What is Food Nutrition?
Food is any material consumed to provide nutrition to the organisms. Food is generally of animal, plant or fungus origin, and includes necessary nutrients, including proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, or mineral ions. It also plays a part in the process of growth and development of living things. The primary role of food is to supply all the essential nutrients to an organism’s body that are not synthesized or taken from the diet.
In humans, food supplies the energy needed by the body to perform many functions, mainly for the maintenance of homeostasis, a state in which the body functions at its most efficient level. Food also provides the tissues with the raw materials necessary for their growth and development. The energy requirements of an average person in his daily life could be estimated by multiplying his weight in pounds by 22. To maintain his ideal weight, a person eats a large amount of food, mainly consisting of carbohydrates and fats. Although protein is the main building block of body tissue, carbohydrates provide energy only in the form of glucose, the simplest form of sugar.
Carbohydrates include most of the food consumed in the diet, including most of the refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, rice), and proteins, the building blocks of muscles and organs. Most of the food used in the cooking process, especially fats and proteins, is made of carbohydrates. Fats are mostly singed, while proteins are mostly separated from fats during the cooking process. However, some plant products, such as certain oils and some whole grains, are rich in both fats and proteins. Animal meat is considered the main source of meat, whereas poultry and fish provide animal proteins.
The major groups of food that are most commonly used as food are carbohydrates (main source of energy), proteins, fats and minerals (calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc and Vitamin E). All these food groups can be broken down into their essential nutrients. Some of these nutrients found in food are considered as follows:
Food nutrition refers to the proper balance between the nutrients and the other substances that are found in foods. Nutrition is a process by which an individual can obtain all of the nutrients necessary for his or her body to function normally. A balance in nutrition helps to prevent chronic diseases. Some people may be deficient in one or more nutrients, while others may be adequately supplied with all of them. Inadequate nutrition results in an imbalanced body, which may result in sickness and disease. For example, a person with a low level of calcium in his or her body will more than likely develop a painful bone disease later in life.
The basic food nutritional requirement is the adequate intake of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals. There are many foods that provide the nutrients to support a healthy life. Many people prefer to eat whole-grain breads, pastas, cereals and cerebral because they are rich in carbohydrates. Whole grain foods are also low in fat but high in carbohydrates and protein. This is why whole grain foods are often recommended by physicians.