In order to start developing an understanding of nutrition and healthy eating, you need to know the basic definitions.
Health - The state of a human when it functions optimally without evidence of disease or abnormality
“Optimal health for Canadians can only be achieved when greater efforts are made in health promotion and prevention of illness, and when nutrition is an integral part of these efforts” (Health Canada)
Nutrition - is the study of:
• the nutrients in foods;
• how nutrients are used in the body; and
• human behaviours related to food
Diet - the foods and beverages a person usually eats and drinks.
Food - any substance that the body can take in and assimilate that will enable it to stay alive and healthy.
Nutrition and disease prevention
Your choice of diet can profoundly affect your long term health prospects.
Chronic Disease - is defined as a long duration, degenerative disease characterized by damage of body organs
Many chronic diseases (e.g. diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancer, dental disease, adult bone loss , etc.) have a connection to poor diet. These diseases cannot necessarily be prevented by a good diet alone, as other factors like genetic and lifestyle play a role as well. For example, forms of heart disease can vary — some are nutrition related, others are not.
Diet influences long-term health outlook, and genetics also plays important role.
Genetics and nutrition affect health conditions in varying ways (See Figure in your textbook: “Nutrition and Disease”)
or “Nutrigenomics” is a hot topic right now. This may be the reason behind the often conflicting nutrition claims.
Nutritional genomics - The science of how nutrients affect the activities of genes and how genes affect the activity of nutrients.
Nutrients - Components in food that are indispensable (or essential) to the functioning of the body.
Nutrients provide energy and building material used to help maintain or repair the body and support growth
There are 6 classes of nutrients that can be divided into 2 groups:
* A. energy providing (meaning that the body can use the energy they contained)
* 1. carbohydrate
* 2. fat
* 3. protein
* B. other nutrients (or non-energy containing)
* 4. water
* 5. vitamins
* 6. minerals
See Figure “Materials of Food and the Human Body”
Within the 6 classes of nutrients, there are essential, conditionally essential and non-essential nutrients.
Essential nutrients - The nutrients that the body cannot make for itself from other raw materials.
There are 8 essential amino acids (TV TILL PM)
1. There are 2 essential fatty acids:
• linoleic acid, linolenic acid
2. Most of the vitamins are essential
• 3 fat soluble (A,D,E), 1 conditional (K)
• all water soluble
3. All minerals are essential
Conditionally essential nutrients
Some nutrients are conditionally essential, meaning that the body can not make enough to meet the requirements for health (e.g. the amino acid histidine during periods of growth).
These are nutrients that the body can make for itself, so does not have to rely on our food intake (e.g. some amino acids, some fatty acids).
Calorie - is the amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of 1 litre of water by 1 degree Celsius.
Food energy is measured in calories
• Carbohydrate (CHO) provide us with 4 Cal/g (=kcal/g)
• Fat (lipid) provide us with 9 Cal/g
• Protein provide us with 4 Cal/g
• Alcohol provide us with 7 Cal/g - Alcohol provides energy, but is not a nutrient
Food quantity is measured in grams (so when you look at the Nutrition Facts panel on your food product, it lists carbohydrates, fat and protein in grams).
We can use those known values to...
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