Human nutrition is considered perhaps a subject too serious compared to diets. It is easier to follow a restricted ready-made diet than having to choose the foods best suited to us at every meal. But in the long run it doesn’t pay. Knowing the basics of human nutrition is essential for our health
Food is our first drug , not our enemy, as too often happens, especially to women. It is the duty of each of us to know our body and to know how to take care of it, starting from the simplest things: the basics of human nutrition.
Human nutrition: three definitions
Let’s start by clarifying the terms:
- food is defined as the intake of substances useful to the body, through food
- the human nutrition instead is a real science that studies the relationship between diet and state of health or illness
- The diet is the way to eat, is the set of foods that are taken.
Human nutrition: the principles
It is good to know the basics of human nutrition, to be able to consciously choose the foods to bring to the table. Foods contain different nutrients , classified into macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, proteins) and micronutrients (vitamins, mineral salts, water).
The carbohydrates , which are present in grains, fruits and vegetables, provide energy to the body and are stored in the form of fat as a reserve.
The fatty substances are present in different forms in both vegetai foods than in those of animal origin. They are the main energy reserve for the body.
The proteins , present in foods of animal and vegetable origin, are used for the formation of muscles, tissues, messengers that carry information between cells.
The vitamins do not provide calories and play an important regulating and protective function in our bodies.
The minerals are involved in all adjustment reactions of the cells and metabolic reactions.
L ‘ water is the main component of our body, our cells and the substance in which cisono immersed (extracellular fluid). It is indispensable for life.
Who is and what does the nutritionist do?
At its appearance on Earth, about 10 thousand years ago, the man was a hunter, ate the berries and fruits he found. His metabolism was suitable for his diet. Only later did society, agriculture and pasture evolve, with the consequent change in diet , towards greater consumption of carbohydrates, as it is for us today. There is a problem: human metabolism was not still adapted to the change of life (10 thousand years is a second, for the times of evolution), to the use of refined, cooked, processed and excessively caloric foods.
Our current diet is unbalanced : too few vegetables and fresh fruit, few proteins and few “good fats”, excess carbohydrates. In theory, for proper nutrition, it is expected that at each meal the proteins cover 19-30% (one gram per kg of body weight) of total calories, carbohydrates 30-40% and the rest are “good” fats with high omega 3 content.
In addition to the balance of quantities, quality remains fundamental . Here are the foods to prefer :
– food from organic farming
– Whole grains
– seasonal fruit and vegetables
– vegetable oils (extra virgin olive oil)
– oil seeds
– proteins: vegetable proteins , white meats, lean fresh cheeses, fish.
Do you know what you eat? How to feed with conscience