Nutrition and Food

“Nutrition is the process of taking in nutrients from the food you eat.”

types of nutrition

• Carbohydrates –

Carbohydrates are nutrients that provide energy and our main source of energy. They are easily digested and broken down into glucose, which the body uses to perform its many functions. The body receives 4 calories for 1 gram of carbohydrates consumed.

Carbohydrates are grouped into

simple carbohydrates (sugar), complex carbohydrates (fiber), and starch.

and based on the Glycemic Index it is grouped into Low, Moderate and High

Glycemic index which shows the measure of how high and how quickly blood sugar levels change after eating carbohydrates. The higher the glycemic index, the greater the rise in blood sugar and the longer it will take to return to normal. For a healthy diet, it is best to focus on foods with a low glycemic index and also depends on physical work. Foods with a high glycemic index have been linked to elevated risks of heart disease and diabetes.

Carbohydrate requirement in our diet:

Carbohydrates should make up 45% to 65% of the calories in your diet, which equates to roughly 225g to 325g of carbohydrates for someone following a 2,000-calorie diet.

Healthy and unhealthy sources of carbohydrates in our diet:

The healthiest sources of carbohydrates are whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and unprocessed or minimally processed beans.

Less healthy carbohydrate sources include white bread, pastries, soft drinks, and other highly processed or refined foods. These items contribute to weight gain, interfere with weight loss, and promote diabetes and heart disease.

• Fats –

Fats are an essential part of the diet. One of the sources of energy and important in relation to fat-soluble vitamins.

1 gram of fat provides 37 kJ (9 kcal) of energy. Foods that contain a lot of fat provide a lot of energy.

There are different types of fats, including saturated fats and unsaturated fats.

Saturated fats are normally solid at room temperature, while unsaturated fats are liquid.

A high intake of saturated or trans fatty acids can have adverse health effects.

Foods that have polyunsaturated fats are essential for good health and overall health. It is found in shellfish such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon, as well as in walnuts and the oils of canola and flaxseed.

• Fiber –

The indigestible fibrous portion of our diet essential for the health of the digestive system.

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate. Although most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules, fiber cannot be broken down into sugar molecules and instead passes through the body undigested. Fiber helps regulate the body’s use of sugars, which helps keep blood sugar in check.

Fiber should make up at least 5% of your daily caloric intake. Children and adults need at least 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day for good health while consuming 2,000 calories per day. Fiber comes in two varieties, both beneficial to health:

• Soluble fiber, which dissolves in water, can help lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels.

• Insoluble fiber, which doesn’t dissolve in water, can help food move through your digestive system, promoting regularity and helping prevent constipation.

• Minerals: Minerals are inorganic substances and essential nutrients that are needed in small amounts to stay healthy. Minerals do not give you energy or calories but they intervene and help in the formation of bones and teeth. People have different needs, depending on their age, gender, physiological state (for example, pregnancy) and, sometimes, their state of health. Some minerals are needed in larger amounts than others, for example calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, potassium and chloride. Others are required in smaller amounts and are sometimes called trace minerals, for example iron, zinc, iodine, fluoride, selenium and copper.

Protein: Proteins are made by combining smaller amino acids. Proteins in the diet are known as macronutrients and provide energy (calories) to the body. There are 20 amino acids used to build proteins.

Since all cells and tissues contain protein, it is essential for the growth and repair of muscles and other body tissues. Hair and nails are made primarily of protein. It also uses protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other chemicals in the body. Protein is an important component of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Each gram of protein contains 4 calories. The Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) is set at 0.75 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for adults.

Protein sources include meat products (hamburger, fish, chicken), dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese), eggs, tofu, lentils, and soy milk.

Vitamins – Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential in very small amounts to support normal physiological function. Vitamins don’t give you calories or energy, but they help keep you healthy.

There are two types of vitamins: water-soluble and fat-soluble.

Water-soluble vitamins include vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, vitamin C, biotin, and folic acid. They are not stored in large amounts in the body and any excess is lost through the urine.

Water and fat-soluble vitamins play important roles in many chemical processes in the body. Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K and can be stored in your body. High amounts of fat-soluble vitamins are not recommended as they can cause health problems.

• Water – Water contains zero calories and is not a source of fat, protein or carbohydrates. Although pure water does not contain any additional nutrients. Water is a nutrient in itself, helping every cell in your body function properly as a vehicle to transport other nutrients because 60 percent of the human body is made up of water.

• Water regulates body fluids

• Water helps with digestion and makes you feel full (so you eat less)

• Water prevents muscle fatigue and dehydration

• Water supports the kidneys’ process of removing toxins from the body.

To meet the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations for water intake, men should drink about 13 glasses of non-alcoholic fluids per day, while women should drink about 9 glasses