Healthy Eating: What Does Good Nutrition Mean?

Good nutrition is crucial for good mental as well as physical health. Eating a diet which is balanced is a vital part of good health for each and every single person. The type, as well as the amount of food that you eat, affects the way you feel. In addition, good nutrition affects how your body functions.

It is beneficial to know what foods are healthy for you. You should also know what you are able to do in order to ensure you consume the healthiest diet that you possibly can.

Having an assortment of different foods, eating regular meals – including wholegrains, fibre, fruit and vegetables – as well as limiting the amount of fat, sugar and salt you eat are all recommended practices for you to maintain good nutrition.

“Good Nutrition” Is Not the Same for Everyone

If you posed the question “What is good nutrition?” to a hundred different people, you’ll probably get a hundred different responses. For some people good nutrition means eating like a caveman. For others, it’s about eating no meat plus lots of veggies. While for other people still, good nutrition is just eating a little less dessert and drinking more reasonable amounts of alcohol.

Apart from there being variances in actual beliefs of what good nutrition is, there are also differences in terms of how far people are willing to go to achieve good health for themselves:

  • Some people absolutely love pursuing ideal health. They are willing to do just about whatever it takes to achieve it – from growing their own food, never eating a gram of added sugar ever again to spending countless hours in the gym.

Others want to do as little as they can to just be a little bit healthier than they are currently. For them being healthy is seen as an inconvenience or annoyance and they are looking for the shortcuts.

Neither is right or wrong and it is completely up to you to decide how big a part of your life you want a healthy lifestyle should be.

Read: Top 10 Mood Boosting Foods: Eating Your Way to a Better Mood

What Does the Term : “Nutrients” Mean?

Nutrients are ingredients that are found in food that help you:

  • Grow
  • Repair tissue in your body
  • Develop new muscle tissue

No single food will give you the correct amount of nutrients. By eating foods from all the different food groups, you can meet your body’s daily required nutritional needs.

What Does Good Nutrition Mean

There are seven main classes of nutrients:

  1. Carbohydrates
  2. Fats
  3. Dietary Fibre
  4. Minerals
  5. Protein
  6. Vitamins
  7. Water

These classes of nutrients can be categorised as either:

  • Macronutrients which are required in relatively large amounts, or
  • Micronutrients which are required in lesser quantities.

Macronutrients fall under the following headings:

  • Carbohydrates,
  • Fats,
  • Fibre,
  • Proteins, and
  • Water

Micronutrients are minerals and vitamins.

Macronutrients (not fibre and water) provide structural material for certain parts of the body in addition to energy:

  • Carbohydrates and proteins provide 17 kJ which is about (4 kcal) of energy per gram, while
  • Fats give off 37 kJ (9 kcal) per gram

Molecules of carbohydrates and fats are made of:

  • Carbon,
  • Hydrogen, and
  • Oxygen Atoms

Carbohydrates encompass simple monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, galactose) as well as complex polysaccharides (starch). Fats are triglycerides which are made of assorted fatty acid monomers that are bound to a glycerol backbone. Some fatty acids, but not all of them, are essential for a person’s diet but they cannot be synthesised in the human body.

Protein molecules contain nitrogen atoms as well as carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. The foundational components of protein are nitrogen-containing amino acids. Some of these are essential in the sense that humans cannot make them. Some of the amino acids can be converted into glucose and can be used for energy production.

By breaking down protein that is already in existence, some glucose can be produced in the body. The remaining amino acids are rejected, mainly as urea in urine. This takes place naturally when atrophy happens or during starvation periods.

Other micronutrients include antioxidants and phytochemicals that influence (or protect) some body systems. They are seen to be as essential as in the case of, for instance, vitamins.

Wrap Up

Many foods contain a mixture of some or all of the nutrient classes. This is together with other substances. Some nutrients can be kept internally (e.g., the fat-soluble vitamins) and others are required almost continuously.

Bad health can be caused by a lack of the needed nutrients or, in dangerous cases, too much of a required nutrient.

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