Food is an essential part of life; needed for energy, building materials and to protect against diseases.
Different foods provide our bodies with different things. The four basic groups are shown below:
- Carbohydrates provide energy
- Fat provides energy and warmth
- Protein is needed for growth and repair
- Water is needed to keep the body hydrated
- Vitamins and nutrients are needed to fight diseases.
Health issues can arise when the diet contains too much of one group, or if there is not enough of a particular food type.
So what about Vitamins and Nutrients?
So what is a balanced diet?
The balanced diet should include at least FIVE portions of fruit and vegetable a day, and a mix of the food groups shown above. The healthy value of total food intake, however, varies from person to person. The total amount of energy that a person requires per day depends on several factors including:
- age – adults and growing teenagers normally require more energy than children
- gender – men normally require more energy than women
- body size – larger body size requires more energy
- occupation and fitness – a more active lifestyle will require more energy
We will now answer some questions on the importance of a healthy diet.