The Four Stages of a Balanced Diet
Food is any substance eaten to give nutrition to an organism. Food is generally of animal, plant or fungus origin, and includes necessary nutrients, like proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, sugars, or other substances that the organism needs to grow, live and multiply. It is used to supply energy to the body and sometimes, to defend it from infections. Since animals, plants and fungi all have different needs when it comes to nutrition, the way these foods are digested and absorbed into the body is also different.
Most dietary supplements are available in the form of either carbohydrates proteins or micronutrients. Carbohydrates are those carbohydrates that can be metabolized easily by the body such as glucose, sucrose, fructose, maltose and wheat flour. Proteins are those substances that cannot be metabolized easily by the body but can be converted into energy (ATP). Micronutrients are those substances that are required by the body in large amounts; examples are fat, vitamins B and C, calcium, magnesium, iodine, zinc and selenium.
The recommended diet is a well-balanced one, consisting of a good variety of both carbohydrates and proteins and micronutrients. Many people find it difficult to follow this kind of diet since they have their own special dietary needs. They may not eat dairy products, soy products, red meat or other types of animal products, or they may not eat gluten. These people therefore resort to eating only food from special sources, like egg whites, beans and certain vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of carbohydrates and proteins but not micronutrients.