Nutrition is a science which studies the relationship between health and diet.
The health professionals who specialize in study of nutrition are known as
dietitians. Deficient, excess and imbalanced diet can have harmful effects on
health that can result in diseases like obesity, osteoporosis, cardiovascular
disease, scurvy or diabetes. Mal nutrition can result in increased vulnerability
to immune related diseases and reduced mental and physical development.
What are the various nutrients required for your body?
The nutrients and energy that you require is derived from food. The Nutrients
include carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, fats, water and minerals.
All living cells in our body contain protein. We need proteins for maintaining
skin, bones and muscles. We get protein from meat, nuts, dairy products and some
grains. We get complete protein from meat and various other animal products
while the protein that we get from plants is incomplete. The diet should contain
enough protein. A normal person requires 50g to 65g of protein per day.
Carbohydrates are the energy source. Carbohydrates are broken down by the liver
into glucose which is used by the cells, tissues and organs of the body.
Carbohydrates differentiated into simple or complex, based on the speed in which
they are digested and absorbed by the body. Milk products, table sugar and
fruits are sources of simple carbohydrates. Starch rich vegetables, legumes and
whole grain cereals and breads provide complex carbohydrates. Items prepared
with refined sugar give little nutrition. It is recommended to avoid these
Fat is a main source of energy. Fat is also known as lipids. They help in
absorption of vitamins by the body. It is essential for appropriate growth and
development. Fat makes your food tasty and also helps you to feel full. For
infants and toddlers, fats are particularly essential source of nutrients and
calories. Dietary fat plays an important role in the cholesterol levels. Usually
animals are the source of saturated fats. You should search for trans fat on the
labels of shortenings, processed foods and margarines.
However all fats are not the same.
You should avoid Saturated fats like solid shortening, butter, fatback and lard.
you should avoid trans fats, which are found in margarines vegetable
shortenings, crackers, snack foods, cookies and foods prepared with partially
You can replace these fats with oils like sunflower, safflower corn olive canola
and soybean. Eating too much fat will lead to weight gain.
Our body needs about 13 vitamins. The various vitamins are vitamins A, C, D, E,
K and B. Normally you can get these vitamins from the food you eat. You need
vitamin B12 supplement if you follow a vegetarian diet. If you are deficient of
a particular vitamin, you may develop a deficiency disease. Vitamin D deficiency
can cause rickets while vitamin A deficiency may cause night blindness.
Minerals are very essential for a healthy body. Minerals are needed for various
functions like making hormones, heartbeat regulation and building bones. You can
get minerals by eating a wide range of foods. A mineral supplement may be
required in some cases.
Safe and clean drinking water is essential for all living creatures. Depending
on your level of activity and weather conditions you may require different
quantities of water.
How can you select nutritious food?
You can eat nutritiously by following these tips.
You can eat different foods like whole grain products, vegetables and fruits.
You can eat dairy products (low fat), lean meats, fish, poultry and beans
You should drink lot of water.
You should go minimum on the sugar, salt, alcohol, trans fat and saturated fat.