Food is any substance that organisms eat to get essential nutrients and energy for growth, health, and survival. It is typically of plant, animal, or fungal origin. It includes carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals that can be ingested and assimilated into the cells of an organism to provide energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.
Food science is the scientific study of how food is made, processed, packaged and /or stored. It involves the application of chemistry, microbiology, biology and other scientific disciplines to the development of new food products, processing methods and food safety.
It is a vital and increasingly important aspect of modern society. The global demand for food and drink has increased significantly over the past decades. This has led to an increased demand for food processing, packaging and /or storage systems that are more convenient, more hygienic and better nutritionally.
Eating a healthy diet is the key to maintaining good health. It helps to prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. It also increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life.
Your daily intake of food should be a balance of the five major food groups, in the recommended amounts. This will give you the nutrients you need to grow, stay healthy and live long and happy lives.
The 5 food groups are: fruit and vegetables; dairy products; grains; meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and legumes (beans and peas). All foods can be consumed as part of a healthy eating plan, but they must be eaten in the recommended amounts to ensure you get all of the nutrients you need.
Protein is the most abundant nutrient in the human diet and it can be obtained from meat, fish, eggs and nuts. Try to include a variety of protein sources in your diet, and fill at least a quarter of your plate with them each week.
Legumes and oilseeds are also good sources of protein, along with some micronutrients and dietary fibre. Add more wholegrains and legumes to your meals and choose low-fat options.
You should also eat plenty of fresh, unprocessed vegetables and fruit as these are good sources of fiber, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. These foods can also help lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of developing some types of cancer.
Limit your intake of high-fat foods such as fatty meats, cheese and processed foods that contain trans fats. Replace these with healthier alternatives, such as grilled salmon instead of fried chicken, and you’ll see an improvement in your health.
It’s also important to avoid foods that are highly processed, such as sweets, cakes, biscuits and soft drinks, which tend to be high in saturated fat, salt and sugar. These are usually referred to as ‘discretionary choices’ and should be eaten sparingly and not often.
It’s important to watch out for the label on your food – it will tell you what’s in it. The most important thing to remember is to only eat foods that are as close as possible to their natural state, with the addition of minimally processed ingredients. This can include wholegrains and other naturally occurring foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans and lentils.