The Nutritional Value of Food


The Nutritional Value of Food

Food is any material eaten to supply nutrition to an organism. In its simplest form food is the food, an organism needs to grow and survive. Food is generally of animal, plant or fungi origin, and has various necessary nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or other minerals. There is a wide range of food types that may be consumed by different organisms, including those that are consumed directly by the body, as food, for the energy required by the body, or as supplements to provide additional nutrition, or even as medicines.

Plants typically contain carbohydrates, which include glucose or sugar extracted from starch plants and cereals; and protein, which includes proteins from animal source foods, such as milk and eggs; and vitamins and minerals, which include vitamins and minerals from plant sources, including food sources such as fruits and vegetables. Animals typically contain fats, oils, and bones, with vitamins and minerals coming from animal source foods, such as dairy products and meats. Different types of food provide different nutrients, which determine both the amount and type of food needed by an individual to maintain health. Food that provides only energy is known as macronutrients, whereas food that provides all the necessary nutrients for a healthy life is referred to as multivitamins.

The variety of food available on earth is practically unimaginable; therefore, it is difficult to say which is the best food. Animal products, such as meat, fish, milk, eggs, and animal-derived products like leather and wool are regarded as the primary food groups. Plants, such as nuts and pulses, are considered to be important sources of dietary fibres. Although most people eat food based on taste, nutrition is more important than the taste of food, and the food one eats should have a nutritional quality that is beneficial to good health. Nutrient values of food are measured using nutrients per serving, which is a measure of the nutritional content of a serving of food, expressed per calorie.

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