Why Food Matters
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Why Food Matters
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Each of us consumes about 50 tons of food in a lifetime. From this mammoth pile of goodies we obtain four basics of life – water, energy, protein, and a tiny bit of vitamins and minerals. Nutrition Basics is about why we need to eat and choosing carefully. Key Points: • Water: Water is our most urgent nutritional need and probably the one least studied in nutrition education classes. Find out why the body uses so much water, discover how much water we need and how “water out” = “water in.” Energy: Energy has to come from food. Everybody knows that, right? Answer these two questions. How many calories do you burn jogging for thirty minutes? How many calories do you eat in a six ounce bag of french fries? The answer to both questions is the same – no calories. Zip, nada, zero. You can’t burn calories, and you can’t eat them either. OK, so it’s a trick question, but a trick designed to teach your students the basics of human energy use. Learn the difference between carbs and fats and find out why calories count and why most diets don’t work. Protein: You’ve seen sci-fi flicks where a cyborg is blasted by fire, hit by bombs, shredded by a ten ton masher, then regenerates the missing body parts? We do that every day! You shed thirty to forty thousand skin cells every minute -- more than your household pet. And you replace them all. Like the sci-fi cyborg, you grow new skin -- over nine pounds each year. You constantly rebuild all your body parts. That’s protein at work. Vitamins and Minerals: We eat rocks. Well, okay, not literally, but the minerals in all the living bodies on Earth are recycled. The iron in the blood of your veins right now may have graced a cliff in Arizona eons ago. Discover why we need to “eat rocks” and what happens if we don’t get vitamins from food.
Nutrition Basics is ideal for courses in nutrition, life sciences, and food. Use it to correct the many commonly held misconceptions about why we eat and how food works
Of the four basics, water is the most important to our lives. We can live surprisingly long without food, but only a matter of days without water. Two-thirds of your weight is water. The average adult contains about 76 pints of water. Men, with a higher proportion of muscle to fat, usually have a higher percentage of water than...