Nutrition: Dietitian Role, Nutrients, And Nutritionist

8 min read
Jan 26, 2024
Nutrition: Dietitian Role, Nutrients, And Nutritionist

What is nutrition, and why does it matter?

Nutritionists make use of concepts from genetics, biochemistry, and molecular biology to comprehend how nutrient s impact the human body.

In addition, nutrition covers the effects of food choices on illness risk, the consequences of nutrient excess or deficiency, and the mechanisms behind allergy responses.

Nutrients are what give food. Nutrients include fiber, water, proteins, carb s, fats, and vitamins and minerals. People are more likely to acquire certain health disorders if their diet does not contain the proper mix of nutrients.

This post explains the many nutrients that humans require and their respective benefits. The roles of nutritionists and diet itians will also be examined.


Macro nutrient s are those nutrient s that the human body need in comparatively high amounts.


Carbohydrates include sugar, starch, and fiber among others.

Simple carb ohydrates are sugars. Sugars and processed starches are rapidly absorbed and broken down by the body. They don't make one feel full, but they can provide you energy quickly.

They may also result in an increase in blood sugar. Regular rises in blood sugar raise the risk of type 2 diabetes and its sequelae.

Carb ohydrates also include fiber. Certain fibers are digested by intestinal bacteria, while other types are absorbed by the body and are broken down by the body and used as energy.

Complex carb ohydrates are fiber and unprocessed starch. Complex carb ohydrates take a while for the body to process and absorb. A person will experience sustained fullness after consuming fiber.

Additionally, fiber may lower the risk of colon cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Refined carb ohydrates and sweets are not as healthy as complex carb ohydrates.


Amino acids are naturally occurring chemical molecules that make up proteins.

Twenty amino acids are present. Some of these must be obtained through food since they are vital. The others can be made by the body.

Certain meals offer complete protein, meaning they have every necessary amino acid required by the body. Different combinations of amino acids can be found in other food s.

The majority of plant-based diet s lack complete protein, thus a vegan must consume a variety of foods throughout the day to get the necessary amino acids.


Fats are necessary for:

  • Lubricating joints
  • Helping organs produce hormones
  • Enabling the body to absorb certain vitamins
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Preserving brain health

Obesity, high cholesterol, liver disease, and other health issues can result from consuming too much fat .

Still, there is an impact from the kind of fat an individual consumes. Olive oil and other unsaturated fat s are healthier than saturated fat s, which are typically derived from animal sources.


Up to 60% of an adult human body is made of water, and numerous bodily functions depend on it. Water is not an energy source and has no calories.

A common recommendation is to drink two liters, or eight glasses, of water per day; however, water can also be obtained through food , such as fruits and vegetables. Pee that is a pale yellow color indicates adequate hydration.

In addition, an individual's age and body type, as well as their exercise level, health, and environment, will all affect their requirements.


Certain micro nutrient s are necessary in modest doses. Minerals and vitamins are among them. Food manufacturers occasionally include them. Rice and fortified grains are two examples.


Nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, and carb on are all necessary for the organism.

It also requires minerals from food , like iron, potassium, and other elements.

The majority of the time, a balanced, varied diet will supply all the minerals need. In case of a deficiency, a physician could suggest taking supplements.

These are a few of the minerals that the body requires for proper operation.


Being an electrolyte, potassium. It makes it possible for the heart, kidneys, muscles, and nerves to function correctly. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015–2020, suggest that adults get 4,700 mg of potassium daily.

Kidney stones, high blood pressure, and stroke might result from consuming too little.

Those with kidney illness may be adversely affected by too much.

Good sources include avocados, coconut water, bananas, squash, dried fruit, beans, and lentils.


One electrolyte that is helpful is sodium.

  • Keep your muscles and nerves functioning.
  • Control the body's fluid balance.

Insufficient amounts can cause hyponatremia. It manifests as weariness, disorientation, and lethargicness.

Excessive consumption can result in hypertension, raising the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Table salt, which is mostly sodium and chloride, is a common condiment. Nevertheless, since sodium is already present in most food s naturally, most individuals eat too much of it.

Experts advise against including table salt in one's diet . According to current recommendations, one teaspoon, or 2,300 mg, of sodium should not be consumed daily.

This advice covers salt that is added to meals as well as sources that are found naturally. Individuals with renal illness or high blood pressure ought to consume less food .


Calcium is required by the body to create teeth and bones. Along with other things, it maintains the health of the cardiovascular system and nervous system.

