- health, as well as
- Preparation of food,
- Storage methods that prevent nutrients from being exposed to oxidation, heat or leaching.
If food is stored well, the risk of food-borne illnesses is reduced.
In humans, a diet which is unhealthy can cause nutrient-deficient diseases such as:
If a person eats too many nutrients, they could suffer from conditions such as:
What are Nutrients?
‘Nutrients’ are molecules that are present in food. All organisms need nutrients to produce energy, grow, develop as well as reproduce. These molecules are digested and then broken down into basic parts that are used by the organism.
There are two main types of nutrients: macronutrients and micronutrients. The three main categories of macronutrients include carbohydrate, protein and fat. The two types of micronutrients are vitamins and minerals. These are extra molecules that cells need to make energy.
What are carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates consist of the sugars, starches and fibres which are found in fruits, grains, vegetables as well as milk products. Though often avoided in trendy diets, carbohydrates — as one of the basic food groups — are important to a healthy diet.
What is protein?
Protein is a macronutrient. It is essential for building muscle mass. Protein is usually found in animal products however this macronutrient is also present in other sources, such as nuts and legumes.
What are fats?
Fats are substances which assist the body to use some vitamins and maintain a healthy skin. These substances are also the main way that the body stores energy.
In food, there are many different types of fats. These are:
- Monounsaturated, and
- Trans fats.
To preserve your blood cholesterol and triglyceride (lipid) levels as near to the normal ranges as possible, the American Diabetes Association recommends that you limit the quantity of saturated fats and cholesterol in your diet. Saturated fats have an impact on blood levels of LDL (”bad”) cholesterol:
- The quantity of saturated fats should be limited to less than 10% of your total caloric intake, and
- The quantity of dietary cholesterol should be limited to 300 mg/day.
What are vitamins and minerals?
Vitamins and minerals are responsible for making people’s bodies work properly. Although you get vitamins and minerals from what you eat every day, some foods have more vitamins and minerals than others do.
Although vitamins and minerals are all considered micronutrients, these differ in two fundamental ways:
- Vitamins are organic. These can be broken down by heat, air, or acid.
- Minerals are inorganic. These hold on to their chemical structure.
Minerals in soil and water can easily find their way into your body through the plants, fish, animals, and fluids that you consume. But it’s tougher to get vitamins from food as well as other sources into your body as cooking, storage as well as simple exposure to air can inactivate these compounds which are fragile.
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