Table of Contents
1 Gesund und ausgewogen
2 The calorific value: From kilocalories and kilojoules
3 Macronutrients
Proteins/protein Fats Carbohydrates Dietary fiber
4 Micronutrients
5 Water
6 The general principles of healthy nutrition

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Healthy eating is in vogue and that's a good thing. After all, our balanced diet plays a major role in our well-being and who wants to feel bad. That's why there are countless sources on the internet, all of which claim to be the only way. However, there is no one true way.

This nutrition guide is intended to help clarify the most important terms so that you can get an overview for yourself. Have you ever asked yourself: "What are calories anyway?" "Is fat in food the same as fat in the body?" and "Which nutrients do I really need?"

Then read on if you want to learn the basics of healthy eating.

Der Brennwert: Von Kilokalorien und Kilojoule

Auch wenn immer wieder gesagt wird, wie wichtig Vitamine, Proteine und Mineralien sind, die Nahrungsaufnahme dient zuallererst der Energiezufuhr. Denn ohne Energie aus der Nahrung fühlt man sich antriebslos und alles fällt schwer.

Im allgemeinen Sprachgebrauch wird die, in Nahrungsmitteln enthaltene, Energie in der Einheit Kalorien angegeben. In der Tat handelt es sich dabei jedoch um Kilokalorien, weswegen auf den Nährwerttabellen von Lebensmitteln auch kcal steht.

1 Kalorie ist dabei die Energie, die benötigt wird, um 1 Gramm Wasser um 1 Grad Celsius zu erwärmen. Bei einer Kilokalorie dementsprechend 1 Kilogramm Wasser. Durch unterschiedliche Definitionen ist diese Einheit allerdings ungenau.

Für eine genauere Definition wird der Energiegehalt eines Lebensmittels in Joule bzw. Kilojoule angegeben. Das ist die internationale Einheit der Energie. Ein Joule entspricht 0,239 cal und eine Kalorie entspricht 4,184 J. 

In vielen Nährwerttabellen steht neben der Angabe des Energiegehalts pro 100 g auch noch eine prozentuale Angabe. Diese bezieht sich auf einen täglichen Energiebedarf von 2000 kcal 1.

Doch der tägliche Energiebedarf eines jeden Menschen ist unterschiedlich. Er ist unter anderem abhängig von der Größe, dem Alter, der Aktivität und dem Geschlecht. Nachfolgend eine Erklärung, wie er normalerweise berechnet wird.

Der Grundumsatz

Als Grundumsatz wird die Energie bezeichnet, die der Körper benötigt, um die wichtigsten Körperfunktionen auszuführen. Dazu gehören beispielsweise die Atmung, Regulierung der Körpertemperatur oder die Verdauung. Selbst wer den ganzen Tag im Bett liegen würde, würde Energie für diese Prozesse brauchen.

Sie wird in der Literatur oft auch als Basale Stoffwechselrate bezeichnet (englisch: Basal Metabolic Rate, BMR). Der Grundumsatz liegt ungefähr bei 4 kJ (1 kcal) pro Stunde und Kilogramm Körpergewicht.2

Der Leistungsumsatz

Hierunter fällt all die Energie, die durch tägliche Aktivitäten verbraucht wird. Beispielsweise Arbeit oder sportliche Aktivitäten. Je aktiver man ist, desto mehr Energie benötigt der Körper.

In Englisch wird sie Active Metabolic Rate genannt, abgekürzt AMR. Um den Leistungsumsatz zu berechnen wird der PAL (Physical Activity Level) Wert benötigt, welcher das körperliche Aktivitätsniveau widerspiegelt. Näheres zum PAL kannst du hier nachlesen.

Der Gesamtumsatz

Mit dem Grund- und Leistungsumsatz kann anschließend der Gesamtumsatz ermittelt werden, indem beide Werte addiert werden. Allerdings ist die genaue Berechnung des Grund- und Leistungsumsatzes etwas komplizierter, weshalb die Nutzung eines Online-Kalorienrechners empfohlen wird.

Anhand des Gesamtumsatzes lässt sich feststellen, wie viel Nahrung täglich benötigt wird. Um das Gewicht zu halten, bedarf es einer Deckung des Kalorienbedarfs. Besteht der Wunsch zum Gewichtsverlust, sollten weniger Kalorien als benötigt konsumiert werden, bei der Gewichtszunahme umgekehrt.

