Foods are composed of different components: Visible and invisible.

To assess nutritional status, we need to estimate food and nutrient intake correctly. For some critical diseases such as kidney disease, diabetes, etc., it is crucial to assess dietary intake properly. Due to the difficulty in the availability of updated food consumption table, diversity in food availability such as commercial, non-commercial, homemade foods, etc., and lack of proper labels and facilities to test foods, we may or may not have clues regarding the consumption of nutritive and non-nutritive components or ingredients intake as a part of whole food(s). In addition, various stages of processing of foods may add or remove or reduce some components intentionally or unintentionally. Some of them may be harmful while some are beneficial for our health…

Visible Nutrients: 

It’s simple to estimate compared to hidden or invisible nutrients. Some of the common dietary methods are currently used to assess their intake. It is noted that some or all of them failed to estimate properly due to the limitations of those methods. So, it is recommended to use multiple methods together to overcome the limitations for a true assessment of dietary intake.

Hidden (Invisible) Nutrients:

It’s difficult and sometimes impossible to estimate compared to visible parts. So, more methods are needed for the assessment of hidden or invisible nutrients. It is important for all or particularly for diseased people. These would help us to achieve and maintain our nutritional status and health.

To measure the consumption of both visible and invisible (hidden) nutrients we need to update food composition regularly. In addition, modern technology needs to be introduced and implemented for the assessment of the content. Thus, improved, and easy-to-follow food coding or labeling systems may be available and accessible for mass people.




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By Md. Khurshidul Zahid, Ph.D.

Md. Khurshidul Zahid Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Nutrition and Food Science (INFS) of The University of Dhaka (DU) of Bangladesh. He has completed his Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Texas Tech University (TTU), USA. He was a finalist in the Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Competition organized by the American Society of Nutrition (ASN), Experimental Biology (EB) meeting held in Boston in 2015. He was also awarded a gold medal by “Professor Dr. Quazi Salamatullah trust foundation” of INFS, DU in 2005.

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