The word food brings to mind the kitchen table and the kitchen is often where people learn to cook. There is a wide range of food types available in groceries and stores across North America. Grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and yeast all belong to the category of food. The word “diet” simply means a strict regimen of eating foods that are nutritionally adequate and can be maintained on a normal basis. The word “eating” is used here not to imply that the body will become fat or that there is a need to diet; but simply to indicate that sustenance is obtained by eating foods that are good for you.
Food nourishes and aids our bodies’ ability to heal and maintain our health. The five food groups are carbohydrates, protein, vegetables, fats and fluids. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy and are found in vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains and refined carbohydrates like potatoes and pasta. The energy obtained from carbohydrates is used immediately, stored as protein in muscles and bones, and then is used later as energy to do physical activities like moving about, walking, or working at a computer. Most dietary fibre comes from fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and certain oils. The most nutritious food groups, carbohydrates, protein and vegetables, are the foundation of a healthy diet and should form the basis of any nutritious eating plan.
Real food is food that grow in nature, like real food, and is made through a process that leaves its nutrients intact and unprocessed. Unprocessed food is very nutrient dense, but because it is not processed, it has lost many of its great qualities. This includes its vitamins and other bio-active substances. It may still be high in calories, but because of the ways it is made and the time it takes to get to the consumer, it is generally lower in fat, sugar and salt than most processed foods.
There is some debate over whether or not unprocessed food provides better nutrition than processed food. Those who argue that unprocessed food provides better nutrition claim that it contains all of the nutrients that natural food offers in greater amounts than is found in processed food. Processed food often lacks beneficial nutrients that have been removed during the processing process or has been changed at the source to make the food lower in nutritional value than it would naturally contain. These are the two main arguments against junk food, although there are some other issues such as increased waste in landfills and the danger posed by additives and chemicals.
Sugar – including in many types of sugar such as brown, white, raw, cane, turbinado and fructose – is an excellent source of nutrition, especially for those trying to lose weight. Not only does sugar to provide energy, but it also provides many of the nutrients our bodies need in adequate amounts. Unfortunately, we can not eat sugar in excess, so we must get it through our foods. But there are ways to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet. For example, if you are eating a dish that includes a lot of sugar, such as a dessert, try substituting sugar with a low-sugar alternative, such as a non-dairy whipped cream or yogurt. If you’re buying sugar-free confectionery or candy, choose the sugar-free version instead.
There are a number of other types of nutrition that are often overlooked, but should not be overlooked in your quest for good nutrition. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to get the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals. Some foods such as eggs and meat are high in fat and therefore should be eaten in moderation. Finally, water is needed in great quantities to keep our body hydrated, which is why many people forget to take a drink each day. Good nutrition is not about eating everything in sight; rather, it’s about balancing what we put into our body with the nutrients that are already available to us in the foods that we eat.