Healthy Through Nutrition

Healthy Through Nutrition

Diet has always played a vital role in supporting health. Today, over consumption of foods – especially those high in fat – is a major concern for people in the World . When we look at the ten leading causes of illness and death in the world , the top categories are heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Diet influences the development of the chronic diseases. Taken together, these four diseases account for about two-thirds of the nation’s 2 million deaths each year. These causes are stated as if single conditions such as heart disease caused death, but most chronic diseases arise from multiple factors over many years.

Now our first question arise what is Nutrition and why its important ?

“Nutrition, nourishment, or aliment, is the supply of materials - food - required by organisms and cells to stay alive. In science and human medicine, nutrition is the science or practice of consuming and utilizing foods.”

As molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics advance, nutrition has become more focused on the steps of biochemical sequences through which substances inside us and other living organisms are transformed from one form to another - metabolism and metabolic pathways.

Nutrition also focuses on how diseases, conditions and problems can be prevented or lessened with a healthy diet.

In addition, nutrition involves identifying how certain diseases, conditions or problems may be caused by dietary factors,

such as poor diet (malnutrition), food allergies, metabolic diseases, etc.

The human body requires 7 major types of nutrients:

A nutrient is a source of nourishment, an ingredient in a food, e.g. protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamin, mineral, fiber and water. Macronutrients are nutrients we need in relatively large quantities. Micronutrients are nutrients we need in relatively small quantities.

Energy macronutrients - these provide energy, which is measured either in kilocalories (kcal) or Joules. 1 kcal = 4185.8 joules.

v Carbohydrates - 4 kcal per gram

Molecules consist of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Carbohydrates include monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, glactose), sisaccharides, and polysaccharides (starch).

v Proteins - 4 kcal per gram

Molecules contain nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Simple proteins, called monomers, are used to create complicated proteins, called polymers, which build and repair tissue. When used as a fuel the protein needs to break down, as it breaks down it gets rid of nitrogen, which has to be eliminated by the kidneys.

v Fats - 9 kcal per gram

Molecules consist of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Fats are triglycerides - three molecules of fatty acid combined with a molecule of the alcohol glycerol. Fatty acids are simple compounds (monomers) while triglycerides are complex molecules (polymers).

v Fiber

Fiber consists mostly of carbohydrates. However because of its limited absorption by the body, not much of the sugars and starches get into the blood stream. Fiber is a crucial part of essential human nutrition.

v Water

About 70% of the non-fat mass of the human body is water. Nobody is completely sure how much water the human body needs - claims vary from between one to seven liters per day to avoid dehydration. We do know that water requirements are very closely linked to body size, age, environmental temperatures, physical activity, different states of health, and dietary habits.

v Minerals

Minerals are often artificially added to some foods to make up for potential dietary shortages and subsequent health problems. The best example of this is iodized salt - iodine is added to prevent iodine deficiency, which even today affects about two billion people and causes mental retardation and thyroid gland problems. Iodine deficiency remains a serious public health problem in over half the planet. There are 13 key minerals are essential for human biochemical processes by serving structural and functional roles, as well as electrolytes such as Potassium, Chloride, Sodium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Zinc, Iron, Manganese, Copper, Iodine, Selenium, Molybdenum,

v Vitamins

These are organic compounds we require in tiny amounts. An organic compound is any molecule that contains carbon. It is called a vitamin when our bodies cannot synthesize (produce) enough or any of it.Vitamins are classified as water soluble (they can dissolve in water) or fat soluble (they can dissolve in fat). For humans there are 4 fat-soluble (A, D, E, and K) and 9 water-soluble (8 B vitamins and vitamin C) vitamins - a total of 13.

Most foods contain a combination of some, or all of the seven nutrient classes. We require some nutrients regularly, and others less frequently. Poor health may be the result of either not enough or too much of a nutrient, or some nutrients - an imbalance.

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