What is the need for food

Nutritional information - nutrient distribution / ratio

  1. Nutrition tips
  2. General nutritional information
  3. Nutrient distribution / relation

Nutrient distribution / nutritional value relation

A balanced diet should contain the basic nutrients protein, fat and carbohydrates in an appropriate ratio.

If this is not the case, this can lead to nutrition-dependent diseases. Is z. For example, if the proportion of fat in the diet is well over 30% (in the Federal Republic of Germany, according to the second National Consumption Study (NVS II), an average of 35-36%), this can lead to obesity and fat metabolism disorders.

If the carbohydrate intake is well below 55% and the carbohydrate-containing foods consumed are also low in fiber, this can also cause problems with satiety, indigestion and obesity.

The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends the following nutrient distribution for adults:

In children and adolescents up to 19 years of age, this nutrient ratio differs slightly for protein and fat, as children and adolescents have a higher energy requirement and still build up body substance, which requires more protein.

Nutritional requirements

"The nutritional requirement is defined as the amount of a nutrient that is required for the maintenance of all bodily functions of the organism and thus for optimal health and performance for objective, scientific reasons." (Ketz, 1984)

When calculating the level of nutrient intake for adults, one starts from the recommendation for nutrient distribution listed above.

Total energy = 100% of it:

  • 55-60% carbohydrates
  • 10-15% protein
  • 30% fat


Daily energy requirement 2000 kcal - nutrient distribution as above

55 energy% carbohydrates result in 1100 kcal with a total energy intake of 2000 kcal. Since 1 kcal is contained in approx. 0.24 g of carbohydrates, 1100 kcal corresponds to 264 g of carbohydrates.
30% energy fat result in 66 g fat (factor 0.11) and 15% energy protein 72 g protein (factor 0.24).

With an energy requirement of 2000 kcal per day, foods with a total of 264 g of carbohydrates, 66 g of fat and 72 g of protein should be consumed.

The numbers are averages, as the energy and nutrient requirements vary from person to person and from day to day.

Vitamins, minerals and fiber in the diet

The need for the main nutrients protein, fat and carbohydrates should be met on a daily basis. In addition to the main nutrients, fiber, vitamins, minerals and water are other important substances that should be taken in with food on a daily basis. For these, too, the need was determined in the context of nutritional research and recommended intake was made based on this.

The recommendations for fluid intake and fiber intake should be adhered to every day if possible, while the balance for the intake of minerals and vitamins should be balanced within a week.

Nutrient intake recommendations

The following table provides an overview of the recommended daily intake of selected nutrients for adults in younger and middle years (> 19 years to 65 years).

Nutrient (group)Intake / day
protein0.8 g / kg body weight ¹
fat30% of the energy
Linoleic acid2.5% of the energy
Linolenic acid²0.5% of the energy
carbohydrates> 50% of the energy
Fiber ³30 g
Total water supply ³
Solid food
30-35 ml / kg body weight¹
1230 - 1470 ml
740-890 ml
sodium1500 mg1500 mg
Chloride²2300 mg2300 mg
Potassium ²4000 mg4000 mg
Calcium1000 mg1000 mg
phosphorus700 mg700 mg
magnesium350-400 mg300-310 mg
iron10 mg15 mg
iodine180-200 µg180-200 µg
zinc11-16 mg7-10 mg
Selenium²70 µg60 µg
Vitamin A (retinol)1.0 mg0.8 mg
Vitamin D (calciferol)?20 µg20 µg
Vitamin E (tocopherol) ²13-15 mg12 mg
Vitamin K²70-80 µg60-65 µg
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)1.2-1.3 mg1.0 mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)1.3-1.4 mg1.0-1.1 mg
niacin15-16 mg11-13 mg
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)1.6 mg1.4 mg
Folic acid300 µg300 µg
Pantothenic acid²6.0 mg6.0 mg
Biotin²30-60 µg30-60 µg
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)4.0 µg4.0 µg
vitamin C110 mg95 mg

1 KG = body weight
2 This is an estimate
3 This is a guideline
4 The recommended intake for zinc depends on the phytate intake
5 The supply of vitamin D is usually covered by diet (with 2-4 µg / d) and through endogenous synthesis (formation of vitamin D under the skin when exposed to sunlight). If there is little sun exposure, the desired vitamin D supply can be achieved with a vitamin D preparation

Source: D-A-CH reference values ​​for nutrient intake, 2nd edition, 5th updated edition 2019

Recommended intake for all nutrients can be found in the "Recommendations for Nutrient Intake".

Recommendation for practice

Nutrition is theoretical knowledge about our diet. Ultimately, however, implementation in practice is decisive for health and wellbeing.

On our pages on "whole food" and "whole food" you will find helpful tips on how to implement the recommendations listed above. There you will find detailed information about a healthy diet.