Nutrition is the biological and chemical process through which an organism utilizes food to sustain its existence. It involves absorption, assimilation, metabolism, biosynthesis, and disposal. Nutrition can be categorized into three groups: animal, plant and fungi. Most of our nutrition comes from plant sources, but there are some food items that we obtain from animals and fungi. Plants are generally nutritionally important, while animals and fungi are rich in protein and carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins, and fibers.

The four elements that constitute nutrition are carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals vitamins. Each one is equally important, but only one can provide all the nutrients that an individual needs to sustain a balanced diet. Carbohydrates are broken down to glucose and are used to provide energy to the body. Proteins are made up of amino acids that are then turned into glucose and the major source of energy for the body.

Animal foods like meat, milk, and eggs are rich in fat and cholesterol that should be avoided by individuals on a balanced diet. Other foods that are recommended by nutritionists to be included in a balanced diet are vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and legumes. Fruits and vegetables are considered the richest among all the foods in nutrition; together they provide most of the nutrients necessary to keep the body healthy and fit.

Plant foods such as spinach, squash, beans, and tomatoes are rich in iron, manganese, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and selenium. Each mineral is important to maintain good health. A well-balanced diet should contain these substances along with vitamins A, C, E, and B complex. Animal foods that are rich in fats, oils, cholesterol, and yeast should be avoided by individuals on a nutritional plan. Animal protein products such as eggs, milk, meat, and cheese should also be consumed in moderation. During the study session 2 nutrients each group was instructed to consume.

The first group was asked to eat three ounces of steamed vegetables containing a minimum of one gram of protein per serving and one gram of fat per serving. The second group was asked to eat three ounces of cooked meat with one gram of protein and one gram of fat per serving. The third group was asked to consume three ounces of skim milk with one gram of protein and one gram of fat per serving. The study found that both of these groups lost more weight than those who ate the minimal amounts of these food sources. This information is helpful because it encourages individuals to include fats and oils in their diet and limit the consumption of other sources of calories.

During the study session participants were encouraged to consume lean meats and to increase the consumption of poultry and fish. Milk and eggs were encouraged, but reduced significantly during the weight loss process. Fish and eggs contain high levels of calories and fats, while lean meats contain low levels of calories and fats. A good source of protein in the diet is lean beef. Other foods to consider when replacing proteins in the diet are nuts and legumes (beans) which have their own benefits for the metabolism of proteins and can be substituted for meats or other animal proteins when replacing calories.

Nutrition emphasizes the importance of the organic compounds and enzymes that make up proteins. It is important to understand how these compounds and enzymes affect the body. Researchers suggest that people need a minimum daily requirement of proteins based on body type and activity level to maintain optimal health.

Nutrition emphasizes the importance of including more protein and limiting the amount of fat in the diet. People need a minimum daily requirement of proteins to maintain muscle, bone, and organ mass. Proteins help the body digest and use other nutrients. The nutrients in fats provide a fat-soluble nutrient that is not necessary for all cells, but plays an important role in maintaining heart health and keeping the immune system healthy. The nutrients in vitamins A, D, and E are fat soluble and must be obtained from foods that are rich in these nutrients in order to remain healthy.

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