Food is any material consumed for the sustenance of an organism. In this article we will be discussing only foods that are required for human consumption. Food is the basic need of every living being; without it life will not even exist. Food is generally of vegetable, animal, or fungi origin, and has certain important nutrients, including vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, and minerals. There are many different types of food, each with their own specific nutrients needed by the body to function normally.
The main food groups are carbohydrates, proteins, and vegetables. Carbohydrates include starches such as corn and wheat, fruits, vegetables such as potatoes, rice, and most grains, and dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt, milk, and butter. Proteins can be derived from meat, fish, and other protein rich food products. Fruits and vegetables are rich in both mineral and vitamin content. Vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, carrots, spinach, squash, beans, okra, corn, peas, and beans are rich in almost all the essential nutrient categories. The main problem with vegetables is that they lack in calories, so the majority of people consume too much and get overweight.
Grains, like bread and pasta are made from seeds, which are non-starchy seeds. Grains are the main source of B-vitamins, fatty acids, fibre, iron, vitamin B-12, and phosphorus. Many grains are also high in calories and fat, for example, refined white rice, flour, corn syrup, and whole-grain pastas. Added sugar is commonly added to grains, which contributes to obesity and a poor diet overall.
Sugars such as glucose, sucrose, and fructose are mostly found in processed or packaged foods, and are a major cause of weight gain and related health issues. As with other refined carbohydrate-based products, these sugars are required to fuel the body’s systems, but they can also be stored as fat. In addition, foods high in sugar can also cause toxins to build up in the colon, liver, and small intestine. Many people who consume large amounts of these refined sugars begin to feel sluggish and fatigued, while others experience frequent bowel movements. This can lead to dehydration and eventually to constipation.
Unrefined starches such as potatoes, pasta, and rice are absorbed slowly into the system. These foods are usually eaten on a regular basis and do not cause immediate hunger signals. When the food enters the system, carbohydrates immediately become converted into glucose, which provides the energy needed to perform normal body functions. Starches can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels, which can lead to swings in energy levels.
It is important to eat a variety of whole foods in order to get the recommended daily allowance of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and carbohydrates. Eating too many processed convenience food options or drinking sugary beverages can drastically reduce the amount of nutrients you get from your food selections. The best nutrition information will provide you with the food choices that provide the nutrients you need without packing on the pounds. For the best results, make sure you eat a variety of foods made from whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and low-fat dairy items.