THE LABORATORY TEST AND THE DIETITIAN’S OPINION
The following tests and opinions are adapted and paraphrased from these sources: The Modern Home Physician, by Pac. Press Pub. Assn.; Chicago School of Nursing; Clinical Dietetics, by Risley and Walton, Chemistry of Food and Nutrition by Sherman; Intelligent Selection of Foods, by Original H. F. Store, New York City N.Y.; Our Babies, by Dr. Herman N. Bundesen.
WATER AND ITS FUNCTION
The human body is made up of about 67% water constituent. An individual can live for weeks without food; but he cannot live without water longer than from three to five days.
Water is the vehicle by which all the body processes are carried forward. The average person needs about six glasses of water a day. Most persons drink too little, and at improper times. Do not drink at meals or try to wash down your food.
Water makes up the greater part of the cells, carries food to the tissues, and removes waste. It is the chief constituent of the digestive juices, and regulates body temperature.
Water suitable for human consumption should be clear, of an agreeable taste, and not too hard. It should be free from poisonous minerals, organic matter, and bacteria.
Hard water has a greater amount of dissolved minerals than soft water. The hardest water comes from deep wells.
Water is easily contaminated, and is one of the commonest transmitters of typhoid fever and cholera. If there is any doubt as to its purity, it should be subjected to purification. The simplest and most reliable process of purification in the home, is boiling. The so-called filters attached to water faucets only give a false security. A large sand filter removes all harmful bacteria.
THE FUNCTION OF FOOD
Proteins furnish material for building, growth, and repairs, the fats and carbohydrates provide heat and energy. Obviously, those who are already grown up, and who do not exert themselves at working so as to need repairing material, need less proteins than do others; and those who live in a warm climate, and who do not work hard need less carbohydrate foods than do others. When the latter are insufficient, then protein is utilized for energy, but when in excess, then they are stored in the body in the form of fat, a source of emergency energy.
One gram fat yields 9.3 calories
One gram protein yields 4.1 calories
One gram carbohydrates yields 4.1 calories
The requirements of calories vary with age, kind of work, and sex.
According to Forchheimer, the total energy requirement for a man weighing 154 pounds, without any voluntary movement, is from 1450 to 1820 calories. Patients confined to bed, though, are never at absolute rest, except during sleep, and therefore the energy value of their food should not fall below this minimum, except it be under special conditions and for brief periods.
The approximate daily calories required for man under varying conditions are as follows:
Doing very hard
muscular work 5500 calories
Moderate muscular work 3400 calories
Light to moderate
muscular work 3050 calories
Light muscular work
(sedentary) 2700 calories
Without muscular work 2450 calories
The person who is overweight needs to cut down on weight-producing foods and keep strictly within the limits of his minimum caloric requirements.
The person who is underweight needs a well-balanced diet, with full caloric requirements.
The average man at work requires approximately 3000 calories daily. There is, however, a great divergence of opinion among dietitians as to the relative amounts of the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats required for a well-balanced diet. Perhaps the individual himself will have to determine by experience.