CyberDodo and Nutrition (1-55)
That's the title of a book written by Jane Goodall, and also a perfect phrase to introduce this file dedicated to nutrition because, indeed, what we put into our bodies largely determines our health.
What is nutrition?
Science will continue to study and discover the effect of diet on health. However, the emergence of numerous diseases is notoriously linked to the quality, quantity, rhythm, etc of the food that we consume.
The key word which should always be associated with nutrition: balance!
That is, balance between protein, carbohydrates and fat. Most of us are familiar with these words without really being able to explain what they mean. Let's review them now:
Protein makes up the basic part of all living cells and is present in all living organisms. Only protein is capable of obtaining nitrogen which is essential to development. There are proteins of animal origin, which contain a large number of amino acids, as well as proteins of vegetable origin, which are less rich in amino acids.
Protein serves the following important roles:
The maintenance of immunological defences
The proper development of foetuses, children and adolescents
The daily renewal of our muscles, blood, skin, hair, nails, etc.
Protein is found mainly in dairy products, meat, eggs, fish, cereals and certain greens.
Lipids (Fats) :
Did you know that the human brian is made up of more than 50% fat? Our cells' membranes are also made of fat. Rich in calories, hence in energy, fat feeds our bodies which could survive without it but there are good and not so good fats. Among the good ones are polyunsatured fatty acids (we will come back to this) while among the bad fats are saturated fatty acids and monosaturated trans fats which are responsible for, or contribute to many different illnesses.
Fat serves numerous functions in our body, among them:
To provide energy for example, maternal milk is very rich in fat to ensure the ideal development of babies (See our file on breastfeeding)
To maintain body temperature
To transmit nerve impulses and transport protein and vitamins
Fat is found in meat, milk products, fish, oils and even certain greens.
Carbohydrates (Saccharides) :
One could also call them body fuel as they offer a source of energy that is immediately usable by cells. They are an indispensable complement to fats and protein but many people unfortunately consume too many carbohydrates. Indeed, if they are present in cell membranes or even in human genes, modern carbohydrates present a health risk.
Depending on the type of carbohydrate, they are found naturally in fruit, rice, honey and certain legumes (examples: cereals, potatoes, corn, etc) but the majority of carbohydrates we consume come from the delight we take in eating sugary foods... which means that food manufacturers toss sugar into just about everything.
And not only in drinks (carbonated or not), candy, cakes, ice cream, etc.!
This discussion on carbohydrates is a perfect presentation of the following part of this report the balance necessary in our eating habits.
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