Heart Disease – The Connection Between Eating Right and Exercise


Heart Disease – The Connection Between Eating Right and Exercise

Food is any material used to supply nutrients for an organisms. Generally speaking food is generally of animal, plant or microbial origin, and has key nutrients, like proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or minerals, which are required by the body to maintain its health. Food is a primary source of energy or fuel for an organism, which may also be used as a secondary source of energy, or stored energy for future use. Some of the major categories of food include animal foods, which includes meat, milk, eggs and poultry; plant foods, which includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and nuts; and microbiological foods, which includes microbes, roots and vegetables.

Animal foods include meat, milk and eggs; plant foods include vegetables, fruits and nuts; and microbiological foods include bacteria, roots and vegetables. Plants, like meat and dairy, contain proteins; carbohydrates, which are present in starches and glucose; vitamins and minerals; and free fatty acids. Each food type is made up of compounds called amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. The three different types of amino acids are cysteine, glycine and pyridoxal phosphate, which are found in meats, dairy products and grains. Milk and eggs are rich in protein; plants contain carbohydrates, a food that is needed to make energy; vitamins and minerals are found in grains and legumes; and free fatty acids are found in fish and walnuts.

Food processing methods can add nutrients to food or alter the nutritional value of the food. Most commonly, food is processed to change the taste, colour, texture, nutritional content, solids content and storage methods. For example, the addition of sugar, salt and other additives enhances the taste and nutritional value of food. Sugar is added to enhance the taste of soft drinks, confectionary and dried fruits; salt is added to give food a salty taste; and other additives, known as colourants, are added to store foods so that they keep longer. Although many of us buy food from the supermarket, we often make substitutions at home, for example, when buying soft cheeses, for a more cream-like taste or to give it a sprinkling of colours. When cooking unprocessed foods, the same process that is used in the supermarket is used, however, the quality and nutritional content is lost.

Our bodies require a balanced combination of nutrients every day to maintain a healthy weight and strong immune system. Unprocessed foods contain only some of these nutrients; they may contain no nutrient at all or they may be provided in a less concentrated form. It has been shown that a diet low in fat, high in fibre and low in salt is more beneficial than a diet high in refined flour, sugar and salt. High fibre foods provide a natural source of energy to burn off the excess calories and keep your body healthy. Fibre foods also help regulate bowel movement, promote healthy digestion and aid in the absorption of nutrients into the body.

Unprocessed foods such as fruit, vegetables, wholemeal breads and cereals, oily fish, legumes, seeds, nuts, seeds and seaweeds can be enjoyed by everyone. You can enjoy them without any preparation and you will still get all the nutrients and vitamins and minerals your body needs to remain healthy. By including a few of these foods each day, you can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some types of cancer and osteoporosis. You will also find that your favourite recipes will taste much better and you will have more energy to enjoy your food.

Carbohydrates, which include pasta, rice, bread, cereals, potatoes, sugar, etc., provide fuel for the body and are essential for the body’s normal function. However, these carbohydrate-rich foods are converted into sugar in the body and eventually turned into fat, causing obesity, high cholesterol and other health problems. A well-balanced, low calorie diet can help to control weight and the risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and other chronic conditions. If you are trying to lose weight or if you think that your weight is becoming out of control, it may be time to start thinking about your diet and making some healthier changes.