Why it is Important to Choose Good Foods to Eat and What Are the Benefits?
Food is any material consumed by an organism to give them nutrition. Food is generally of animal, plant or floral source, and consists of necessary nutrients, including vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, or minerals. Most plants need food to produce the energy they need to grow, while animals manufacture meat, milk, eggs, and fur. Fungi also consume food, as do some insects and some molds.
There are three categories of food: animal foods, plant foods and fungi or microorganisms. Animal foods refer to those made by animals. These include milk, meat, cheese, eggs, poultry, fish and other seafood. Plant foods are made from living organisms, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds and fruits. These foods provide almost all the nutrients an organism needs to survive and grow.
The nutritional value of food can be obtained by eating it in its whole form or in parts. Whole foods have the greatest nutritional value. Examples of whole foods are fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grain breads and cereals, dairy products, fish, legumes, whole wheat pastas and beans, etc. Parts of food can also be eaten in their raw or cooked form. These examples are nuts, poultry, lean meats, processed meats and poultry products, eggs, cheese and spreads, etc.
The first nutrient found in food is protein. Protein provides most of the energy needed by the body. It is the main ingredient in building and repairing cells. The other three nutrients that are present in food are fats, carbohydrates and amino acids. All these four play an important role in an individual’s health.
A nutrient referred to as dietary fiber helps to slow down the digestion process and make the food more easily digested. This helps in reducing the risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc. Foods such as fruits, nuts, whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fish and eggs contain dietary fiber. A healthy diet consists of these.
The next four nutrients are carbohydrates, fats and proteins. These provide energy to the body. They are important for ensuring the metabolism of the body. However, some nutrients may need a little extra attention while eating. For instance, while consuming potatoes you need not completely replace them with vegetables because the effects of the potato on the human body may be adverse. Instead, you may need to take them separately.
Certain foods that provide carbohydrates include bread, pasta and rice. Pasta and bread are two great sources of carbohydrates. Also, certain foods that are high in carbohydrates are cereals, potatoes, fresh fruits, sweet potatoes, and some vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are the only good sources of dietary fiber. Thus, while replacing pasta and rice with these you should make sure that you take in at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
While some fats are good for health, they are dangerous when combined with other nutrients. Fats are also known to increase cholesterol levels and thus are not good for nutrition. Another food substance that is harmful for nutrition is sugar. However, there are certain oils that are beneficial for nutrition including olive oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, etc.
There is really no problem about buying food if you have plenty of money. For those who are on a limited budget however, it becomes problematic to buy food that is healthy and nutritious. One way around this problem is to start cooking meals at home. The best way to start is to prepare your own meals so that you know what nutrients you are getting. This will save you from buying junk food at the supermarket and you can avoid buying food normally considered to be junk food.
If you are not fond of eating meat, you can still eat food with meat such as eggs, pulses, vegetables, pulses, beans, and legumes. You can also include non-vegetarian meat such as chicken or fish. You should also avoid eating dairy products. Even though milk is a healthy product, it is also loaded with hormones and chemicals that are not good for your body. Eat food that contains less fat, salt and sugar.
Even though eating meat is more popular in countries such as Europe and America, you can practice eating healthier by having poultry and fish in your diet. These are much healthier than beef, pork and other processed meats. Many Asian countries such as India and China also consume a lot of fish. Some people also prefer to have fruit juices rather than food with meat as they are known to be more health conscious.
A lot of people suffer from Vitamin D deficiency, which causes obesity. Vitamin D is found in fatty fish, egg yolk, milk and mushrooms. If you want to stay healthy, you need to eat foods that contain Vitamin D. One way of ensuring that you get enough vitamin D each day is by eating oily fish such as salmon and tuna. You should also pay attention to the amount of sun exposure that you get each day. The sun provides Vitamin D to us when we are exposed to the sun for long periods of time.