Nutrition provides the cells of an organism with food, in a form they can use. Organisms need food to be able to keep their bodies working properly. They also need food to be able to do certain things. Malnutrition can happen when a person does not eat the right amount of nutrients. They can get better by changing their diet to have the right amount of the various nutrients.
Different organisms have different food requirements, and they eat different things in order to meet those requirements. Animals that do not eat meat, for example, will have to get certain nutrients like protein from other foods.
The six main types of nutrient are carbohydrates, fats, minerals, protein, vitamins, and water. A macronutrient is a nutrient that needs to be eaten a lot. A micronutrient, such as a vitamin, is needed in smaller amounts, but it is still important. Carbohydrates are not needed by the body but most people eat a lot of them. Complex carbohydrates are more nutritious than simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are found in vegetables while simple carbohydrates are found in processed foods. They take longer to digest because they have more fiber. Because they stay in the stomach for longer they leave the person who has eaten them feeling fuller for longer. Protein is needed for building cells. It is found in milk, meat, fish, beans, eggs and other foods like quinoa. Protein is made of amino acids.
Fat is found naturally in some foods. People often eat it in processed foods such as cakes and chocolate. It is high in energy. Omega 3 and omega 6 fats are needed by the body. There are saturated fats and unsaturated fats. It is recommended that people avoid the saturated type. It has been linked with heart disease. Trans fats is also a fat people should avoid. A lot of people think that fat is bad in general, but it is still controversial. People are also advised not to eat too much sugar or salt.
Most people eat three meals a day. Eating every few hours keeps blood sugar stable. Some foods are good for us and some foods are bad.
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- O’Keeffe, Majella; St-Onge, Marie-Pierre (1 April 2013). "Saturated Fat and Cardiovascular Disease: A Review of Current Evidence". Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports. 7 (2): 154–162. doi:10.1007/s12170-013-0295-z – via Springer Link.
- "Trans fat: Double trouble for your heart". Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 2021-05-04.