Food is any material prepared by a living organism to provide essential nutrition to organisms. Food is generally of animal, plant or fungus origin, and usually contains nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or minerals in appropriate proportions. In the simplest sense food is a substance that provides our bodies with the nutrients it needs to survive. The three main food groups are protein-diet, carbohydrates, and vegetables. It is possible for people to meet their daily requirements for all of the nutrients they need from plant foods like beans, nuts, grains, and fruits; while others may need a little more from meats, dairy products, and eggs. A wide range of food choices exist for all people, and depending on your individual needs, there are certain types of food that should be included in your diet.
Due to the food additives that are added to commercial foods to preserve them, it is nearly impossible for us to get all of the nutrients we need from natural food sources. These additives, commonly called “food preservatives”, help prevent bacterial growth, improve taste and texture, and increase shelf life. Unfortunately, without the help of food additives we would have a difficult time getting enough nutrients in our diets, and the result would be a reduction in health and well being.
In this study session, participants were asked to select which food source provides the most nutrients to help them meet their daily nutritional requirements. An interesting combination emerged when the study concluded that foods high in potassium, magnesium and calcium and low in salt and sugar had the greatest positive effect on nutritional intake. By reviewing the food preferences and the nutrient content of various foods participants were then able to map out a nutritional plan that meets their nutritional needs and at the same time provides them with enjoyment and satisfaction.