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?
A balanced diet should include at least five portions of fruit and vegetables 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.