Dietary foods supply our bodies with energy (calories), nutrients such as proteins, carbs, fats and vitamins and minerals; eating healthily helps you achieve an ideal body weight while decreasing risk for certain conditions like cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Nutrition is a broad field that encompasses behaviors and social influences related to food choices. These websites can help you explore and understand nutrition topics so that you can make well-informed decisions regarding your diet.
Proteins are essential components of cells, and essential for our health and nutrition. Proteins also play a vital role in growth and development in children, adolescents and pregnant women.
Proteins are polypeptide chains consisting of amino acid residues. They can fold into various shapes depending on their number and sequence of amino acids.
Proteins tend to take two forms when it comes to their structure: helix and pleated sheet. A helix can be folded around itself while pleated sheets allow chains to twist and turn into different configurations.
Proteins contain multiple layers, namely central, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structures that play a part in how they function. Understanding these levels is vital in understanding their functionality.
Carbs provide our bodies with energy. Glucose, found within carbohydrates, serves as fuel for all body cells.
The USDA suggests consuming between 45 to 65% of your daily calories as carbohydrates. You can get this amount through eating healthful whole grain foods, vegetables and fruits.
Refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, are foods that have been processed to strip away parts of their grain while adding more sugar – this increases your blood sugar quickly while contributing to weight gain.
Fiber is another essential type of carbs you should add to your daily diet, helping to fill you up quicker and reduce overeating. Eating plenty of fiber may also prevent digestive problems as well as reduce cholesterol.
Fats are essential nutrients for energy and other key bodily processes, providing energy and providing other benefits such as cardiovascular protection and joint support. Fats come in three main varieties (saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) each having different health advantages.
Most foods contain various kinds of fats, with saturated fat being most prevalent in meat and dairy products, tropical oils, and butter containing especially high levels of saturated fats.
Trans fats are an artificial type of unsaturated lipid created when vegetable oils are hydrogenated (hydrogen atoms are added to fat molecules so they remain solid at room temperature). Consuming too many trans fatty acids can increase “bad” cholesterol while simultaneously decreasing “good” cholesterol.
Vitamins are organic compounds your body requires in small amounts for good health and functioning. You can obtain these from food sources or you may take vitamin supplements.
Vitamins play an essential role in many biological functions, from cell growth and development to acting as antioxidants which may protect cells against damage.
Water- and fat-soluble vitamins can be divided into two distinct groups. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and are absorbed through your digestive tract; then excreted through urine from the body.
Minerals are inorganic (non-living) substances characterized by specific chemical composition. Composed of specific elements arranged into an ordered lattice structure, minerals have an ordered chemical makeup.
Iron is especially essential in building strong bones and sending nerve impulses from your brain.
Minerals can be found both naturally in the environment and through diet; you can obtain adequate amounts through eating a well-rounded diet or taking supplement pills. In order to ensure healthy growth and development, mineral supplementation may also be useful.