Nutrition is the physiological and chemical process through which an organism uses food to sustain its existence. It involves absorption, assimilation, metabolism, biosynthesis and excretion. Nutrition is concerned with the balance of nutrients in the human body and the development of the individual cells of the body. The nutritional content of a food can be termed as the diet’s nutrient value. There are five major nutrients essential for humans: carbohydrates, protein, fat, vegetable and mineral.
Everyone depends on food choices for their daily nutrition. In today’s modernized society, it has become a challenge for individuals to make healthy food choices for themselves and for their families. Most people are overweight, over-weight or under-weight. A healthy and balanced diet is necessary to maintain a healthy and balanced life. Over-nutrition and under-nutrition are diseases that can be controlled or even prevented.
The five nutrients that constitute a healthy and balanced diet are carbohydrates, protein, vegetable and mineral fibers. Carbohydrates provide energy and provide the body with the substances that enable it to perform important functions such as building muscles, building tissues, maintaining a stable blood sugar level and regulating body temperature. Proteins are the substances that enable the body to build and develop.
Vegetable and mineral fibers supply food choices with the substances that enable them to absorb more water and solidify. Water and solidify foods are separated into two categories: solids and fluids. Solids include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, dairy products, nuts, seeds and legumes. Fluid foods consist of sea foods, some milk products, cereals and breads. These substances are required to keep a person and his body stay healthy and fit.
Nutrient intake for a person varies according to his physical activities, diet, gender and genetic background. All these factors add up to the nutrient needs of a person and determine how much he should take in a given day. The food choices a person eats determine what nutrients are absorbed in his body. The type of activity determines the nutrients that are burned up and the excesses that need to be eliminated. All these contribute to how much a person gets in his daily nutrition regime.
Carbohydrates are divided into three categories: complex carbohydrates, simple carbohydrates and non-complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are found in fruits and vegetables and are classified as fibrous. The non-complex carbohydrates include breads, pastas, cereals, beans, peas, beans, nuts, seeds, and poultry meats. Complex fibres are found in legumes and whole grains. Some examples of fibrous foods are nuts, legumes, wheat, cereals, rice, potatoes, fruits and vegetables.
Eating the right types of foods is important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Eating a balanced diet will ensure that the body receives all the nutrients it needs. If one part is lacking in essential nutrients, chances are the other parts of the diet are not receiving the needed amounts to stay healthy. A poor diet leads to lack of energy, weight gain, chronic diseases and disorders, and overall poor health.
In some cases, the body uses substances to compensate other nutrients that are missing. When there is a shortage of sodium, proteins are used as sources of nitrogen. Similarly, when glucose is low, fat is used as a source of energy. It is important to know what substances the body uses to compensate for the missing elements and how much of each substance provides. By doing so, one can have a balanced and appropriate nutrition plan.
There are two groups of substances that make up a healthy diet: animal foods and plant foods. Each group has its own purpose in supporting health. The animal foods are those that derive from plants. Animal foods include meat, milk, eggs, and fish. Plant foods are vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and nuts. These are considered to be the essential group of foods.
Nutrition is important because a well-balanced diet will support the development of a person’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. It also helps in promoting good health and life. Hence, it is important to know what makes up a balanced diet to ensure that the food groups are met in a particular meal. This is what is taught in this article concerning the study session 2.1 on nutritional assessment of the Indian population.
The balanced diet approach focuses on a dietary regimen that provides the necessary micronutrients and minerals needed by the body. The study session 2.1 explains the significance of micronutrients in relation to Indian lifestyles and food habits as well as the effects of micronutrients on health and disease processes. The micronutrients are nutrients needed by the body that cannot be obtained from the foods that a person eats alone. A person needs a mix of vitamins, minerals, and protein to function normally. The micronutrients can only be supplied through a proper diet that is rich in the essential nutrients and micronutrients.