The Food You Eat and How it Affects Your Health
Food is any material consumed to supply nutritional support to an organisms living in a living body. It may contain any number of ingredients, most of which are protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins, or mineral. The major components of food are carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. In most cases, it is not the quantity of food that supplies the nutrients to an organisms, but rather the quality of the food that provides the essential nutrients. Some examples of food include animal products, like meat, milk, eggs, fish, and poultry; vegetable products, like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes; and fruits, like watermelon, oranges, banana, and lemons.
Macronutrients refer to those substances required for the body’s proper functioning. These substances are collectively known as macronutrients, and each food type and variety contain different amounts of macronutrients. Some examples of important macronutrients are iron, calcium, magnesium, cholesterol, potassium, sodium, and fibre. Food sources that contain a range of these nutrients are nuts (such as nuts and almonds), beans, grains (especially whole-grain breads, rice, and pasta), vegetables, fruits, eggs, and fish. Meats, eggs, and poultry provide only one to two percent of total calories, whereas beans, grains, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and fruits each provide approximately ten percent of calories needed for the average person to maintain his or her healthy body weight.
A food contains the basic nutrients that are needed by the body to function normally. These nutrients can be derived from carbohydrates, proteins, or both. Most carbohydrates are available in the form of sugars that can be digested easily by the body. When carbohydrates are ingested in large quantities, they rapidly turn into sugar and are stored in the body for later use. The sugar is carried through blood streams and is used for energy production and storage.
When the body needs additional energy, the cells extract and use glucose from the food that has been consumed. Animal sources of proteins are much higher in calories than plant sources. Therefore, the animal sources, such as meat, eggs, milk, and fish are more commonly eaten in place of plant sources, which usually comprise more of complex carbohydrates.
Vegetables and fruits represent a good balance of all the essential food groups. Fruits and vegetables consist of the most nutritious portion of the diet. Vegetables provide at least 60 percent of daily calories, which is the equivalent of one-half cup of cooked rice. On the other hand, vegetables are usually eaten raw and some forms of them such as beans and nuts contain very low amount of carbohydrates. Because of the relatively small quantity of carbohydrates present in vegetables, they provide energy to the body quickly. Therefore, when vegetables are eaten in place of other food items, they are usually combined with food usually eaten, for example, cheese, eggs, or meat.
Legumes and whole grain foods are also recommended. They provide fiber, minerals, and essential vitamins. Whole grain foods are the best choices because they help regulate the blood sugar level, which is required for human survival. For animals, legumes and fruits can be fed occasionally as long as it is done according to the specific nutritional needs of the animal.