The word food actually refers to any substance consumed by an organism to provide protein, nutrient-rich support, and energy. Generally speaking food is of animal, plant or fungi origin, and has certain important nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or other minerals, which are used by the body. The major categories of food are carbohydrate, fat, fiber, vitamin and mineral food. The carbohydrates found in foods like breads and pasta are digested quickly, used as immediate energy by the muscles to perform physical activities; they are broken down into simple sugars. Most carbohydrates found in foods are complex and usually have a longer half-life than simple sugars.
Fatty acids, on the other hand, are produced by the bodies’ processes, but they have a relatively long half-life and so enter the blood stream relatively slowly. Fats are the primary source of energy for the body and they supply most of the calories we consume; the remainder are supplied by the other nutrients mentioned. Vitamins and minerals are included in a diet because they add to the food’s nutrient content and improve health.
A diet to lose weight should contain the main group of nutrients in the appropriate proportions. These should include carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. Some foods with these four groups are considered to be good dietary proteins. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, beans, and seaweeds are all good sources of carbohydrates. Rice is an excellent non-animal source of carbohydrate.
A diet should contain enough protein to support muscle building and a balance of carbohydrates to give energy for activity. Protein requirements vary according to gender and age. Good sources of protein are fish, eggs, milk, soybeans, nuts, and lentils. Good sources of carbohydrates are potatoes, rice, bread, cereals, pasta, and fruits and vegetables. Some foods that are high in calories and fat include butter, cheese, ice cream, margarine, junk food, fried foods, snacks, chips, cookies, candies, potato chips, and ice cream.
Diets to lose weight should contain large amounts of vitamins and minerals. These can be gotten from nuts, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and fortified grain products. Vitamin E and selenium are good supplements to help increase the body’s immune system. The recommended daily allowance of vitamins for most people is 400 international units per day. Vitamin D is needed to build the bone and muscle tissue, but it can be toxic in large amounts if taken in large quantities.
Too little vitamin C results in bleeding and nutritional deficiencies can lead to iron deficiency. Iron is needed by the blood cells to make blood cells and maintain an optimum physiological condition. Blood cells are red blood cells and play an important part in a number of bodily functions. If the blood cells are unable to carry out their duties, diseases such as anemia, and anemia are present.