Food is any material consumed to supply nutrition to an organism. It may be in the form of liquids, solid, or a mixture of solids or liquids, and has to be consumed for the proper growth and development of an organisms. Food is generally of animal, plant or fungi origin, and has key nutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, or other minerals, which are required for the proper functioning of the body. The human body needs different types of food for its different purposes and is capable of absorbing different types of food, though it depends on the type of food that an organisms prefers.
Plants and animals differ in their requirements of vitamins and minerals. Plants need more protein, while animals need fat. Fungi need carbohydrates, whereas animals are devoid of fat. Vitamin B complex group consists of fat-soluble vitamins like Biotin, B6, E, K, and Vitamin A. Animal food sources of these vitamins include liver, milk, cereals, fish oils, and red meat; fruits and vegetables mainly contain vitamin E; yeast and fungi contain vitamin K.
Food plays a vital role in maintaining the health of an individual. The type of food, which an organisms prefers, determines the quality and quantity of the nutrients absorbed by the body. Some foods are more important than others for the proper functioning of the human body, and some foods help in maintaining the normal weight of an individual. Certain macronutrients also help in the absorption of other nutrients.
The five main macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables, fat and fibre. The carbohydrates that are consumed by the body are mainly found in breads, cereals, potatoes and fruits. Proteins are primarily found in meats and pulses and provide energy to the body.
Vegetable sources of protein are beans and pulses while animal products and dairy products provide carbohydrate sources. Fruits and vegetables contain mainly sugar while whole grain foods contain mainly protein and carbohydrates. Whole grain foods like brown rice, oats and barley are very good for controlling the blood sugar levels. Fatty acids present in nuts, seeds and fish oils are considered beneficial for the heart and brain.
Food habits and food choices affect weight gain, energy levels, cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels and general health of an individual. For this reason, the nutritional needs of an individual must be determined before he or she starts on aabetic diet. Diabetics should take care to choose foods that are low in carbohydrates, fat and sugar. A balanced diet is an ideal staple food for an individual who is fighting diabetes.