The word food actually refers to any material consumed to supply nutrition to an organism for the sustenance of life. Food is generally of animal, plant or bacterial origin, and usually contains essential substances, including proteins, vitamins, fats, carbohydrates, or minerals essential for the growth and maintenance of an organism. In particular, food provides fuel to the body that it needs for functioning; therefore, in order to live a healthy life, you need the proper amount of food on a regular basis. It is advised that you should eat a well-balanced diet composed of a variety of food groups to ensure a balanced diet; one which satisfies the nutritional needs of your body. Some of the major food groups are protein, carbohydrate, vegetable, fruit and grain.
Protein consists of the essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins used in the body by cells to convert them into energy. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in the human body and are used for day-to-day activities such as controlling the brain chemistry, regulating the body temperature, maintaining normal body fluid levels, and providing the body with the storage of energy for performing normal bodily functions. Vegetable and fruit are considered the ideal sources of carbohydrates because of their high volume and low cost in comparison to other available carbohydrate sources. Rice, bread, corn, and pasta are among the commonly consumed carbohydrate foods; whereas grain products, rice, nuts, beans, spinach, and avocados are rich in protein content. In order to obtain all the essential nutrient groups, it is important to consume a wide variety of food types. For example, meat and fish are the best choices for protein and mineral sources, respectively; whereas cereals, nuts, beans, potatoes, fruits, wheat and vegetables provide a good source of carbohydrate.
Sugar is also a vital element in the diet; however, the amount of sugar in a daily diet is not directly proportional to the amount of food intake. A diet that is high in fat, salt, and sugar is the worst kind of diet. It is better to have small amounts of both fat and sugar in your diet, and avoiding high-sugar fruits and vegetables altogether. The good news is, you can still enjoy all the benefits of fruits and vegetables, without having to completely cut them out of your diet. Unprocessed foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables are considered the best source of nutrients. Cooking vegetables and herbs preserves their beneficial compounds, which can be eaten on their own, or combined with other ingredients to make delicious meals.