Too little might weaken teeth and bones. A severe deficiency might cause potentially fat al heart rhythm abnormalities and tingling in the fingers.

Kidney stones, constipation, and decreased absorption of other minerals can result from consuming too much.

According to current standards, adults should take 1,000 mg daily, while women 51 years of age and older should take 1,200 mg.

Dairy products, tofu, lentils, and leafy green vegetables are good sources.


All body cells contain phosphorus, which supports the health of teeth and bones.

Inadequate phosphorus levels can impair appetite, muscle strength, coordination, and cause bone problems. Additionally, it may cause disorientation, burning or prickling feelings in the skin, anemia, and an increased risk of infection.

While overindulgence in food is unlikely to result in health issues, toxicity from supplements, drugs, and issues with phosphorus metabolism can.

The daily goal for adults should be to get about 700 mg of phosphorus. Dairy products, salmon, lentils, and cashews are good sources.


Magnesium supports neuron and muscle function. It permits the body to make proteins, bone, and DNA and aids in the regulation of blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Eventually, low magnesium levels can cause a variety of symptoms, including fat igue, nausea, restless legs, weakness, and disturbed sleep.

Overindulgence may cause gastric issues as well as, ultimately, cardiac issues.

Beans, spinach, and nuts are excellent providers of magnesium. Adult males require 420 mg of magnesium daily, whereas adult females require 320 mg.


Zinc is necessary for the production of proteins, immune system function, wound healing, and healthy body cells.

Although it is uncommon, too little might cause diarrhea, changes in taste or smell, skin lesions, and hair loss.

Overindulgence may result in headaches and stomach issues. For additional information, go here.

Adult males require 11 mg of zinc daily, whereas adult females require 8 mg. Oysters, meat, baked beans, and fortified breakfast cereals are examples of dietary sources.


Red blood cells, which distribute oxygen throughout the body, are formed in large part through the use of iron. It also contributes to the formation of hormones and connective tissue.

Anemia from too little might cause weakness, trouble digesting food , and trouble thinking. Go here to find out more about iron deficiency.

Excessive consumption may cause stomach issues, and really high dosages may be lethal.

Fortified cereals, beef liver, lentils, spinach, and tofu are good sources. While females require 18 mg of iron daily during their reproductive years, adults only need 8 mg.


Manganese is a mineral that the body utilizes to make energy, aids in blood clotting, and boosts immunity.

Insufficient amounts can lead to mood swings in women, skin rashes in men, and weak bones in youngsters.

Only in very high doses can too much cause tremors, muscular spasms, and other symptoms.

Manganese can be found in spinach, chickpeas, brown rice, hazelnuts, and mussels. Adult males require 2.3 mg of manganese daily, whereas adult females require 1.8 mg.


The body uses copper to form blood vessels, connective tissues, and energy.

Fatigue, pale skin patches, elevated cholesterol, and connective tissue diseases can result from low copper levels. This is not common.

Liver damage, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain can all be caused by an excess of copper. Excessive copper also decreases zinc absorption.

Beef liver, oysters, potatoes, mushrooms, sunflower and sesame seeds are good sources. Every day, adults require 900 micrograms (mcg) of copper.


More than 24 selenoproteins make up selenium, which is essential for thyroid and reproductive function. It can also avoid cell damage because it is an antioxidant.

Garlic breath, diarrhea, irritability, skin rashes, brittle hair or nails, and other symptoms can result from having too much selenium in the body.

Heart disease, male infertility, and arthritis can all be caused by insufficient amounts.

Adults require 55 micrograms per day of selenium.

One of the best ways to get selenium is through Brazil nuts. Baked beans, oats, and spinach are other plant sources. Rich pasta, ham, and tuna are all great sources.


Individuals require trace amounts of different vitamins. A few of these are also antioxidants, like vitamin C. This means that by eliminating harmful substances from the body called free radicals, they aid in the defense of cells against harm.

Vitamins may be:

  • Water-soluble: The eight B vitamins and vitamin C
  • Fat -soluble: Vitamins A, D, E, and K

Water soluble vitamins

Because the body cannot readily store water-soluble vitamins and eliminates them more quickly, people must routinely eat them.

