Selection of an Optimal Diet

Modern Criteria
  • J. Michael Gurney


Man, being a social animal living in a wide range of habitats and consuming a highly varied diet, challenges any simple definition of his food requirements. For example a traditional daily Kikuyu diet contains approximately 22 g of fat and 390 g of carbohydrate. This contrasts with 162 g of fat, an enormous intake, and 59 g of carbohydrate in Eskimo diets (Weiner, 1964). With this and many other examples of cultural variability, an optimal diet for the promotion of long life and well-being can be defined and classified only in the broadest terms.


Food Group Food Habit Dietary Guideline Dietary Energy Nutrient Density 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. American Society for Clinical Nutrition, 1979, The evidence relating six dietary factors to the nation’s health, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 32: 2620.Google Scholar
  2. Anonymous, 1980, Dietary fiber, exercise and selected blood lipid constituents, Nutr. Rev. 38: 207.Google Scholar
  3. Aykroyd, W. R., and Doughty, J., 1964, Legumes in human nutrition, Nutrition Studies Series No. 19, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.Google Scholar
  4. Björn-Rasmussen, E., and Hallberg, L., 1974, Iron absorption from maize. Effect of ascorbic acid on iron absorption from maize supplemented with ferrous sulphate, Nutr. Metab. 16: 94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bray, G. A., 1980, Dietary guidelines: The shape of things to come, J. Nutr. Educ. 12: 97.Google Scholar
  6. British Department of Health and Social Security, 1969, Recommended daily intakes of energy and nutrients for the UK.Google Scholar
  7. Burgess, A., and Dean, R. F. A., (eds.), 1962, Malnutrition and Food Habits: Report of an International and Interprofessional Conference, Tavistock, London.Google Scholar
  8. Burkitt, D. P., 1975, Refined Carbohydrate Food and Disease: Some Implications of Dietary Fibre, Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
  9. Cameron, M., and Hofvander, Y., 1977, Manual on Feeding Infants and Young Children, 2nd ed., United Nations, New York.Google Scholar
  10. Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute, 1980, Nutrition Education Handbook for Supervisors of Day Care Centres and Nursery Schools (CFNI-NE4-80-1K), CFNI, Kingston, Jamaica.Google Scholar
  11. Davidson, S., Passmore, R., Brock, J. F., and Truswell, A. S., 1979, Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 7th ed., pp. 163–165, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh.Google Scholar
  12. De Garine, I., 1970, The social and cultural background of food habits in developing countries (traditional societies), in: Food Cultism and Nutrition Quackery ( G. Blix, ed.), pp. 34–46, Almqvist and Wiksells, Uppsala.Google Scholar
  13. Douglas, M., 1975, The sociology of bread, in: Bread: Social, Nutritional and Agricultural Aspects of Wheaten Bread (A. Spicer, ed.), Applied Science, London.Google Scholar
  14. En-Trophy Institute, 1979, Strategy for Wellness, En-Trophy 2 (6).Google Scholar
  15. Fredrickson, D. S., Levy, R. I., Bonnell, M., and Ernst, N., 1973, Dietary Management of Hyperli-poproteinemia. A Handbook f Physicians and Dietitians, Pub. No. (NIH) 37, National Heart and Lung Institute, Department of Health Education and Welfare, Bethesda.Google Scholar
  16. Gurney, J. M., 1975, Nutritional considerations concerning the staple foods of the English-speaking Caribbean, Ecol. Food Nutr. 4: 171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hall, R. H., 1977, The RDA’s and Public Policy, En-Trophy 1 (1).Google Scholar
  18. Hall, R. H., 1978, Thirty years of laissez-faire in human nourishment, En-Trophy 1 (3).Google Scholar
  19. Hansen, R. G., Wyse, B. W., and Brown, G., 1978, Nutrient needs and their expression, Food Technol. 32 (2): 44.Google Scholar
