Nutrition of Food
In its simplest form, food refers to anything consumed to give the body nutritional support. More specifically, food is generally of animal, plant or bacterial origin, and is composed of necessary nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or other nutrients required by the human body. The nutritional value of food is determined by the proportions of the various elements in the food, together with other factors such as seasonings, cooking method, texture, storage temperature and other known or unknown factors. It is the chemical makeup of the food that gives it its nutritional value. The human body can obtain all of the required components from food.
The primary food groups are carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. Other food items that are important to the diet are carbohydrates, fats, fruits, vegetables and dairy products. These provide the main sources of nutrients for energy and the storage of energy during periods of inactivity. Some food groups or types are recommended for specific times of the day, while others are good for all days of the week and provide all nutrients needed.
One of the best known food groups is that of beans. Although beans are not a whole food, they are high in protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins and other nutrients that are important to a balanced diet. An example of a good bean is black beans, which are used to make many different types of foods, including tacos, enchiladas, burritos, sauces, pinto nachos, spaghetti, and chili. Another very popular food group is grain, which includes oats, barley, wheat, rice, corn, and other grains. Fruits and vegetables are the third main food group, together with nuts and eggs, dairy products and meat.