The use of food is a way of life for all of us. Without food, we would be nothing more than animals with no sense of self-preservation or motivation. We get food to nourish us, to supply the fuel that powers our minds and bodies, to help us maintain a healthy weight and strength, and even to store and reproduce. When it comes to food and nutrition, though, there is a lot of misunderstanding and controversy. One of the areas that has gotten the most attention in recent years is the subject of artificial food, particularly food colorings and flavorings.
See Wikipedia: Article History. Alternative name: nutrition. A primary function of nutrition is to provide the body with the substances necessary to maintain health and the development of organs and tissues; these substances are called nutrients. A person’s diet must contain enough nutrients in order to be healthy, although there are times when certain food items may serve a greater purpose than others in our diet.
There are four nutrient groups, with different vitamins or minerals being comprised of different amounts of these nutrients. Foods within each group have different purposes in providing those nutrients. Carbohydrates provide energy for workouts and day-to-day activities, but carbohydrates also give a feeling of fullness. Proteins give the body nutrients needed for growth, but are difficult to digest. Vitamins provide the body with the materials it needs to build and maintain healthy cells and tissues, but vitamins (especially A, D, E, and K) also give a sense of well-being and a feeling of security.
Most people think that the parts of food that make up the main portion of the nutrient are what they put on top. What is actually seen are the components of the major parts of the nutrient: the carbohydrate, the protein, the fat, and the essential fatty acids. The carbohydrate portion of food contains the sugar component that gives foods their volume. The fat is found in meats, poultry, fish, dairy products, and nuts, and the essential fatty acids are found in some oils and fats.
Trans-fats and poly-fats are included in most vegetable oils, because they help slow down the process of burning off carbohydrates as they circulate in the bloodstream. They do this by binding with the carbohydrates on the surface of the cell membrane, thereby slowing down the rate of sugar conversion and preventing the formation of fat cells. Essential fatty acids can be found in some nuts, seeds, fish, and some oils, but essential fatty acids are not made by nature, only prepared by the food industry through hydrogenation and other chemical processes. In fact, the only way you can get essential fatty acids is by eating vegetable oils or taking supplements.
Another group of nutrients that are included in most grain products and legumes, but not in fresh fruits and vegetables, are the B-vitamins. The B-vitamin helps maintain a good health condition by producing enough serotonin to control your appetite, regulate your blood sugar levels, and help regulate your insulin production. Serotonin and insulin are important in controlling your appetite, because when you eat a meal containing carbohydrates, your brain signals your stomach to release hormones that prompt you to eat less. The reason why you feel full after eating is that the serotonin levels are still high after you eat, resulting in a satisfied feeling, which reduces your appetite for food.