  20. Hansen, R. G., Wyse, B. W., and Brown, G., 1979, Nutritional Quality Index of Foods, Avi, Westport, Connecticut.Google Scholar
  21. Harper, A. E., 1978, What are appropriate dietary guidelines? Food Technol. 32 (9): 48.Google Scholar
  22. Hegsted, D. M., 1980, Dietary guidelines: Where do we go from here? J. Nutr. Educ. 12: 100.Google Scholar
  23. Hollingsworth, D. F., 1977, Translating nutrition into diet, Food Technol. 31 (2): 38.Google Scholar
  24. Jelliffe, D. B., 1967, Approaches to village-level infant feeding (1) Multimixes as weaning foods, J. Trop. Pediat. 13: 46–48.Google Scholar
  25. Jelliffe, D. B., 1968a, Infant Nutrition in the Subtropics and Tropics, 2nd ed. (Monograph Series No. 29 ), World Health Organization, Geneva.Google Scholar
  26. Jelliffe, D. B., 1968b, Child Nutrition in Developing Countries, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  27. Jelliffe, D. B., 1977, Breast is best: Modern meanings, N. Engl. J. Med. 297: 912.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Jelliffe, D. B., and Bennett, F. J., 1961, Cultural and anthropological factors in infant and maternal nutrition, Fed. Proc. Fed. Am. Soc. Exp. Biol. 18: 185.Google Scholar
  29. Jelliffe, D. B., Gurney, M., and Jelliffe, E. F. P., 1975, Unsupplemented human milk and the nutrition of the exterogestate fetus, in: Proceedings of the 9th International Congress of Nutrition, Mexico, 1972, Vol. 2, ( A. Chavez, H. Bourges, and S. Basta, eds.), pp. 77–85, Karger, Basel.Google Scholar
  30. Jerome, N. W., 1975, On determining food patterns of urban dwellers in contemporary United States society, in: Gastronomy: The Anthropology of Food Habits ( M. L. Arnott, ed.), pp. 91–111, Mouton, The Hague.Google Scholar
  31. Joint WHO/UNICEF Meeting on Infant and Young Child Feeding, 1979, World Health Organization, Geneva.Google Scholar
  32. Maslow, A. H., 1970, Motivation and Personality, Harper and Row, New York.Google Scholar
  33. McKenzie, J. C., 1979, The consumers’ view of problems and priorities in nutrition, Proc. Nutr. Soc. 38: 219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. McNutt, K. W., and McNutt, D. R., 1978, Nutrition and Food Choices, Science Research Associates, Chicago.Google Scholar
  35. Molitor, G. T. T., 1980, The food system in the 1980s, J. Nutr. Educ. 12: 103.Google Scholar
  36. Montgomery, E., 1978, Anthropological contributions to the study of food-related cultural variability, in: Progress in Human Nutrition, Vol. 2 (S. Margen, ed.),pp. 42–56.Google Scholar
  37. Morris, D., 1977, Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behaviour, Johnathan Cape, London.Google Scholar
  38. Passmore, R., Nicol, B. M., and Narayana Rao, M., 1974, Handbook of Human Nutritional Requirements (Monograph Series No. 61 ), World Health Organization, Geneva.Google Scholar
  39. Périssé, J., Sizaret, F., and François, P., 1969, The Effect of Income on the Structure of the Diet, Nutr. Newsletter 7: 1.Google Scholar
  40. Pirsig, R. M., 1974, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, pp. 66,67, Corgi, Ealing.Google Scholar
  41. Platt, B. S., Miller, D. S., and Payne, P. R., 1961, Protein values of human foods, in: Recent Advances in Human Nutrition ( J. F. Brock, ed.), p. 360, Churchill, London.Google Scholar
  42. Schneider, H. A., 1958, What has happened to nutrition? Perspect. Biol. Med. 1: 278.Google Scholar
  43. Tudge, C ., 1979, The ins and outs of roughage, New Sci. 82 , No. 1160:988–990.Google Scholar
  44. Weiner, J. S., 1964, Nutritional ecology, in: Human Biology, An Introduction to Human Evolution, Variation and Growth ( G. A. Harrison, J. S. Weiner, J. M. Tanner, and N. A. Barnicot, eds.), pp. 413–440, OUP, London.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Michael Gurney
    • 1
  1. 1.Caribbean Food and Nutrition InstituteKingston, 7Jamaica

Personalised recommendations