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Matthew BrandCoach Shed Health C341/24/18Nutrition PaperBy definition, nutrition is the process or act of consuming the food necessary for proper health, growth, and development of the body.  A person can have either good or bad nutrition depending on the type of food they consume. There are many different types of foods that affect the body in a variety of different ways, in both negative and positive manners. An unhealthy amount of certain foods can affect the body negatively and cause a numerous amount of diseases or conditions, as well as obesity. There are also many different types of food that affect the body positively and cause a person to be strong, healthy, properly nourished, and in good overall condition. These healthy foods decrease a person’s ability to acquire certain diseases. Proper nutrition can be achieved by eliminating certain unhealthy foods from a diet, and by living a healthy lifestyle.             A very important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and making sure your body is in a healthy state is consuming carbohydrates fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. All of these things are received through the foods we eat. It is important to consume the right foods, and the right amount of those foods in order to maintain a healthy state in the body. Vitamins are nutrients that are made by living things and are required only in small amounts but play an important role in assisting in many chemical reactions that take place in the body.  There are two classes of vitamins: fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins dissolve in fatty material and are vitamins A, D, E, K. This category of vitamins can be stored by the body. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and are the vitamins, B and C. These vitamins cannot be stored by the body. If the body lacks certain vitamins like vitamin C, diseases like Scurvy can develop. Minerals are nutrients that only occur naturally in rocks and soil. The body only needs a small amount of these minerals but they play a vital role in the body. The body needs seven minerals: calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, chlorine, and sulfur. Calcium is important in blood clotting and the functioning of the nervous system. It is an essential ingredient in the formation of bones and teeth. A lack of calcium can sometimes lead to osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones gradually weaken. Potassium and Sodium work together to maintain water balance in the body. Iron is necessary for healthy red blood cells. If a person is not receiving enough iron, they may develop anemia, a condition in which red blood cells do not contain enough hemoglobin. Sodium is important in several body processes, including the functioning of the heart and water balance. However, too much sodium can cause a problem with blood pressure. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins all provide energy for the body and have very significant roles. Carbohydrates provide energy for the body and are received through food. Carbohydrates affect the body positively when consumed in the right amounts, but when too many carbohydrates are consumed, they are stored in the body as fat. Healthy sources of carbohydrates are found in foods that contain complex carbs like whole grain bread or brown rice. Unhealthy sources of carbs are foods that contain simple carbs, or sugars. It is important to consume foods full of complex carbs, rather than simple carbs. Fats are important to the functioning of the body because they supply the body with energy, form cells, maintain body temperature, and protect nerves. Like carbs, fats can be good for the body when consumed in the right form and in the right amount. It is better to consume unsaturated fats, rather than saturated fats. Unsaturated Fats have at least one unsaturated bond in a place where hydrogen can be added to the molecule. Saturated Fats are fats that have all the hydrogen the carbon atoms can possibly hold. A diet that contains too much saturated fat can lead to heart disease and high cholesterol levels among other negative effects. Other unhealthy fats are trans fats. Trans fats have many of the negative effects that saturated fats have. Proteins play significant roles in the functioning of the body as well.  The most important function of proteins is their role in the growth and repair of bodily tissue. Proteins can be found in healthy and unhealthy foods. Foods like red meat are a great source of protein, but should only be eaten in moderation because of their possible negative effects. Red meat is high in saturated fat, which raises cholesterol levels. Red meat has also been known to contain carcinogens even though the meat industry claims that that is false. Healthy sources of protein that affect the body positively when consumed in the right amounts are eggs, Greek yogurt, quinoa, lentils, and almonds.             The consumption of certain unhealthy foods or “junk food’ can affect the body, from head to toe, negatively in a variety of ways. Some of these negative effects include increased obesity risk, malnutrition, increased cancer risk, heightened risk of heart disease, constipation, skin deterioration, teeth decay, high blood sugar, weak bones, and many other negative effects. Unhealthy food like the food found at fast food places like McDonald’s and Burger King are filled with empty calories. These empty calories are providing no positive effects on the body and just lead to increased belly fat. Diets filled with high-calorie intake, that are low in nutrients, and contain many different chemicals and preservatives often put people at a higher risk for cancer and cardiovascular problems and diseases. The only way to prevent these issues is to exercise regularly and consume healthy food, and the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

            The consumption of healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, etc. provide the body with necessary nutrients and produce positive bodily effects. These positive effects include a healthy heart, bones, teeth, brain, healthy weight, more energy, less stress, and higher life expectancy. A diet that is low in sodium, fats, and cholesterol is best for the heart. It keeps the heart healthy. Saturated and trans fats, mostly found in fried foods, red meat, margarine, etc., increase the risk of heart problems. Diets that are composed of whole grains, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products, as well as food low in calories and cholesterol are good for the heart too. Diets rich in calcium keep teeth strong and prevent bone loss. Foods that are rich in calcium are low-fat dairy products, and fortified foods are good sources of calcium. A healthy diet improves blood flow to the brain and increases overall energy levels. Eating vegetables and fruits instead of chips and cookies help keep weight in control and decrease the risk of obesity. Overall, healthy eating keeps the organs and all of the systems located in the body functioning properly. Healthy eating improves the immune system which helps fight off and prevent diseases. Having a healthy heart, mind, and body all contribute to a healthy, happy, and long life.

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