Food is a nutrient-rich substance that sustains human, animal, and plant life. It consists of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins and minerals that are absorbed and used by the body for energy, growth, and development.
The main sources of foods are plants and animals. People eat food because it provides nutrients to support their physical and emotional well-being and prevent disease.
Agricultural technology has improved the yields of many different kinds of crops and meat, and it has made foods like milk and rice more available to people around the world. It also has helped increase the amount of nutritious foods that can be stored at home for later consumption.
Diets differ from one country to the next, and from person to person. Several factors can influence this, including geographic differences and the availability of certain foods.
In developed countries, such as Canada and the United States, many people have access to nutritious foods that they can afford. However, malnutrition is a major problem in developing countries where poverty limits the availability of these foods.
Eating a diet with a wide variety of foods from each of the five major food groups in the recommended amounts helps to ensure that you get all the nutrients your body needs, while avoiding foods that are too high in fats or salt.
This will keep you feeling your best, and will help reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Fruits and vegetables are the most important source of antioxidants, which can protect cells from damage by free radicals. They are also a good source of vitamins and fibre.
Wholegrain cereals and yoghurt are also good sources of vitamins and minerals. They are also low in fat.
Avoid foods that are high in sugar or saturated fat, such as sweets and fried foods. This can contribute to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Try to eat more fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens. These have a lot of fiber, which can help you lose weight.
Aim to eat at least one meal each day that contains a fruit or vegetable. This will help keep you full and stop you from snacking on other foods.
Choose meals that have a good balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats to ensure that you have all the nutrients your body needs. It is also a good idea to vary the types of foods that you eat, so that you don’t become bored with your diet.
Use smaller serving sizes and visual cues to help you portion your meals. Smaller portions make you feel fuller so you eat less.
Keeping your refrigerator stocked with healthy foods that are easy to prepare will help you stay on track with your eating plan. Buy fresh produce when it is in season, and stock up on frozen veg for those days you need a quick dinner.
Cook in bulk to save time and money – if you cook double the amount of meat or fruit, it’s often cheaper to freeze the extra in small meal-size portions. It’s also a good idea to shop at local markets close to closing time to see if they have any bargains on fruit, vegetables or meat.