The three E’s of nutrition are about the three categories relating to the essential nutrition. An essential nutrient is a nutrient that the body cannot make at all on its own or is in insufficient amounts to maintain good health.
These three categories are:
• Essential Nutrition for Survival and Basic Health
• Essential Nutrition for Optimum Health
• Essential Nutrition for Athletic Performance
1. The Essential Nutrition for Survival and Basic Health category. It is the nutrition that is essential for survival, physical growth, mental development, individual performance, productivity, health and well-being throughout life.
Basically it is the diet eaten by the general population, based on the average nutrient intakes, which is the minimum nutrition intended to propagate good health, and provide a minimum amount of the essential nutrients, to prevent nutrient deficiencies. It is based on the United States government standard, the RDA recommended dietary allowances. Generally used by health practitioners, and yet many of them strongly believe that taking certain nutrients in amounts more than the RDA recommends can reduce the risk of certain diseases. The RDAs, and other similar government nutrition standards main concern is preventing diseases that result from essential nutrient deficiencies like scurvy from the lack of vitamin C.
In this category, it is assumed that everyone is eating a healthy diet and that everyone’s nutrition requirements are the same, which is not realistic. As we know that, the majority of the population is having a poor diet, particularly the typical American diet is blamed for causing many chronic diseases and behind the deaths of millions of people each year. If we compare the 1963’s only nine essential nutrients; which were comprised of Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Calcium and Iron to nowadays list of nutrients considered to be essential: Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Iodine and Selenium, Biotin, Choline, Pantothenic Acid, Copper, Manganese, Fluoride, Chromium and Molybdenum, and macronutrients, we see that there has been a big progress in approaching this category of essential nutrition. Compared to nowadays, the nutrients considered to be essential: Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, Iodine and Selenium, Biotin, Choline, Pantothenic Acid, Copper, Manganese, Fluoride, Chromium and Molybdenum, and macronutrients too.
Besides the RDA, another more scientific set of standards was introduced called DRI’s Dietary Reference Intakes, which takes into consideration the nutrition requirements of the individual and groups through the entire stages of life, rather than the entire population.
The Essential Nutrition for Optimum Health. The recommendations in the past few years are more towards a nutritional diet that is rich in all nutrients, in bigger amounts than previously recommended. Progressive nutritionists, recommend to provide the body with more nutrients and in higher amounts for optimum health than the RDAs, hence the new term ODA Optimum Daily Allowance, which indicates higher amounts of vitamins and minerals with more of the nonessential nutrients and natural herbs.
The reason behind this nutrition revolution is that our bodies are exposed to more health challenges as environmental stresses, such as air pollution, contaminated drinking water, pesticides, additives, and other toxins. This has increased the body needs for essential nutrients. Considering that our food supply does not provide enough nutrients to face the modern environment and lifestyle to achieve an optimum health. Plus new scientific researchers are finding new uses for nutrients besides their role in basic survival. As in the role of antioxidants for protecting the body from free radicals.
When founding the individual nutrition program, ODA approach is now taken into consideration, and the essential nutrient intake is calculated based on the lower limit and the UL Tolerable Upper Intake Level.
Essential nutrition for athletic performance: Athletes have higher needs in the field of nutrition, whether it comes to their athletic performance, higher calorie needs due higher energy expenditure, in addition to muscle repair induced by muscle damage. Athletes have to cover their essential nutrient requirements first to maintain their optimum health, plus the extra nutrients to cover their extra needs for athletic training and competitions.
Performance Daily Intakes: The PDIs is the intake for athletes and active people to fulfill their higher nutritional needs. Guidelines based on the science of nutrition, sports nutrition, and fitness nutrition. A PDI is based on a total nutrition plan, combining both food and supplement sources together, in order to achieve a safe and efficacious nutrition dietary plan. In general, the lower limit of the PDI range is equal to or higher than the RDA / RDI / DRI values are, which is a higher intake to fulfill the additional and higher needs compared to a non-athletic or inactive person. The PDI takes into consideration supplementing with additional nutrient sources, since some people cannot meet their nutrient needs through a regular and varied diet. Safety is recommended when it comes to supplements we should always consult with a physician for proper doses and optimum coverage of all vitamins and minerals.
When it comes to PDI, quantities, timing and proportions for macronutrients, vitamins and minerals are to be considered in order to achieve peak performance. The body unique individual metabolic demands like fitness program, activity level, training and body composition determine the customized nutritional plan.
Whether a person is an athlete, an active person or maybe with an ailment that require special dietary nutritional needs, a PDI rate is set based on these specific needs, example if a person is athletic and participates in competitions his needs are different from a malnourished child who needs a proper nutritional plan to compensate his nutritional deficiencies.