Food is any material consumed in order to give nutrition to organisms. This nourishment is usually of protein, vegetable, and animal origin, and includes necessary nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, or both, in sufficient quantities to maintain the proper balance of micro-nutrients and their respective proportions in the body. The human body requires a wide range of different kinds of food to meet its varied requirements. Some food is easily digested and assimilated in the human body, some require more time to be broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream. A large part of the food eaten daily is made up of carbohydrates, which are used as energy for movement and other activities; protein is used as energy for building and repairing the body, while fat is necessary for the storage of energy in the body.
In spite of their general similarity, people should be careful not to generalize all food categories under the broad classification of ‘food’. Each food group has to be studied individually and taken into consideration when deciding on the food groups to eat regularly. For example, there are certain food groups that are rich in vitamins and minerals, and need to be eaten regularly, whereas others are poor sources of these important substances and can be omitted from the diet, or even taken in small amounts. Alcohol, caffeine, salt, sugar and tobacco are all damaging substances that should be avoided, as are salt, sugar, fat, and certain types of carbohydrates. Fruits and vegetables are considered to be rich in micro-nutrients and should form a part of any diet, together with milk, eggs, meat, cereals, bread, potatoes and other food groups that provide additional nutrition.
People are encouraged to become aware of the variety of foods and the nutrition they contain. They should learn to read the labels on food packages and learn how to choose foods that contain the nutrients they need, in appropriate proportions. People need to know about the nutritional content of foods in order to fully understand their diet. By eating a well-balanced, nutritionally balanced diet, people will reap the benefits of a nutritious and balanced diet for a long period of time, preventing them from becoming overweight or suffer with diseases like diabetes. The importance of learning about nutrition during a Nutritional Study Session 2 is to ensure that all students receive the right nutrients to meet their daily energy needs, for a healthy and active lifestyle.