See Food – What You Should Know About Nutrition and Diet
Food is any material consumed by an animal to give nutrition to it. In humans, food is generally of animal, plant or fungi origin, and has necessary nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or mineral ions. The nutrients in food provide the body with energy and the necessary elements to live. Plants feed on roots, while animals eat vegetation. Fungi feed on plants and some types of fungi contain enzymes that are active against other microorganisms.
When people eat foods, it is not always possible to completely digest the food and break down its nutrients. Therefore, most nutrients are used by the body as energy and are not stored in the body for later use. This leads to a process called “starvation”, which can cause severe damage to the immune system and to the other organs if proper care is not taken to avoid starvation.
Fat is an important component of the diet, but there are some foods that are more important than others. Milk is an important food that should be included in the diet on a regular basis. Many people become aware of the cholesterol in milk when they see food labels that indicate total fat, saturated fat, or trans fat. However, some food that is listed as fat actually has little or no fat, but is composed of different kinds of saturated fat. Trans fat is sometimes called “bad fat” because it actually contributes to the increase in cholesterol rather than helping to raise the levels of LDL (low density lipoprotein).
Sugar is another food that should be consumed in moderation. Some people have difficulty digesting sugar and a large amount of sugar will usually make them sluggish. This is a result of an excess of insulin in the blood stream which can further impair the digestive process and cause other health problems. Although refined sugars are digested more quickly than natural sugars, there is no need to exclude them from the diet entirely because the body uses some of the sugars that are eaten as energy and therefore they are not as harmful as the fats.
Fats should also be avoided because they are mostly responsible for adding unwanted pounds to the body. They add to the body’s fat stores and are most often found in fried foods and dairy products. Saturated and trans fats should be avoided because they can increase the cholesterol in the blood stream and cause other health problems like heart disease. Eating less fried foods and replacing them with baked, roasted, or grilled foods can help lower your cholesterol and keep your weight in check. Milk should be consumed in moderation because it contains lactose which can cause intolerance to dairy products. Sometimes milk can be made without the lactose but it is best to check with a nutritionist.
Meats are another group of foods that should be avoided because their high calories and oils contribute to unhealthy cholesterol and blood levels. Lean meats are healthier and usually contain more vitamins and minerals than fatty meats. Although poultry and fish are fine for a vegetarian, you need to at least consider the alternatives because these animals are already rich in nutrients and vitamins. Some of these animals are even higher in vitamins and minerals than meats.