The food chain refers to the arrangement of living organisms in relation to one another. In a healthy ecosystem, all food is nutritious and is distributed evenly. The human diet is certainly not natural. It is made up of food that comes from a variety of different locations and is processed in many ways before it is eaten. The average human diet typically consists of foods from three food chains: carbohydrates, protein and fat. In this article, I will explain what food chains are, how they are related to nutrition, and how you can best be healthy by eating your food in the right order.
Staple food is any food consumed on a daily basis in order to provide a basic nutritional support for the organism. Staple food is generally of animal, plant or fungal source, and comprises necessary nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or minerals required for normal growth and development. Some examples of staple foods are cereals, rice, breads, pasta, potatoes, corn, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, honey, beans, meat, eggs, poultry, fish and other seafood. Almost all foods mentioned in this list are important for a balanced diet and should be consumed on a regular basis. Although fruits, vegetables, and grains are considered to be healthy and are included in a balanced diet, there are certain food groups that are more beneficial than others. Here are some food groups that should be consumed in greater quantities to attain the recommended daily allowance of these nutritional staples:
Macronutrients are food components that are needed to keep the body going. Generally, carbohydrates are converted into glucose and stored in the muscle and liver cells for energy production and maintenance, while proteins are converted into various building blocks of body tissue and are used for the development of muscles, organs, tissues, bones and teeth. However, the recommended macronutrient intake is determined by body type and needs. Generally, healthy people require more of protein and less of carbohydrates. Those with diabetes, kidney problems, cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis or aging should consume less carbohydrates because the excess can cause weight gain.
Nutrient sources provide additional nutrition and do not contribute to total calories ingested. Common food sources are nuts, seeds, soybeans, green leafy vegetables, fruits and legumes. Although vegetables are considered to be a good choice, they are often overcooked, undercooked or eaten without proper preparation techniques. Fruits and legumes contain the richest sources of nutrients including vitamins A, B, C, D and K. Soybeans are also high in protein, but they are high in fats and sodium. Whole grain foods, such as brown rice, whole-wheat bread and oats, contain good amounts of complex carbohydrates that are easily absorbed into the bloodstream.
The recommended amount of food for nutrition and good health is six servings of fruits and vegetables every day, along with two to three servings of dairy products, protein-rich foods, and nonfat dairy products. Red meat and poultry are excellent sources of protein. Good fats include those found in fish, poultry, nuts, olives and olive oil. To get enough calcium, a minimum of 600 milligrams daily can be intake through food, especially milk.
The balanced diet recommended by the USDA includes most fruits and vegetables and a small amount of grains and dairy products. Meats, poultry and dairy products are eaten in their natural forms. Meat is eaten in moderation, with skin on the chicken being preferred. Alcohol should be avoided, except in beer and red wine, which are derived from plants and contain some healthful minerals.