Health nutrition from food you eat and drink is your health and strength. What you eat is part of what you are and what you will become. What you choose for a meal has an impact on our body either positively or negatively. The quality of food you take affects the length and quality of your life. Many life threatening diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancers, are often, at least in part, linked to poor nutrition. Much of these diseases could be prevented with sufficient health nutrition intake.
We are often told that we must eat a balanced diet to obtain health nutrition for our wellbeing. However, what is a balanced diet? How do you know you are achieving the correct balance? Many of us do not eat enough healthy carbohydrates. Many of us are unaware of a diet which is very low in fat can cause as much harm to our body as a high-fat diet. Many of us do not know that we eat more protein than we really need, and that too much can be bad for us. Many of us fall short on the daily requirement of vitamins and minerals that our body need.
A perfect diet should contain all needed health nutrition such as carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, fibre, in the right quantities. The WHO suggests at least fifty per cent of calories in our diet should come from complex carbohydrates, no more than thirty five per cent comes from fat and up to fifteen per cent comes from protein. The allowance for alcohol consumption is no more than five per cent.
To get fifty per cent or so of carbohydrates you need to ensure that at every meal you have a good portion of starchy carbohydrates food such as rice, pasta, potatoes, or bread. At most meals, you need good portion of vegetables and/or fruits. You should also include small portion of low- or moderate-fat protein such as fish, poultry, pulses and lean meat in our diets. High-fat protein such cheese, dairy product and fatty meats should be eaten less frequently and in even smaller portions. As all fat is a calorie-dense food, ideally you should include only small quantities of oil such as olive or corn oil in your meals. The majority part of your daily calorie needs have been taken up. There is only little room for alcohol and for the sugars. So, add these to your diet in moderation, if at all.
A variety and a balance intake of health nutrition is the most important element of a healthy diet for life. To ensure adequate amounts of all necessary vitamins, minerals, fat, protein, carbohydrates and fibre, eat as wide a variety of foods as you can. You should eat different sources of carbohydrates, varying types of protein, lots of different vegetables, salads and fruits.
There is no need to worry too much about the exact nutritional content of every morsel of food you eat. The fact is that almost any kind of meal can be adapted to form part of a healthy diet if you follow the abovementioned guidelines.
Fruits are essential to our body because they are good source of fiber, vital vitamins, dietary minerals, and antioxidant. We should eat five portions of fruits and vegetables each day. Since different fruits and vegetables have differing nutritional qualities, it is advisable to eat as many varieties of fruits and vegetables as possible. Read more about fruits.
"Eat your vegetables!" - Nutritionists encourage us to eat as wide a variety of vegetables and fruits as possible. Vegetables contain relatively high proportion of vitamins, provitamins, dietary minerals, fiber and carbohydrates. We can find water soluble vitamins (such as vitamin B and vitamin C), fat soluble vitamins (such as vitamin A and vitamin D), carbohydrates and minerals in many vegetables that we eat daily. Find out more information about vegetables and pulses.
Meat and poultry are necessary for growth in children, as well as for well-being in adults. Meat and poultry contain many essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, and protein. They contain a full complement of the amino acids which vegetables and fruit are lacking of. However, most meat and poultry are relatively high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Over consumption of high saturated fat food and high cholesterol food can lead to disease such as heart diseases. For this reason, it is important we are aware of the nutrient of meats, especially the fat and cholesterol content. Read more about meat and poultry.
Nuts and seeds are also high in unsaturated fat and protein. The high fat content makes them high in calorie. They are also a good source of dietary-minerals because they contain significant amount of iron, zinc, magnesium and other dietary-minerals. Some people are allergic to nuts. Allergy to nuts is a relatively common and often very serious problem. Exposure to even a small amount of nut fragments can have fatal effects. Read more about nuts and seeds.
Fish is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals. They are low-fat and low calorie and ideal for slimmers. Fish is a good source of the Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids help to prevent heart disease and strokes. Seafood, like fish, contains protein and many minerals. Some seafoods are rich in B group vitamins. Some seafoods, such as prawn, are high in cholesterol and sodium. Read more about Fish and Seafood.
The food charts in this section provide list of nutrient breakdown of many common foods. These food charts provide information on what is in the food that you eat. Please be aware that individual foods may be vary in their precise nutrient content for various reasons such as method of storage. These food charts will give you a very reasonable indication of nutrients. Read more about food charts