|YOUR DIET AND HEALTH
Probably the biggest
problem with the average diet is that we eat too much for the amount of
energy we us. Generally we are too sedentary. The result is that many of
us are overweight, and many others try to maintain their weight only by
repeated periods of dieting. Maintaining an adequate level of physical
activity is essential to maintaining your weight. A healthy diet does
more than match your energy intake to energy output. it provides all the
elements required for good health.
THE COMPONENTS OF A
A healthy diet contains adequate quantities of six
groups of essential substances: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, all
of which contain calories( that is, they are nutrients that produce
energy); and fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which although they are
essential to a healthy diet, do not contain any calories. In addition
you need plenty of water, without which life is impossible. A human
being deprived of both food and drink usually can survive for only 4 or
5 days, but can live for as long as 2 months on liquids alone.
Proteins are the chemical compounds that form the
basis of living matter. You need a regular daily intake of protein for
the repair, replacement, growth, and function of the body. Animal
proteins (meat, fish, eggs, and cheese) can provide essential protein in
the form your body needs but it is vital to limit your intake of
fats-meats and cheeses can be high in fat. A wide variety of vegetable
proteins is also available. These are found most abundantly in peas,
beans, and other legumes but also are present in grains. If you eat more
protein than your body needs, the extra protein is converted to glucose
and provides energy or is converted to fat and stored by your body.
Your body is made up of about 65 to 70 percent
water. You lose 4 pints (about 2 liters) every day in breathed-out
moisture, urine, stools, and sweat. The lost fluid must be replaced. To
replace fluids, drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day.
These are chemicals that contain carbon, hydrogen,
and oxygen. All the foods that we think of as being either "starchy" or
"sugary" contain a high proportion of carbohydrates. Some examples are
sugar, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and cereals. These foods are our
main source of energy, and some for them contribute other essential
elements of a balanced diet, such as vitamins and minerals. For example,
potatoes and whole-grain bread contain fiber, cereals contain protein,
and whole-grain bread is a good source of iron.
The human digestive tract is unable to digest
fiber, which is plant material such as cellulose and pectin that is
found in unrefined cereals, fruit, vegetables, and legumes. Fiber is
very important because it provides bulk to help the large intestine
efficiently carry away body wastes. Also, fiber may help prevent
diverticular disease and cancer of the large intestine.
Fats are found in plant foods such as olives and
peanuts as well as in animal products. Fats provide energy, and minute
quantities are also used for growth and repair. In addition, they make
food more palatable and filling. Excess fat is stored in the body as
fatty tissue. Fat can cause serious health problems.
Depending on chemical composition, fats are either
saturated or unsaturated, a distinction that matters primarily because
cating saturated fats is thought to primarily because cating saturated
fats is thought to increase the amount cholesterol in the blood. Animal
fats, especially those in the Milk, butter, cheese and meat are more
saturated and may be partly responsible for the development of
atherosclerosis. The fat in some vegetable and and fish is largely
unsaturated. In chicken and turkey most of the fat is in the skin. From
the standpoint of the health, the better fats are polyunsaturated and
monounsaturated. However, all the fats are contain the same number of
calories a substantial 135 calories per table spoon.
Vitamins are chemicals. Your
body can make small amounts of some vitamins, such as vitamin D, which
is made in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight, but most vitamins
can be obtained only from food or supplements. Any one who eats a varied
diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, dairy products, fish, and
meat generally gets enough vitamins, There is however, some evidence
that the average person diet does not contain enough vitamin A and C
year-round or enough vitamin D in the winter months. The best solution
is not, however to take vitamin supplements. Instead, you should
change your diet you eat.