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Nutrition Essay

1608 words - 6 pages

Nutrition is the relationship of foods to the health of the human body. Proper nutrition means that you are receiving enough foods and supplements for the body to function at optimal capacity. It is important to remember that no single nutrient or activity can maintain optimal health and well being, although it has been proven that some nutrients are more important than others. All of the nutrients are necessary in different amounts along with exercise to maintain proper health. There are six main types of nutrients used to maintain body health. They are carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water. They all must be in balance for the body to function properly. There are also five major food groups. The groups are fats and oils, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, grains, and meats.Exercise is also an important part of nutrition. Exercise helps tone and maintain muscle tissue and ensure that the body's organs stay in good condition. Healthy eating without exercise will not result in good nutrition and a healthy body - neither will exercise without nutrition. The most important thing about exercise is that it be practiced regularly and that it be practiced in accompaniment with a healthy diet. It is also desirable to practice more that one sport as different sports exercise different areas of the body. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the sources of energy for the body. The contained energy is expressed in calories. There are nine calories per gram in fat and there are about four calories per gram in proteins and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body. This energy is mostly used for muscle movement and digestion of food. Some sources of carbohydrates are grains, fruits, vegetables, and anything else that grows out of the ground. The energy in carbohydrates is almost instantly digested. Results in quick rise in blood sugar which is usually followed by a drop in blood sugar which is interpreted by the body as a craving for more sugars. Low sugar may also result in fatigue, dizziness, nervousness, and headache. However, not all carbohydrates do this. Most fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are digested more slowly. Fats, which are lipids, are the source of energy that is the most concentrated. Fats produce more that twice the amount of energy that is in carbohydrates or proteins. Besides having a high concentration of energy, fat acts as a carrier for the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K. Also, by helping in the absorption of vitamin D, fats help make calcium available to various body tissues, in particular, the bones and teeth. Another function of fat is to convert carotene to vitamin A. Fat also helps keep organs in place by surrounding them in a layer of fat. Fat also surrounds the body in a layer that preserves body temperature and keeps us warm. One other function of fat is to slow the production of hydrochloric acid thereby slowing down digestion and making food last...

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