B-1 (thiamin)
Effect of too little
BeriberiWernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
Effect of too much
unclear since it is eliminated by the body through urine.
fish, black beans, and fortified grains and cereals
B-2 (riboflavin)
Effect of too little
hormonal issues, skin conditions, and oral and throat swelling
Effect of too much
unclear since it is eliminated by the body through urine.
Breakfast cereal, almonds, oats, yogurt, mushrooms, and beef liver
B-3 (niacin)
Effect of too little
Pellagra, characterized by symptoms related to the digestive system, nervous system, and skin.
Effect of too much
headaches, rashes, burning, itching, flushing of the face, and dizziness
Brown rice, chicken breast, peanuts, fortified cereals, and beef liver.
Effect of too little
weariness, stomach ache, and numbness and burning in the hands and feet
Effect of too much
excessive dosages can cause digestive issues.
Sunflower seeds, beef liver, shiitake mushrooms, and breakfast cereal
Effect of too little
Anemia, skin alterations, itching rash, and swollen tongue
Effect of too much
loss of muscular control and injury to the nerves
potatoes, tuna, chicken breast, chickpeas, and fortified cereals
B-7 (biotin)
Effect of too little
Hair loss, conjunctivitis, rashes around the eyes and other holes on the body
Effect of too much
Sweet potatoes, eggs, salmon, sunflower seeds, and beef liver
Effect of too little
Weakness, exhaustion, trouble concentrating, palpitations in the heart, and dyspnea
Effect of too much
could raise the risk of cancer
Black-eyed peas, spinach, beef liver, enriched cereal, and asparagus
B-12 (cobalamins)
Effect of too little
tiredness, constipation, anemia, weight loss , and neurological abnormalities
Effect of too much
No negative impacts were noted.
Foods including clams, beef liver, plant milks, morning cereals, and some oily fish are enriched with yeast.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Effect of too little
Scurvy, characterized by poor wound healing, gum irritation, skin rashes, and exhaustion
Effect of too much
stomach pains, diarrhea, and nausea
Broccoli, roasted potatoes, red and green peppers, kiwi fruit, citrus fruits, berries, and fortified liquids.

Fat-soluble vitamins

With the aid of fat s (lipids), the body absorbs fat -soluble vitamins through the intestines. The body is able to hold them and does not eliminate them instantly.

Low- fat diets may prevent some people from absorbing enough of these vitamins. An accumulation of too many can lead to issues.

Vitamin A (retinoids)
Effect of too little
Night blindness
Effect of too much
brain pressure, nausea, vertigo, rashes on the skin, discomfort in the joints and bones, and skin that is tinted orange
Winter squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, beef liver, spinach, and other dark greens
Effect of too little
Weak bones and poor bone development
Effect of too much
Anorexia, weight loss , arrhythmias, harm to the kidneys and cardiovascular system
Dietary sources such as dairy products, oily fish, cod liver oil, and fortified liquids combined with exposure to sunlight
Effect of too little
Diminished immunological response, retinopathy, and peripheral neuropathy
Effect of too much
might lessen blood's capacity to clot
Nuts, seeds, sunflower and safflower oil, spinach, and wheat germ
Effect of too little
significant instances of bleeding and hemorrhaging
Effect of too much
No side effects, although it might interfere with other medications and blood thinners.
green, leafy veggies; okra; soybeans; edamame; natto

Multivitamins can be bought from stores or online, but before taking any supplements, consumers should see their doctor to make sure they are safe to use.


As antioxidants, certain minerals also function. These could be other kinds of chemicals, vitamins, minerals, or proteins. They aid in the body's elimination of harmful compounds referred to as reactive oxygen species, or free radicals. Disease and cell damage may occur if the body retains an excessive amount of these compounds.

Dietitian vs. nutritionist

Dietetics, food, and nutrition are the areas of study for a registered dietitian nutrition ist (RD or RDN). In order to become a registered dietitian, an individual must pass a licensing exam, finish a demanding internship, enroll in and graduate from an accredited university, and accrue 75 or more continuing education hours every five years.

Dietitians are employed in the food business, corporate wellness, teaching, research, and both public and private healthcare systems.

Nutritionists do not meet the standards to use the designations RD or RDN, but they do learn about nutrition through formal education or self-study. Nutritionists are frequently employed in food science and technology as well as the food industry.

In brief

The study of food and its physiological effects is known as nutrition. In order to receive a wide variety of nutrients, people must eat a varied diet .

Some people decide to stick to a certain diet , which involves avoiding some foods and emphasizing others. Individuals who follow this course of action might need to make meticulous plans to guarantee they have all the vitamins they need to stay healthy.

A person is most likely to benefit from a diet high in plant-based foods and low in processed foods, added animal fat s, added sugar, and extra salt.