Als Faustregel gilt, dass 1 kg Körperfett ungefähr 9000 kcal entspricht3. Ist das Ziel ein Gewichtsverlust von 10 kg, dann ist es theoretisch mit einer verringerten Energieaufnahme von 500 kcal täglich nach einem halben Jahr erreicht.

Makronährstoffe

Als Makronährstoffe werden Nährstoffe bezeichnet, die dem Körper in hohen Mengen als Energielieferanten zugeführt werden müssen. Dazu zählen Fette, Proteine, Kohlenhydrate und Ballaststoffe.

Veganes Protein

Proteins/protein

There is probably no other nutrient that is the subject of so many myths as proteins, also known colloquially as protein. Especially when it comes to the daily requirement, there are many different statements. So what is true?

The fact is, proteins are very important for the body. They serve as the basic building blocks of our cells and act as enzymes. They are also needed for the immune system's defense against infections and transport water-insoluble nutrients in the blood.[4]

The energy content is 4 kcal per gram of protein. The building blocks that make up proteins are called amino acids, of which a total of 20 are required by the body to build up protein. However, only nine are essential for the body as it cannot produce them itself.

A distinction is often made between complete and incomplete protein sources. This means that incomplete protein sources do not provide the 9 essential amino acids.

However, a closer look at the protein content of various foods reveals that almost all foods always have a complete amino acid profile with all 9 essential amino acids.[6,7]

Proteins play a key role in muscle building. This is precisely the sticking point that repeatedly leads to different statements about protein requirements

How much protein do I need?

The German Nutrition Society recommends a daily requirement of 0.8 g protein/kg body weight for a normal adult.[8] This corresponds to approx. 60 g for a body weight of 75 kg.

Amateur athletes who want to build muscle have a higher protein requirement. Here the recommendations of international organizations are 1.1 g - 1.4 g / kg body weight[9]. That would be between 90 and 105 g of protein at 75 kg body weight.

For athletes and professional sportspeople, the figures are even higher, but there is no clear scientific consensus. Recommendations range from 1.6 g / kg body weight to 2.2 g.[10, 11] At 75 kg body weight, this would be 120 - 165 g of protein. 

You can be sure that our Saturo drinks provide you with enough protein for one meal.

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Fats

Fats are necessary for the body because they are a component of cell membranes and supply the body with energy. The body also needs the fatty acids they contain. Fat is also important for supplying the body with the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

Fat is the macronutrient with the highest energy content of 9 kcal per gram. This is why excessive fat consumption quickly leads to weight gain.

The fatty acids in fat are divided into saturated, unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The degree of saturation indicates how many double bonds are present between the carbon atoms of the molecule. If there are no double bonds, it is referred to as a saturated fatty acid.

Only polyunsaturated fatty acids are essential for us. These include omega-6 and omega-3, which support the body, for example, in inflammatory processes or in building cell membranes. As the body cannot produce them itself, they must be obtained from food.

As these two fatty acids act as antagonists in many respects, you should ensure an adequate ratio of the two in your diet. Recommendations range from 1:3 to 1:6 (omega 3:omega 6).[12]

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are considered to be the most important sources of energy in the body. They have an energy content of 4 kcal per gram and are therefore on a par with proteins. However, 50% or more of the energy content of our diet should come from carbohydrates.[13, 14]

In principle, carbohydrates are always a series of sugar molecules and are therefore also called saccharides. A distinction is generally made between mono-, di- and polysaccharides. In order for the body to be able to use carbohydrates, they must first be broken down into simple sugars in the intestine.

Simple sugars (monosaccharides)

The best-known representatives here are glucose (dextrose) and fructose (fruit sugar). They are quickly absorbed by the body and are available as energy in a very short time, but also raise blood sugar levels quickly. They have a sweet taste.

Dual sugars (disaccharides)

These include maltose (malt sugar) and lactose (milk sugar). They also taste sweet. However, the body needs a little longer until they are available as energy. As a result, the increase in blood sugar is somewhat slower.

Multiple sugars (polysaccharides)

The most important polysaccharide is starch. It is rather tasteless in itself and due to the longer chain length, the body needs longer to break it down. For this reason, polysaccharides cause blood sugar levels to rise slowly.

Dietary fiber

Dietary fibers are indigestible food components that play an important role in digestion. They are assigned an energy content of 2 kcal per gram.

