The human body needs food to survive, but food can also be dangerous to the body if it is not well-planned, contains unwanted additives, preservatives or unhealthy fats. Ingesting too much fat or too many calories can result in obesity, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, and other health problems. Although the body generally requires 20% of daily calories, too much can cause the body’s metabolism to slow down, causing a person to feel sluggish and tired. In addition, a diet that is high in junk foods can also be unhealthy because of the excessive calories it contains.
What we eat also determines the amount of nutrients that our bodies require. Protein is the building block of most protein-rich foods, including eggs, meat, fish, poultry, legumes, nuts, seeds, soybeans, cheese, yogurt, dairy products, soy sauce, and other foods rich in protein. Vegetable and fruit proteins are made up of amino acids that help maintain and repair tissue. Animal proteins are rich in amino acids and are used by the body for protein, energy, and digestive system support.
The fiber content of a food, or more accurately, the total dietary fiber of a food, is the measurement most commonly used to determine its carbohydrate value. Foods that are low in carbohydrates are called “fiber-rich” and foods that are high in carbohydrates are classified as “fiber-free.” Foods with a high fiber content are generally low in fat and calories, while foods that are low in fat and calories are high in carbs. Therefore, the ideal type of food energy is one that is high in carbs (low in fats) while having little or no fat.