Food is any material consumed to supply essential nutrients for an organisms body. In this way it is a vital part of life. Food is usually a single type, which includes proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, or fats. The diet of humans is determined by their requirement for different nutrients. This allows them to live a healthy life. Most people eat food in order to maintain a balance between the quantity of carbohydrates and protein, calories, fat, salt, and other nutrients needed by the body.
Some people need more fat than other people need, for example a person with low blood sugar would need more fat for its daily diet than a person with high blood sugar. This is due to insulin which converts glucose into glycogen (a sugar) for energy. When the glycogen is converted into glucose, there is a high concentration of glucose in the blood, which is necessary for human physical activities. Therefore, some people need more macronutrients than others.
A person’s diet can contain different kinds of carbohydrates and proteins. The foods contain various kinds of nutrients. The kind of nutrients determines the food’s type. For instance, whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, whole fats oils, seeds, nuts and other legumes are the different types of carbohydrates.
Some food contain complex carbohydrates, which provide energy for the body but have fewer nutrients. Complex carbohydrates come from the plant world and may contain large amounts of vitamins and minerals. Therefore, a diet rich in complex carbohydrates provide sufficient vitamins and minerals to help boost the immune system.
Some foods provide only small amount of nutrients. These are called protective foods. Some of these foods may contain important nutrients but in very low quantity. However, they still play an important role in our diet because they protect us from diseases.
The next group of foods contains fats. Some fats are good for human health, such as those found in butter and some dairy products. However, excess fat leads to increased cholesterol levels. Therefore, the fat plays an important role in heart health. The fats found in meat and poultry are digested slowly by the body and so they produce large amounts of nutrients, like Omega 3 fatty acids, which reduce bad cholesterol. However, too much consumption of fat can be harmful for the heart.
The last group of food is carbohydrates. Our body needs carbohydrates because it helps in energy production. Therefore, a diet rich in carbohydrates may provide more nutrients to the body. Most people prefer the refined types of carbohydrates, which provide more vitamins and minerals than the unrefined ones.
All of these food groups contain vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, which help maintain a healthy cell. A diet rich in nutrients can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, excessive intake of fatty acids and carbohydrates may increase the risk of cancer. Unhealthy fat and cholesterol causes certain cancers, such as coronary heart disease, stroke and colon cancer.