Nutrition and Modern Food Groups
Nutrition science has been changing and so have the food groups. A well balanced diet is the key to nutrition and ensures that you get
the right mix of vitamins and minerals you need to remain healthy. Try to follow these simple rules:
- Whole grains, bread, cereal and pasta should be consumed the most
- 5 servings of fruits and vegetables are second most important food group
- Dairy products
- Meats, fish, nuts and beans and proteins
- Fat and oil rich foods should be consumed least
Remember, individual needs vary. If you want stronger bones, you may want to increase your dairy product servings, but be careful because too
much dairy has its own health risks. Use caution, common sense and strive for a balance. Listen to your body and make adjustments accordingly.
Water and Nutrition
Water plays a large role in nutrition as it takes part in all functions, cells, tissues and organs in the body.
While it is essential to good health, for proper nutrition, needs for water may vary individually with:
- Whether your diet contains water-rich fruits and veggies
- Cafeeine and alcohol consumption
- Possible existing health conditions
Water is essential to nutrition because it is approximately 60% of body weight, every organ uses water, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, and
carries nutrients to cells.
Lack of water can lead to dehydration
which can drain your energy and make you tired.
While for proper nutrition, the body needs approximately 8 to 9 cups of water per day. Not all water has to come from drinking actual water.
Nutritious food provides about 20 percent of total water intake. Many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and tomatoes,
are 90 percent or more water by weight.
Types of Water
- Tap Water
- Distilled Water - removing lots of minerals (Distillers can allow 0.3 to 0.5 percent of water impurities to exist). While bacteria is killed,
it may re-colonize after destillation
- Bottled Water - about 80% of purified bottle water is actually identical to tap water
- Home Filtered Water
Much more about water's role in nutrition
Dietary Fiber and Nutrition
Dietary fiber is essential in nutrition because it helps in the the digestive process by
- Reduces food cravings by creating a sensation of being full
- Reduces blood glucose spikes
- Helps lose weight
- Helps reduce risk of heart disease
- Helps reduce risk of diabetes
- Helps relieve flareups of irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, anal fissures and hemorrhoids
- Helps relieve and reduce constipation
More benefits of dietary fiber
Dietary Fat in Nutrition
There are a number of different types of fat. Some types of fat are good for nutrition and some are damaging.
- Good Fats
- Nutritious omega 3 fat
- Nutritious omega 9 fat
- Monounsaturated fat
- Polyunsaturated fat
- Bad Fats
- Saturated fat
- Trans fat
- Omega 6 fat
- Trans-Fats (trans-fatty acids)
More about different types of fat
and their role in nutrition.
Carbohydrates In Nutrition
Most foods contain carbohydrates. The body breaks them down into simple sugars which are the major source of energy for the body.
There are two Types of Carbohydrates
- Simple carbs (simple sugars) - found in refined sugars found in candy and many common snack foods.
Simple sugars are also present more nutritious foods, such as fruit and milk which are more preferable because they contain vitamins, fiber, and
- Complex carbs (starches) - include grain products, such as bread, crackers, pasta, and rice. As with
simple sugars, some complex carbohydrate foods are better choices than others because they are unrefined sugars and tend to contain many vitamins and minerals.
More about carbohydrates and the role of carbohydrates in nutrition
Protein is the main building block for nearly every organ and function in the body.
To figure out approximately how many grams of protein per day your body needs, take your weight in punds and multiply it by two.
The human body builds over 50,000 known and highly specialized proteins.
Learn more about how protein works in the body
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are nutrients your body needs to grow and develop normally.
Nutrition: Chemicals and Food Additives
Many foods in the United States have chemicals added to them to prolong their shelf life, make them taste better, and ultimately be cheaper for people to buy.
While some of the added chemicals may be healthy for our wallets, they are not necessarily good for our health, and often quite harmful.
Take a look at our list of chemicals added to foods.
There is an ongoing debate about the role of antioxidants in prevention of cancer and other diseases. Many of the common vitamins we get in our diet have
anti-oxidant powers and fight bad chemicals (oxidant) we get from our environment.
More about what are antioxidants, oxidants, and getting enough of antioxidants
Recent studies from top research institutions have shown that risk of cancer increases with prolonged inflammation. While many pain-killer medications also fight
inflammation, many foods are natural fighters of inflammation and also happen to be good for nutrition. Foods that help the immune system become stronger are important
in fighting many diseases and illnesses.
More about anti-inflammtory foods and nutrition
Nutrition: Organic Foods
Prior to the invention of modern farming, all food was organic and nutritious in its own way. Now, unless the food specifically states that it is organic,
you can bet, it contains at least some chemicals, pesticides and growth hormones that are not naturally-occuring. Even if the label says the food is organic,
it may not be fully organic. Some debate exists whether organic food is equally good for nutrition as non-organic food.
Additionally, there are a number of classifications for "organicness" of the food defined by the U.S Departement of Agriculture.
More about what is really organic food, and how to understand the
role of organic food and nutrition
Nutrition: Amino Acids
Amino Acids are extremely important in nutrition. They are basic building blocks that make up proteins. There are 22 amino acids in the body that work together
to help regular function of nearly all body systems. There are two types of amino acids
- Amino Acids in Food - 14 amino acids can be found in food
- Eight amino acids produced by the body
Read more about the 22 essential amino acids in nutrition
There are over 15,000 known enzymes in the body and aid nutrition, digestion and normal body function in a multitude of ways. Enzymes are proteins that help in
nutrition and health by causing chemical reactions in nearly all functions in the body. These chemical reactions are essential for proper function of cells.
Enzymes are therefore essential for many chemical processes in nutrition, digestion and absorbtion of nutrients.
More about enzymes and nutrition