Human nutrition is the study of how food affects the body and provides the essential nutrients required for growth, repair, and maintenance of bodily functions. The human body requires a variety of nutrients to sustain life, including carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are macronutrients that provide the body with energy. Carbohydrates are the body's primary source of energy and can be found in foods such as bread, pasta, and vegetables. Fats also provide energy and are found in foods such as meat, dairy products, and nuts. Proteins are essential for growth and repair of bodily tissues and can be found in foods such as meat, fish, and beans.
Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that the body requires in small amounts. Vitamins are organic compounds that the body needs for various functions, including growth, immunity, and wound healing. Minerals are inorganic compounds that the body needs for various functions, including bone growth and muscle function.
Dietary guidelines are recommendations for the types and amounts of foods that people should consume to maintain optimal health. These guidelines are designed to prevent malnutrition and chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. The dietary guidelines vary by country and are based on factors such as age, sex, and physical activity level.
Nutritional deficiencies can occur when the body does not receive enough of a particular nutrient. Common nutritional deficiencies include iron deficiency, which can lead to anemia, and vitamin D deficiency, which can lead to bone disease. Nutritional deficiencies can be caused by poor diet, malabsorption, or certain medical conditions.
Consuming too much of a particular nutrient can also have negative effects on the body. For example, consuming too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, and consuming too much vitamin A can lead to toxicity. Nutritional excesses can be caused by overconsumption of a particular food or supplement.
- Nutrition.gov - U.S. government website on nutrition and healthy eating
- World Health Organization: Nutrition for health - information on nutrition and health from the World Health Organization
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