Food Science and Nutrition Explained
Food is any material consumed to supply nutrition to the organisms. Food is generally of animal, plant or microbial origin, and consists of necessary nutrients, including vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fat, sugars, or trace elements. A variety of food is available in nature; all living things can obtain some food from the environment, but humans can only absorb nutrients from food they eat. In addition, humans can only absorb nutrients from other human food, although they can also absorb nutrients from the environment and other foods as well.
All living organisms need protein to survive. Protein is the most important nutrient for humans, which is why so many people eat meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, beans, nuts, fruits, and whole grains. However, humans can only assimilate the necessary quantities of protein based on their diets. They must obtain other sources of complete proteins such as vegetables, grains, and soybeans, which are complete proteins with complete amino acids.
In order to meet their daily requirements, most people take a dietary fiber supplement to add extra fiber to their diets. Fiber supplements are available in pill, powder, and liquid forms. Because some foods such as wheat have a high glycemic index, it is best to avoid them whenever possible, especially if you have an insulin resistance disorder (IRD), because these types of foods raise blood glucose levels quickly.
Fats are a major component of food, because they provide the body with a source of energy. Fats are found in animal products and in some plants, whereas some plant oils, like olive oil, are considered a healthier alternative to animal fats. Fats are important for nutrition, but some are considered harmful, because they raise blood cholesterol levels quickly and may contribute to cardiovascular disease. Eating too many fats can lead to obesity, which is characterized by excess body weight. The ideal amount of fat is 2% or less in the diet.
Some foods contain a nutrient called “essential fatty acids”, or omega-3 fatty acids. This substance aids in the function of the immune system, and there are actually fatty acids that are essential for nutrition, but these cannot be created in the lab. These fatty acids can be found in fish, flax seeds, nuts, and walnuts. Other foods that are rich in this nutrient include walnuts and canola oils. Other foods that are recommended for a healthy diet include salmon, tuna, peanuts, chestnuts, and other types of nuts.
Although the fundamentals of food science and nutrition are not exactly complex, the process of incorporating new foods into a diet can be very time consuming. This is where the use of home cooking methods can be helpful. One way food scientists and nutritionists incorporate food into their diets is by making meals at home. Recipes for specific food groups can be found on the internet or in cookbooks specializing in vegetarian or vegan recipes. Making meals at home allows many people to better control portions, since a recipe will tell you how much to make, but it also allows people to adjust the nutritional value of the food based upon their individual tastes and preferences.