Nutrient Content of Food
Food is any material consumed to supply nutrition to an organism. Most protein-containing foods are consumed with the protein as its main ingredient. Food is generally of animal, plant or fungi origin, and includes various nutrients, including vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins, or minerals. Protein is required to produce tissue, while all other nutrients are used to support growth and maintenance. The major groups of food include carbohydrates (e.g., starches), proteins, vitamins, minerals and fat.
A balanced diet is supposed to supply all nutrients to the body that it requires to function normally and stay healthy. All food groups should be equally balanced so that people do not suffer from nutritional deficiencies. There are three major groups of food: carbohydrates, protein and unsaturated fats. A wide range of foods are included in each group depending on their distribution in the population. These categories are further divided into several sub-categories.
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in the body and they are usually found in complex forms in the form of sugars and starch. Simple sugars are found in various foods, like fruits, vegetables, and some grains. This group of food supplies the bulk of our daily calories, which are then divided into several groups. Foods that are rich in starch and sugar are usually eaten with meals and snacks, while cereals, pasta, breads and rice are eaten as part of a balanced diet.
Animal products, especially meat, are abundant and are eaten in varied quantities throughout the day. They comprise the largest proportion of the food market, although fruits, vegetables and whole grains are also important sources of nutrition. Fruits and vegetables are eaten frequently as snacks, while nuts, pulses, grains, beans are eaten as meals. Meats can be cooked, but most people prefer to eat them raw.
Food is categorized according to the number of nutrients they contain and the amount of these nutrients in the food. A complete classification system must include protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins and minerals as the constituents of nutrition. A study session 2 nutrients of food was conducted in Australia to evaluate the nutritional content of different types of food.
The results showed that protein was the richest nutrient in food. Protein is made up of amino acids and other compounds such as fats and carbohydrates. Animal sources, such as meat, are rich in protein and have relatively high amounts of carbohydrates as well, whereas plant sources, including milk and eggs, have relatively low levels of carbohydrates but very high amounts of protein. Fats make up the highest percentage of the fat in food and they provide the body with energy.