We all need food, we cannot survive without it. The human body requires a wide variety of food from which to feed its cells, repair tissue, grow and support growth. Although we think that we use up food at a rapid rate, our bodies store enough food for a long time. Here in the UK we take home the bulk of our food, but in fact most countries eat more than they need.
What do you eat? Typical foods consumed are carbohydrates, protein, fats, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, salt, yeast products, and alcoholic drinks. Generally, food is any material consumed as a nutrient to supply the body with essential nutrients. Food is generally of plant, animal, or fungi origin, and has necessary nutrients, including vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins, sugars, or other macro-nutrients. There are many different ways to make food, but the way we eat it is normally based on three main food groups, which are carbohydrate, protein and fat.
You must choose the right food for you, your family, and your pet, if you want good health. Carbohydrates include the main source of energy for the body; proteins are vital for building and repairing tissues, and fats provide the body with the energy required for doing physical work. The first rule is to choose a variety of healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grain breads, pasta, rice and cereals, and include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. When cooking complex carbohydrates such as potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, and brown rice, choose the low-fat varieties. To minimise the fat content of foods, choose lean meats such as turkey, lamb or bison, fish, egg whites, and organic milk and cheese. As for choosing healthy ingredients, look for fresh, natural ingredients and avoid any ingredients containing added salt, sugar, preservatives, flavour enhancers or artificial ingredients.
Nutrient value refers to the nutritional value of a food or ingredient. Common food ingredients such as carbohydrates and proteins have a range of values associated with them. For example, carbohydrates can range from fibrous (good) to the simple (bad) and fats can range from saturated and unsaturated fats to mono unsaturated fats. To get the full nutritional benefit of foods, including those with a high nutrient value, it’s often necessary to increase the daily intake of the vitamins and minerals contained in the food.
Vegetable oil, salt and sugar play an important role in any diet. Although many fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in these essential nutrients, excessive fat and salt to reduce their nutrient value. A balanced diet should also contain appropriate amounts of minerals and other food components, which will usually be provided by the main food groups. Vitamins, minerals and food components that are required by the body in large amounts are protein, carbohydrates, fat, fibre, minerals and vitamins. The vitamins and minerals that are generally not included in the daily diet are calcium, iron, zinc, etc. B Vitamins, (Biotin, Folic Acid, B6, etc.)
Food sources that are good for nutrition and which are good for you come from all sorts of different food groups. It is important to try and eat a wide variety of healthy food choices, including all the food groups. Meals such as pasta, rice, oatmeal, potatoes, and vegetables (especially dark green leafy vegetables) are excellent sources of all the nutrients the body needs. It is also recommended that fruit is added to a balanced diet – this can be in the form of dried fruit, fresh fruit, juice, purees, nuts, cereal, etc. Meats should be eaten in moderation and sugar intake should be watched as excessive sugar intake can lead to diabetes.