosis, and some cancers.

Vitamins intake:

The recommended intake of vitamins and minerals for adults varies depending on the type and function of each micronutrient. Vitamins and minerals are essential for regulating the body’s metabolism, immunity, growth, and development. They also act as cofactors, antioxidants, and hormones, and help prevent deficiencies and diseases. However, not all vitamins and minerals are equally beneficial. The WHO advises choosing a balanced and varied diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other nutrient-dense foods, rather than relying on supplements or fortified foods. These foods can provide a range of vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals that work together to enhance health. Excessive intake of vitamins and minerals, especially from supplements or fortified foods, can cause toxicity, interactions, and imbalances.

Therefore, based on the information above, you could say that carbohydrates are the least essential component of daily nutritional requirements, as long as you limit the intake of free sugars and choose complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, that provide other nutrients and benefits. However, this does not mean that you should avoid carbohydrates altogether, as they are still important for your health and well-being. The key is to choose the right type and amount of each nutrient and to balance your intake with your energy expenditure.

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