Food And Nutrition

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search

SLMtitle.png Food and Nutrition

By Sabina Yeasmin

Chapter Outline

  1. Introduction
  2. Learning Objectives
  3. Nutrition and Health
    1. Relationship between Nutrition and Health
    2. Nutritional Status
  4. Balanced Diet
    1. Charactrerestics of a balanced diet
    2. Balanced diet for different individuals
  5. Let's Sum Up
  6. Key Points
  7. Glossary
  8. Practice test

SLMinto.png Introduction

Source:World Wide Web

We know, the food that we eat is digested and absorbed it is utilized by the body. Food helps us in staying healthy. What do we mean by the term ‘Health’? How do we know if a person is healthy? What is meant by the term ‘Nutrition’? Our diet should be such that it meets our nutritional requirements and thus helps us in our health. Although food occupies the first position in the hierarchy of our needs, ignorance of many basic facts relating to food and nutrition is still widespread. All of us eat food every day – but have we ever paused to consider if our diet is balanced? In fact, do we even know what kinds and amounts of foods would make our diet balanced and lead us toward good health? Buying and cooking foodstuffs is a common experience for all of us. However, when purchasing, do we really know hoe to select the food items? Do we know the household ways of finding out whether the food item is adulterated? If the diet is not balanced the result would be malnutrition and nutritional deficiency diseases. So, we find out the type of diet that should be eaten by a person who is suffering from a disease – from fever, diarrhoea, diabetes or hypertension.

SLMobj.png Learning Objectives
After reading this chapter, you are expected to learn about:

  • Identify the relationship between nutrition and health;
  • Explain the term balanced diet;
  • Define the term 'Health'; and
  • Explain the physical, mental and social aspects of health.

Nutrition and Health

Source: World wide web


Health is the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease. From this definition, you can list the three main aspects of health. They are: 1. physical well-being 2. mental well-being 3. social well-being.

Thus, a person is said to be healthy if he is physically, mentally and socially well.

Let us now enumerate some of the characteristics of a healthy person.

Sings of good health

Source:World Wide Web
Source:World Wide Web

SLMact.gif Activity
As you know, good health is characterised by physical, mental and social well-being. What is the signs of good health?Which one is healthy?


Nutrition is a science that studies the relationship between diet and health. The purposes of nutrition science is to explain metabolic and physiological responses of the body to diet.

Nutritionists are health professionals who specialize in this area of study, and are trained to provide safe, evidence-based dietary advice and interventions.

Deficiencies, excesses and imbalances in diet can produce negative impacts on health, which may lead to diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, scurvy, obesity or osteoporosis, as well as psychological and behavioral problems.

Moreover, excessive ingestion of elements that have no apparent role in health, (e.g. lead, mercury, PCBs, dioxins), may incur toxic and potentially lethal effects, depending on the dose.

Many common diseases and their symptoms can often be prevented or alleviated with better nutrition.


All of us eat food. Food provides nourishment to the body and enables it to stay fit and healthy. We already know that the food that we eat undergoes a combination of processes. It is digested, absorbed into the blood, transported to different parts of the body and utilized from the body.

The sum total of all the processes involved in the supplying of nourishment to the body is what is meant by the term Nutrition.

Relationship between Nutrition and Health


As you know, nutrition is a process in which the food that is consumed is used for nourishing the body. Good nutrition is essential for good health. Nutrition is very important for a person to grow and develop normally and to remain healthy throughout life. When a person does not eat proper food, there are chances of his not developing normally- the likelihood that some organ of his body may start malfunctioning, or that he may get some disease? Poor nutrition may also influence his mental and social well-being.

Thus, generally, the health of a person depends on the kind and amount of food he eats. The right kind of food eaten in the right quantity is necessary for good health.

SLMact.gif Activity
Ashik and Abeed are two boys in the same class. Both are strong and well built. Ashik fights with the other boys and beats them. Nobody likes him. Abeed is helpful and pleasant in nature and has a lot of friends. Which of the two boys would you say is physically/mentally/socially not well and therefore not healthy?

Nutritional Status


Let us now introduce ourselves to another term ‘Nutritional Status”.

We have already defined the term nutrition. Anything related to or connected with nutrition can be called ‘nutritional’. By ‘status’ we mean position or level. The two words together should then mean the position of an individual connected or related with his nutrition. Nutritional status is the level of nutrition of an individual.

The level to which the food eaten is used by the body and the effect it has on the health of the individual is the nutritional status. An adequate amount of the right food will provide the necessary nourishment required by the body. This will lead to a good nutritional status and therefore good health.

