Human Nutrition 3(3+0)
Lesson 3 : Recommended Dietary Allowances for Nutrients


Fat is a major nutrient and has several functions. Fat is a concentrated source of energy and increases the energy density of the diet. Fat provides the essential fatty acids such as linoleic, linolenic and arachidonic acids. Further, fats are essential for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, provitamin A (ß-carotene) etc. Phrynoderma, a nutritional deficiency syndrome of the skin, is attributed partly to the dietary deficiency of the essential fatty acids. Excess of fat consumption amounting to over 40% of the dietary calories has been found to be associated with hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis. The recommendations of the ICMR Nutrition Expert Group (1968) are as follows:

1. Adults --- 10% of total calories in the diet from fat;
2. Adolescents --- 15% of total calories in the diet from fat;
3. Children (1-11 Years) --- 15% of total calories in the diet from fat; and
4. Infants (Birth – 1 Year) --- 30% of total calories in the feed from fat.

Cereals and pulses contain small amounts of fat (1 to 5%). The fat intake from cereals and pulses may be as high 6-12g. per day. These fats are rich in essential fatty acids.

Last modified: Friday, 3 February 2012, 10:28 AM