They are divided into water-soluble and water-insoluble dietary fibers. Water-insoluble fiber absorbs little water, but is not broken down by the bacteria in the intestine, which greatly increases the volume of stool.

Water-soluble fiber, on the other hand, binds a lot of water and is broken down by the bacteria in the large intestine. This makes the stool softer, but still increases in volume.

Some water-soluble fibers also act as prebiotics. This means that they serve as food for the intestinal bacteria and thus stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestine.

Micronutrients

Micronutrients are essential for the body, but they are needed in smaller quantities than macronutrients and do not provide the body with energy. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. 

Vitamins

The body needs vitamins from food as it cannot produce them itself. The only exception is vitamin D, which can be synthesized through the skin. They play a major role in many bodily functions, such as the immune system or energy production. 

Vitamins are often very susceptible to certain preparation methods. For example, too high temperatures can destroy the vitamin C in food. They are divided into water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins.

Water-soluble vitamins

  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • biotin
  • Folic acid
  • vitamin C

They can always be easily absorbed by the body and any excess is simply excreted via the kidneys. 

Fat-soluble vitamins

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

Their absorption in the intestine is improved when they are taken in with fatty foods. An excess of these vitamins is not simply excreted by the body. They are much more likely to accumulate, which is why caution is advised when supplementing with these vitamins.

Minerals

Just like vitamins, the body cannot produce minerals itself. However, unlike vitamins, minerals are less susceptible to being destroyed by preparation. Minerals are needed, for example, for bone formation or blood formation.

They are divided into bulk and trace elements. This depends on how high the daily requirement of the respective nutrient is.

Bulk elements

  • Calcium
  • magnesium
  • chlorine
  • potassium
  • phosphorus
  • Sodium
  • Sulphur

They are required by the body in relatively high quantities, in the three to four-digit milligram range. The daily requirement for calcium is 900 - 1000 mg[15]and 300 - 400 mg for magnesium.[16]

Trace elements

  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • iodine
  • manganese
  • selenium
  • chromium
  • Copper
  • Molybdenum
  • Cobalt
  • Silicon

The daily requirement for trace elements can be covered by a dose in the two-digit milligram or even microgram range. The daily recommendation for iron is 10 - 15 mg[17]and for iodine only 180 - 200 µg.[18]

You are now well informed about the importance of micronutrients for a balanced diet. But we all know how challenging it can be to get all the essential vitamins and minerals every day. With Saturo Drinks ensure you have a complete and convenient nutrient supply - perfect for your balanced nutritional routine. Don't underestimate the effects of a deficient supply and take control of your nutritional intake!

Get concentrated nutrients

Water

Water is essential for life, and life without it is unimaginable. It is said that humans can go three weeks without food, but only three days without water. And yet many nutrition guides only ever talk about food.

Yet water is the most important "nutrient". Although it is not a nutrient in the true sense of the word, it is essential for almost all bodily functions. Some of the functions for which the body needs water are

  • Maintaining body temperature
  • Burning body fat
  • Digestive aids
  • Lubricates joints and embeds organs
  • Nutrient transport
  • Toxin excretion

The daily water requirement of an adult is around 1.5 liters[19]. This should be consumed throughout the day to protect the body from dehydration. All those who feel little thirst should pay particular attention to keeping to this.

Under certain circumstances, however, the body has an increased need for water. For example, in extreme heat, extreme cold or illnesses such as fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Strenuous work or sport can also increase the need for fluids. 

An additional 0.5 - 1 liter of water per hour may then be necessary. In healthy people, too much water is excreted via the kidneys and does not cause any damage.

Not a water drinker? Unsweetened fruit and herbal teas, flavored water or diluted juice spritzers (1:3) are also suitable to compensate for the body's water loss.

The general principles of healthy eating

  • Your body can only get all the vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) it needs from a varied diet.
  • The daily protein requirement for a normal adult is 0.8 g protein/kg body weight and for amateur athletes between 90 and 105 g at 75 kg.
  • There is no one right way to eat. But there is the right one for you.
  • Drink at least 1.5 liters of water or unsweetened drinks every day to keep your body hydrated

FAQ - Frequently asked questions about the basics of nutrition

How much salt does the body need?

In chemical terms, table salt is sodium chloride, but the body needs sodium and chlorine. The recommended daily intake is 1500 mg for sodium and 2300 mg for chloride. As table salt is usually 40 % sodium and 60 % chloride, the guideline values correspond to just under 4 g of table salt or just under a level teaspoon.

