- by Dr Paramesh S
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- Mar 24 2017
Diet and Food
In nutrition, diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism. Dietary habits are the habitual decisions an individual or culture makes when choosing what foods to eat. The word diet often implies the use of specific intake of nutrition for health or weight-management reasons (with the two often being related). Although humans are omnivores, each culture and each person holds some food preferences or some food taboos. This may be due to personal tastes or ethical reasons. Individual dietary choices may be more or less healthy.
Proper nutrition requires ingestion and absorption of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and food energy in the form of carbohydrates, proteins, vegetable oils, and fats. Dietary habits and choices play a significant role in the quality of life, health and longevity. It can define cultures and play a role in religion.
Nutritionists use "diet" to mean all the food you eat. Diet is not just menus for a day or week, but your usual food choices over time. Many other people use "diet" to describe a plan for weight loss or a specific prescription.
We need food to live. We cannot live without food beyond a short period. Food is therefore necessary for all living beings.
Food performs the following four functions:
Growth: Food is essential for growth. Without food a living organism will stop growing. The living cells in our body multiply after getting nourishment from the food we eat. Insufficient or a wrong type of food does not help healthy growth.
Repair: Living organisms sometimes damage their parts by accident. Constant work also causes wear and tear of the body parts. If we get a wound or cut, it heals up after some time. If we damage our skin due to some burn etc., it regains its shape in due course. The body needs food for all these functions.
Energy: We spend our energy when we do work. That is why after doing considerable work, we get tired. We then need food and rest to regain the lost energy. If we do not get food, we would become weak.
Protection from Diseases: We need to protect our body from diseases and keep it healthy. For this, we need vitamins and mineral salts in our food. Vitamins neither provide energy nor do they repair or replace the worn-out parts. But they are essential for our proper health.
So, we need food which can give us all the ingredients required by our body. We also need sufficient food-neither more nor less. That is to say, we should eat the right amount of food containing the right amount of nutrients.
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