Nutrient: Phosphorus

Description:

  • Phosphorus is essential in regulating the body acid-base balance.
  • It is also important for formation of bone and cells.

Reference Values*:

  • A safe range of intake has not been proposed by WHO/FAO.6,7

Food Sources:

  • Milk and milk products
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Processed foods

Nutrient: Potassium

Description:

  • Potassium is essential in maintaining the body’s electrolyte balance and normal cellular function.
  • Adequate potassium intake lowers blood pressure and reduces risk of stroke.
  • Sufficient intake of potassium can be achieved through adequate daily consumption of fruits and vegetables

Reference Values*:

2.7g – 3.1g (70mmol – 80mmol) per day.2

Food Sources:

  • Potatoes
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Milk and milk products
  • Nuts

Nutrient: Sodium

Description:

  • Sodium is a major electrolyte in the body.
  • It helps in maintaining extracellular fluid balance.
  • Excess sodium intake has been linked to high blood pressure.

Reference Values*:

  • Not more than 2,000 mg (i.e. 5g of salt) per day.2

Food Sources:

  • Salt
  • Soy sauce
  • Processed foods

Nutrient: Zinc

Description:

  • Zinc is essential for growth and development, and testicular maturation.
  • It is also important for neurological function, wound healing and maintenance of the body’s immune system.

Reference Values*:

  • Women: Not less than 4.9mg and no more than 35mg per day; Men: Not less than 7.0mg and no more than 45mg per day.6,7
  • Note:
    • The above values are derived basing on the assumption that the diet is of moderate zinc bioavailability which is characterised by mixed diets containing animal or fish protein.6,7

Food Sources:

  • Lean red meat
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Legumes

Nutrient: Iodine

Description:

  • Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones which are responsible for normal growth and development.
  • Insufficient dietary iodine can lead to a range of adverse health effects, including goiter, hypothyroidism, etc..

Reference Values*:

  • Not less than 150 μg and not more than 1,000 μg per day for adults.6,7

Food Sources:

  • Seaweeds
  • Seafoods
  • Eggs and egg products
  • Milk and milk products
  • Iodised salt

Remarks

 *    The values listed are for reference only. For individual nutrient requirements or with special needs, please consult dietitians or relevant health professionals.

*2    World Health Organization. Diet, nutrition and the prevention of chronic diseases: Report of a Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation. Geneva: WHO; 2003.

*6 World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Vitamin and mineral requirements in human nutrition. Second edition. Bangkok: WHO/FAO; 2004.

*7 World Health Organization. Trace elements in human nutrition and health. Geneva: WHO; 1996.

(To be continued…)

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