However, fruit and vegetables also contain sodium, which is why an additional intake is not usually necessary.

Is fat in food the same as fat in the body?

No, the processes are not that simple. Excess fat in the body is due to an excessively high energy content in food. However, fat is the nutrient with the highest energy content per gram. This means that even small amounts of fatty foods contain a lot of calories and the daily energy requirement can easily be exceeded.

What are phytochemicals?

Secondary plant substances are substances that occur in plants and are not essential for the body. However, they have an influence on a variety of metabolic processes, for example through an anti-inflammatory effect. Some well-known secondary plant substances are chlorophyll (green leafy vegetables), phytoestrogens (soy) and carotenoids (carrots, tomatoes).

What role do enzymes play in our body?

Enzymes are proteins that are involved in metabolic processes. They act as catalysts and thereby reduce the activation energy required for a chemical process. You can always recognize the name of an enzyme by the suffix -ase.

What are probiotics?

The text has already mentioned prebiotics, which are nutrients for the bacteria in the gut. Probiotics, on the other hand, are the helpful bacteria themselves. Yoghurt cultures are probiotic, as are the bacteria in raw sauerkraut. The name is derived from pro (for) and bio (life).

Collapsible content

Sources

  1. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e. V. (October 2007) Statement of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e. V. on the use of "Guideline Daily Amounts" (GDA) in the voluntary labeling of processed foods 
  2. McMurray, R. G., Soares, J., Caspersen, C. J., & McCurdy, T. (2014). Examining variations of resting metabolic rate of adults: a public health perspective. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 46(7), 1352-1358.
  3. Dr. Groeneveld, M. Energy content of fat: 7000 kcal vs 9000 kcal. Retrieved June 4, 2020 from  
  4. Hamburg education server. Structure and function of proteins. Retrieved June 4, 2020 from
  5. German Society for Nutrition e. V. Selected questions and answers on protein and essential amino acids. Retrieved June 4, 2020 from  
  6. Cronometer.com, Nutrition Coordinating Center Food & Nutrient Database, compare Food #455652, Food #456595, Food #465171, Food #464674
  7. Novick, J. MS, DR. The Myth of Complementary Protein. Retrieved June 4, 2020 from 
  8. German Society for Nutrition e. V. How much protein do we need? Retrieved June 4, 2020 from 
  9. Volek, J. S., Volk, B. M., Gómez, A. L., Kunces, L. J., Kupchak, B. R., Freidenreich, D. J., Aristizabal, J. C., Saenz, C., Dunn-Lewis, C., Ballard, K. D., Quann, E. E., Kawiecki, D. L., Flanagan, S. D., Comstock, B. A., Fragala, M. S., Earp, J. E., Fernandez, M. L., Bruno, R. S., Ptolemy, A. S., Kellogg, M. D., ... Kraemer, W. J. (2013). Whey protein supplementation during resistance training augments lean body mass. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 32(2), 122-135.
  10. Schoenfeld, B. J., & Aragon, A. A. (2018). How much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle-building? Implications for daily protein distribution. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 15, 10.
  11. Phillips, S. M., & Van Loon, L. J. (2011). Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation. Journal of sports sciences, 29 Suppl 1, S29-S38.
  12. German Society for Nutrition e. V. Move more and reduce fat intake. Retrieved June 4, 2020 from 
  13. German Society for Nutrition e. V. Carbohydrates, dietary fiber. Retrieved June 4, 2020 from 
  14. USDA. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 - 2020 Eighth Edition.
  15. German Society for Nutrition e. V. Calcium. Retrieved June 4, 2020 
  16. German Society for Nutrition e. V. Magnesium. Retrieved June 4, 2020
  17. German Society for Nutrition e. V. Iron. Retrieved June 4, 2020
  18. German Society for Nutrition e. V. Iodine. Retrieved June 4, 2020
  19. German Society for Nutrition e. V. (2018). Drink water - stay fit. 2 Drinking water - staying fit
  20. German Society for Nutrition e. V. DGE updates the reference values for sodium, chloride and potassium. Retrieved June 4, 2020 
  21. German Society for Nutrition e. V. Secondary plant substances and their effect on health - An update based on the 2012 Nutrition Report. DGEinfo (12/2014) S178-186.