What is Nutrition?
Nutrition is the science or study that deals with food and nourishment, including food composition, dietary guidelines, and the roles that various nutrients have in maintaining health. We all need nutrition every day, but when we go into a grocery store, not all of the 40,000 products on the shelves will provide equal (or sometimes any) nutrition. In other words, just because it is edible and tastes good doesn't mean it provides nutrition. But how do you know whether it is nutritious or not? There are some basic guidelines that can help make understanding nutrition easier.
Basics of Nutrition
Nutrition begins with macronutrients, which are the nutrients we eat the most of and which provide us with the majority of our energy. The following are macronutrients:
Did You Know
Vitamins and minerals do not provide energy for your body. They help the food you eat provide energy, but they can't do it alone.
- Carbohydrates Whole grain bread, rice, whole grain cereal, whole grain pasta, fruits, and starchy vegetables (potatoes, peas, corn)
- Proteins lean beef, lean pork, white meat poultry, fish, eggs, low-fat dairy products
- Fats canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil, peanuts, almonds, and avocados
Nutrition also includes micronutrients, which are vitamins and minerals. Each and every meal and snack you eat should include macronutrients and a good amount of micronutrients. But you are concerned about eating "food," not making menus of macro and micronutrients. So how can you make sure you are getting nutritious meals?
Because the human body requires nutrients in certain amounts, making sure the food you take in meets these requirements will help ensure your body is being satisfied. Some general guidelines for nutritional intake include:
- Carbohydrate, protein, fat in each meal.
- A variety of fruits (2-3 servings) and vegetables (3-4 servings) daily.
- Vegetables as a main part of your meal and protein and carbohydrates as side dishes.
- Adults need 3-8 oz servings of low-fat or fat-free milk (or equivalent) per day.
- 8-10 8 oz glasses of water each day.
- A good breakfast (it doesn't have to be traditional breakfast food).
Be in the Know
There is no need to chase fad diets, take an excessive amount of supplements, and starve yourself of foods that you enjoy. Knowing how to feed your body and keep it healthy does not need to be a mystery. Ask our nutritional experts what you need to know and approach your personal nutrition with confidence. We can help you make a better you.
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