Nutrition – What You Eat Is More Important Than What You Don’t Eat
What exactly is food? Food is any material consumed to give nutrition to an organism for growth. In its simplest form, food is any matter capable of sustaining life. Food is generally of animal, plant or even fungal source, and has all necessary nutrients, including vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins, or minerals.
The five main food groups are carbohydrates, protein, vegetables, fruits, and fats. Cereals, noodles, rice, bread, and pasta are the most commonly consumed foods in the United States. Almost all other foods are either specialty foods, which means they are not widely distributed, or foods that are high in calories. Some examples of high calorie foods are cookies, candy bars, soft drinks, chocolate bars, ice cream, fast food, junk food, candy, instant soup mixes, ice cream bars, cookies, pastries, and chips.
All plant-based foods are essential to a healthy diet, because plant-based foods are the most nutritious, and the richest in vitamins and minerals. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, grains, and beans are all excellent sources of nutrition, which are all good for you, and do not cause weight gain. Even meat can be eaten in moderation, as long as it is not being added to too many dishes.
Manufacturers sometimes add processing agents to foods, like salt, sugar, and artificial flavoring, so that the foods are more appetizing and sometimes they add nutritional value that is sometimes misleading. For example, high-fat meats have a lower nutrient value than low-fat meats. Sweeteners and high-sugar foods can also have a negative impact on a person’s nutritional needs.
Good nutrition requires that people get enough vitamins, especially vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, and vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can help prevent cancer and other diseases. Nuts, seeds, whole grains, and some fruits and vegetables are good sources of protein. Oatmeal is a good food choice, as long as it is not added with other ingredients that may take away from its nutritional value. Whole grains and beans are excellent sources of fiber, which can help maintain a healthy digestive system, and also helps increase the user’s energy and stamina.
Most foods containing saturated fats should be avoided. The fat in these types of foods can raise cholesterol levels, which can cause a heart attack or stroke. However, there are some healthy oils, such as olive oil and canola oil, which are healthier choices than other vegetable oils, butter, shortening, and other types of fats. Some foods containing trans-fats can raise cholesterol levels as well, but they are not as problematic as saturated fats, so these should be avoided as well.