SLMsaq.gif Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) - 1
State whether the following statements are true or false:
1. A person with no disease is healthy.
2. Normal functioning of body organs is necessary for physical well-being.
3. A mentally healthy person realises his limitations.
4. Social well-being is indicated by having a good time with friends and ignoring the family.

Fill in the blanks using the appropriate terms:

1.The process by which food is taken in and utilized by the body is called __________
2.____________is the level of nutrition of an individual.
3.Good nutrition is necessary for good __________.

Balanced Diet


Our diet should be such that it meets our nutritional requirements and thus helps us in staying healthy. In addition, it should provide for storage of some amounts of nutrients in the body so that the body can withstand short periods of low dietary intake. It is called a balanced diet. A balanced diet is one which contains different types of foods in such quantities that the individual’s need for the various nutrients is adequately met, and some amounts of nutrients are stored in the body to enable it to withstand short periods of low dietary intake.

Characteristics of balanced diet


If we don't eat food, then our bodies don't work.


If we don't eat the right food, our bodies don't work as well as they can. Healthy food gives our bodies the tools they need to:

  • build bones and muscles healthy body
  • repair and replace worn out cells
  • keep all systems working
  • keep us healthy.

So it is really important that we give our bodies the right kinds of food to do the job.

SLMact.gif Activity
What are the right kinds of food?

Food examples What is a serve? Daily serve from this group
Breads, cereals, rice, pasta and noodles
Bread 2 slice 5 - 9 serves each day
Rolls 1 roll
Cereal 1 cup
Wheat biscuit one
Pasta 1 cup
Rice 1 cup
Vegetables and legumes
Cooked vegies Half a cup 4 or 5 Serves each day
Medium potato Half a cup
Carrot [sliced] Half a cup
Broccoli Half a cup
Spinach Half a cup
Cauliflower Half a cup
Salad One cup
Any fruit, eg. apple, orange 1 piece 2 or 3 serves each day
Fruit juice Small glass
Raisins/sultanas 1-2 tablespoons
Dried fruit 4 pieces
Milk, yoghurt and cheese group
Milk 250ml 2 - 4 serves Each day
Yoghurt 200g
Cheese 40g
Custard 250ml
Meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, nuts and legumes
Beef, chicken fish Small portion 1 - 2 serves Each day
Peanut butter 1 tablespoon
Baked beans Half a cup
Fish fingers Two

Fats and oils

Even though you need fats and oils to grow and be healthy we haven't put a place on the table for fats and oils because you will get most of what you need from your other foods, such as meat, eggs, cheese, peanut butter and margarine on your bread.

It's a good idea to start the habit of eating mono-unsaturated fats (check out the label on cooking oils, margarines and spreads) light cheeses and low fat ice-cream. Your heart will love you for it!

Sweets, cakes, biscuits and soft drinks

You may have one small serve of cake or chips, or 2 sweet biscuits .... but not all of them! Soft drinks usually have a lot of sugar in them which you do not need.

Try to make sweets a sometimes treat rather than every day.

SLMact.gif Activity
Now see if you can use the tables above to see how your diet balanced out today. Maybe you would like to plan a day's menu yourself then check if it fits with the idea of a balanced dietfood chart.

Balanced diet for different individuals


A balanced diet is according to the needs of the individual. Balanced died for different individuals. As is perhaps obvious to you, the composition of balanced died is different for different individuals. The types of foods and their amounts that each of us should eat, vary because of many factors. Yes, these are the same factors that affect the nutritional needs of a person. Do you remember what they are? You are right. They are age, height, weight, sex, occupation, climate, health and physical conditions.

SLMsaq.gif Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) -2
Multiple Choice

1. The amounts of nutrients required by different people are

a) The same.
b) Generally the same but occasionally different.
c) At times the same and at times different.
d) Different.

2. A balanced diet should consist of

a) Both plant and animal foods.
b) Only plant foods.
c) Only animal foods.
d) None of the above.

3. A balanced diet is one which has

a) Some nutrients in the required amounts.
b) Foods from one food group in the correct amounts
c) All the nutrients in the correct amounts.
d) All the foods that a person likes to eat in the correct amounts.

SLMsum.png Results

SLMkp.png Key Points

The key points of this chapter are as follows:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Nutritional Status
  3. Health
  4. Balanced Died.

SLMtest1.png Practice Test

Short Answer Questions

1.Define ‘Nutrition.
2.Define and explain the term ‘Nutritional Status’.

Essay type Questions

1.Define the term health and enumerate the characteristics of a healthy person.
2.How are nutrition and health related?
3.Define ‘Balanced diet’. What are the characteristics of a balanced diet?

SLMfeedb.png Answers to SAQs

True or false


Fill in the blanks

2.Nutritional status

Multiple Choice

1. D
2. A
3. C