Food is any material consumed to supply nutrition to an organism. In the human diet, food is generally of animal, plant or fungi origin, and has key nutrients, including proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, or any minerals. The human body needs carbohydrates and fats for energy, while carbohydrates are used for the storage of glucose to meet the body’s requirements. The main nutrients from which food is made are protein and carbohydrates. Fungi make significant contributions to dietary protein by way of spores that enable the growth of both plants and animals.
All foods contain some level of carbohydrate, but this quantity varies greatly, with different foods having varying carbohydrate content. Animal products and some plant products have very high levels of carbohydrate, whereas plant foods contain relatively lower amounts of carbohydrate. The typical carbohydrate content of a serving of food is about 35 grams, with about half of this contained in glucose. About five percent of the carbohydrate content of foods are contained in starch, and about a quarter of starch is found in salt.
Most food is not only carbohydrate, but protein and fat are also present. The average carbohydrate consumption per day is about six grams of carbohydrate, which is mainly in the form of glucose. This glucose is broken down to energy by the liver, which uses a process called glycolysis to create about nine calories of energy for the day.
Since carbohydrates are the source of most vitamins and minerals, it is important to ensure you get enough carbohydrates to meet your daily requirements. To help increase your intake of carbohydrates, choose foods that contain the vitamins and minerals you need, but are low in calories. For example, instead of eating a potato that has lots of calories, choose a carrot that contains about the same number of calories, but contains much fewer calories. Likewise, if you prefer pasta, choose a grain that is low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals.
Fats are important, but they can be completely removed from your diet. Because fats can be removed from foods by cooking, they are often consumed as a condiment or added to dishes where there are no other nutritional benefits. However, it can be beneficial to include small amounts of healthy fats in your diet, especially in the form of partially hydrogenated oils.
Partially hydrogenated oils contain no fat, so they can provide the nutrients necessary to reduce calorie intake without increasing the amount of calories eaten. These types of oils contain the vitamins and minerals your body needs, but at a lower calorie level. In fact, they contain one less calorie than some oils that have been fried, making them ideal for replacing butter or oil in your food. Additionally, these types of oils are low in saturated fats, which can raise your cholesterol levels and add weight to your frame without providing any nutritious benefit.