What Does “Good Nutrition” Mean?

What should you eat when you’re advised that “good nutrition” should become an essential part of your healthful habits?
Food provides energy, nutrients, and substances essential for growth and health. It’s important to remember that eating proper nutrients support healthy body function, while excess nutrients may be stored as fat, which may lead to weight gain.

The six categories of nutrients required for health are:

  1. Carbohydrates: The body’s preferred energy source.
  2. Proteins: Fundamental for body structure.
  3. Fats: Essential in small amounts, preferably unsaturated.
  4. Vitamins: Aid in healthy chemical reactions, releasing stored energy.
  5. Minerals: Needed for tissue growth, maintenance, and energy release.
  6. Water: Vital for overall health.

Individual nutrient needs vary based on factors like age, body size, gender, genetics, growth rate, illness, physical activity, medications, and pregnancy/lactation.

A daily balanced diet involves eating:

  • 50% from fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.
  • 25% from starchy vegetables, whole grains, legumes.
  • 25% from a mix of plant-based and animal proteins.

The basics of nutrition can be simple if you try to eat a diverse range of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and small amounts of healthy fats, along with staying hydrated. Eat foods that are minimally processed and enjoy your favorite less nutritious treats in moderation.

Contrary to what many people believe, vitamins do not provide energy to the body, but they do help release the energy that is stored in carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Source: Complete Wellness Solutions. Completely Well Newsletter, March 2024.

What Does “Good Nutrition” Mean?
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