Food, HEALTH/FOOD

You Are What You Eat

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.

— Virginia Woolf

One does not get to live to a hundred or more without paying attention to food.

burgerThe fact is food is a function of what we are or tend to become. It is the nutritious substances that people eat or drink, in order to maintain life and growth.

No single food can supply all nutrients in the amounts that one needs. For example, oranges provide vitamin C but no vitamin B12; cheese provides vitamin B12 but no vitamin C.

So, one should ensure that he or she gets all of the nutrients and other substances needed for good health. It is also important that one chooses the recommended number of daily servings from each of the five major food groups: grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat, and beans.

Benefits of Healthy Eating

  • Proper nutrition promotes the optimal growth and development of children.
  • Healthy eating helps prevent high cholesterol and high blood pressure and helps reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.
  • Healthy eating helps reduce one’s risk for developing obesity, osteoporosis, iron deficiency, and dental caries (cavities).

Consequences of a Poor Diet

  • A poor diet can lead to energy imbalance (e.g., eating more calories than one expends through physical activity) and can increase one’s risk for overweight and obesity.
  • A poor diet can increase the risk for lung, esophageal, stomach, colorectal, and prostate cancers.
  • Individuals who eat fast food one or more times per week are at increased risk for weight gain, overweight, and obesity.
  • Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages can result in weight gain, overweight, and obesity.
  • Hunger and food insecurity (i.e., reduced food intake and disrupted eating patterns because a household lacks money and other resources for food) might increase the risk for lower dietary quality and undernutrition. In turn, undernutrition can negatively affect overall health, cognitive development, and school performance.

Readers Bureau

Edited by Jesus Chan

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