The food we eat has a major effect on our physical health and psychological well-being. An understanding of the way in which nutrients are metabolized, and hence of the principles of biochemistry, is essential for an understanding of the scientific basis of what we would call a prudent or healthy diet.
My aim in the following pages is both to explain the conclusions of the many expert committees that have deliberated on the problems of nutritional requirements, diet, and health over the years and also the scientific basis on which these experts have reached their conclusions. Much of what is now presented as “facts” may well be shown to be incorrect in years to come.
This book is intended to provide a foundation of scientific knowledge and understanding from which to interpret and evaluate future advances in nutrition and health sciences.
Nutrition is one of the basic sciences that underlie a proper understanding of health and medical and human sciences and the ways in which human beings and their environment interact. In its turn, the science of nutrition is based on biochemistry and physiology on one hand and the social and behavioral sciences on the other. This book contains such biochemistry as is essential to an understanding of the science of nutrition.
In a book of this kind, which is an introduction to nutrition and metabolism, it is not appropriate to cite the original scientific literature that provides the (sometimes conflicting) evidence for the statements made; in some of the tables of data, I have acknowledged my sources of data as a simple courtesy to my follow scientists and also to guide readers to the original sources of information.