Food is any material used in cooking to provide nutrition to the organisms living in it. Food is generally of animal, plant or fungal origin, and often contains vital nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or other minerals. This article highlights some important facts about food, its nutrition, the types of food, and how much you should eat.
One of the first things to know about food is that all foods contain what we call “nutrients,” and only a portion of these nutrients are actually “nutrients” per se. The rest are “proteins,” which provide the body with the building blocks of proteins. Proteins can be animal or plant; animal protein is called meat protein, plant protein is known as animal fat, and fungal protein is called vegetable protein. Most animal foods are rich in calories; plant foods are high in fat, sugar, and water, while animal foods are high in fiber. Fruits and vegetables are considered to be the richest dietary sources of nutrition. Some animal foods, however, are good sources of vitamins A, D, E, and K; some plant foods, like whole grains, are good sources of vitamin B12 and magnesium.
According to conventional wisdom, the best food source of nutrition is animal food, especially red meat, eggs, milk, cheese, and butter. While animal source foods provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals, and many beneficial nutrients to our health, they also have high levels of saturated fat, salt, sugar, and other pollutants that damage our health, and are therefore not considered to be the most healthy. Saturated fat is the substance found in fried foods, in processed oils, and in some forms of food like cookies, chips, and chocolate; processed foods, in turn, have been found to contain high levels of salt, sugar, and trans-fatty acids that are difficult for our bodies to process and absorb. Fruits and vegetables are the best choices for a natural, balanced diet because they are low in fat, sugar, and calories, and high in nutrients.