Health and Diet

Health and Diet

The big three important ingredients in the food for health you eat are: Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats. Protein is found in meat, fish, peas and beans, and is needed for building up the body. Tiny quantities of fats are needed by every cell in the body, and many fats are rich in the Vitamins A, D and E. Both fats and carbohydrates, starchy and sugary foods, are a good source of energy. Some carbohydrate foods, such as grains, are also high in protein.

No one food contains all the essential ingredients for health. What the body needs is plenty of variety. It does not matter if there are some foods a person never eats because others will contain the same nutrients. Vegetarians do not eat meat but are perfectly healthy because the can obtain plenty of protein from other sources.

Health and Diet - Protein
However, the more restricted a person's diet is the more likely they are to suffer a dietary deficiency. A balanced diet is one of the keys to good health and a long life. Food is needed for two main reasons. To provide the raw materials for growth and repair of the body, and to supply energy to keep the body working.

Raw materials for growth come from foods such as meat, fish and certain vegetables while energy is supplied by cereals and sweet foods. Although the correct combination of protein and energy giving food is essential, small quantities of vitamins and minerals are also vital. The traditional foods of people in different part of the world vary considerably, but any diet which includes adequate supplies of all these nutrients will be healthy.

In general, raw or lightly cooked foods are richest in essential vitamins and minerals, many of which are destroyed by long periods of heating. As well as containing vitamins, fresh fruit and vegetables also contain a lot of fibre, a substance which is not digested but which helps to keep the digestive system working efficiently.

Many western diets contain too much of the wrong foods. People tend to eat too much processed food, and too many sugary and fatty foods, such as cakes and hamburgers. The excess food makes people put on weight, which puts a strain on the heart and circulation. Estimates have been made for the amounts of various kinds of nutrients that people need to maintain healthy growth and development.