Food Requirements

To remain healthy, the human body has minimum nutritional requirements. Although these requirements depend on gender, climate, age, and occupation, certain intakes of energy, vitamins, minerals, and proteins, among other nutrients are needed [3]. Energy

Table 1.5. Population growth trends

Number of People (million)

Growth Rate (%)

1990

2000

2010

1980-1990 1990-2000 2000-2010

World

5,296.8

6,265.0

7,208.6

1.8

1.7

1.4

Developing countries

4,045.9

4,946.9

5,835.2

2.1

2.0

1.7

Developed countries

1,248.9

1,314.7

1,369.7

0.7

0.5

0.4

Compiled from [10].

Compiled from [10].

is needed "to maintain the metabolic rate and to allow the body to work" [3]. Protein foods contain amino acids, of which 10 or 11 are essential. They are found in both animal products (eggs and meat) and plant foods [3]. Although eggs and most meats provide all of the essential amino acids, they are expensive and thus are unavailable to many people in adequate amounts. Plant foods are a less efficient protein source; they contain lower levels of protein and no crop contains all the essential amino acids. This drawback can be overcome by eating a combination of food crops, for example, cereals and legumes, which are present in most traditional diets [3].

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