Nutritional Quality of Food Choices
Nutrition is the physiological and biochemical process by which an organism uses food to support its std test kit daily life. It involves absorption, assimilation, production, metabolism, degradation and excretion. This way, the nutritional status of the person can be maintained. Nutritional requirements of an individual largely depend on age, sex, and culture. Basically, nutrition is a balanced process that ensures proper growth, development and maintenance of all the systems of the body.
Generally, good nutrition refers to the intake of nutrient-rich foods that maintain health and prevent disease. It is an essential element for life. The major components of good nutrition are carbohydrates, protein, vegetables, fruits, and fat. Carbohydrate provides energy needed during movement, while protein provides the body with the raw materials needed in the synthesis of carbohydrates and fats. Vegetable and fruit provide the body with the rich source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Good nutrition does not only refer to food but also to the food’s nutritional content. This means including the five main food groups in a balanced diet, i.e., carbohydrate, protein, vegetable and fat. A well-balanced diet includes food rich in carbohydrate, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fat. These food groups are made possible by the various carbohydrates found in foods such as cereals, breads, pasta, rice and fruit juices. It also comprises of fiber, oils, vitamins, and minerals. Some foods that are recommended for a healthy diet are lean meats, milk products, fish, poultry, and eggs.
In addition, food products should be purchased in their pure, original forms to ensure appropriate nutrition. Common commercially available foods with no preservatives, color, artificial flavors, or other additives, are called “natural foods.” Examples of natural foods include fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, meats, poultry and eggs. Some natural food products are usually made up of combinations of these food items. Another term for nutrition is whole foods, which basically means foods made of whole plant materials. Examples of whole foods are vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and whole wheat products.
Having a healthy diet does not necessarily mean eating the same amount of each food type. Meals that have similar nutritional value but differ in calories are called low-calorie foods. Examples of low-calorie foods are cookies, crackers, granola bars, and yogurt.
Nutritional quality of food choices depends on nutrient composition and levels. Nutrient content can be measured using nutrition labels or nutritive value lists (tablets or liquids) available from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The nutrient content is measured using total calories or by percentage of daily calories. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published Nutrient Intake Data Guide, which is a user guide for the Nutrient Profile System (NDS), at the website of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The NDS is a system of defining and measuring nutrient profiles for the use of the FDA. Nutrient content of foods may also be determined by using Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Labels, which provides a list of the common ingredients in a product along with their recommended servings per serving.