Knowledge Update

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Food is any nutritious substance that an organism eats or drink or that plants absorb to maintain life and growth. Most food items originate from plants, animals, or fungi, and are essential to the human diet as they provide essential proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and minerals. The substance is taken in by the organism and incorporated into the organism's cells to provide energy, keep it alive, or act as a catalyst for growth. Different animals have different feeding behaviour and metabolism due to specific food demand and habitat [1].

This provision from the Michigan Good Food Charter which is devoted to safe, environmentally friendly food, describe good food as food that is healthy, green, rational, and inexpensive. According to the Charter meat, dairy, and grain products generally get less attention than fruits and vegetables, but they can also be considered healthy sources of calories. Tastiness and aesthetic beauty are closely related: In other words, nutrient-dense food often has these positive characteristics [2]. Whereas comfort food is food that has a nostalgic or emotional significance for anyone and is distinguished by its high-calorie content, high carbohydrate content, or easy preparation.

Humans have been gathering and consuming wild grains since at least 105,000 years ago [1]. Domestication, on the other side, didn't happen for a long time. Recent evidence suggests that around 20,000 B.C. rudimentary agriculture started in and around the region of the golden crescent. From hunter-gatherer to processed food business, humans have covered a long journey. In the last century, we saw food and drinks become a lucrative business with many multinational companies playing a major part. With the advent of processed food or junk food, many believed that they are healthy, safe, and free of any side effects. Gradually, the process food industry flourished globally making huge profits. The main mantra of success was centred around the two most addictive substances on this earth i.e., sugar and processed fat. These so-called junk foods were built to strike us right in the taste buds while still fulfilling our innate appetite for sugar. Peer pressure and advertisement, not a physiological necessity, are behind the burgeoning, and in some instances chronic, intake of fast food [3].

Regularly consuming heavily refined meats, unhealthy fats, and sugary beverages have been attributed to a variety of harmful health consequence and the main causes of the worldwide obesity crisis. It's also related to heart failure, type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and certain cancers [4]. Coca-Cola, the century-old classic company synonymous with happiness and prosperity, is struggling with an ethical and financial quandary as it seeks to align the business interests with those of the community. The soft drink industry in general, and Coke in particular, has been chastised for its role in the global obesity crisis [5]. Because of Coca-Cola obesity rates for children in the USA had tripled since the 1970s, an increase that puts children at great risk for the above- mentioned lifestyle diseases.

Balanced Diet

A well-balanced diet supplies the body with all necessary nutrients for survival. This diet plan is structured to boost your general wellbeing and shield you from illness. Obesity and chronic disease incidence may be reduced by leading a healthier lifestyle that includes a well-balanced diet and daily exercise.

A Balanced Diet Recipe 

One should have these nutritious ingredients in the diet regularly [6]:

  • Fresh green vegetables– such as cabbage and carrots – contain dietary fibre 
  • Legumes– which are high in vegetable protein
  • Nuts (walnuts and almonds)– have polyunsaturated fatty acids omega-6 and omega-3, as well as trace elements which gives an encouraging impact on the entire body 
  • Dairy goods- raw yoghurts (without artificial sugar), kefir, and low-fat cottage cheese all produce calcium and aid digestion 
  • Fish– they have high protein content and important omega-3 fatty acids
  • Lean meat- like chicken breast, lean cuts of beef are a perfect source of protein that can help strengthen your skin and defend your body from infection and disease
  • Preservatives- Preservatives, artificial colours, and palm oil can both be avoided in organic foods
  • Sugar– As much as possible extra sugar must be avoided, also remove artificial sugar from your diet

Things To Drink: Natural freshly squeezed juices, pure water, green tea, smoothies.

Food photo1

Foods To Avoid: Sweet Carbonated beverages, deep-fried foods, hot dogs, burger, lasagna, mayonnaise, and other similar sauces. Sausages and meat products in the semi-finished state, flour and sugar juices that have been packaged.

Food photo2

There is an old English proverb that the basis of all happiness is health. Intake of good food plays a pivotal role in maintaining good health. It is therefore important to remember that one must eat to live, not live to eat. It takes few minutes to consume 100 calories, but it may take several hours to burn them off. Logical food choice and a properly balanced diet may help us to avoid many chronic diseases and keep us fit and healthy. 

References:

  1. Food. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food
  2. Center for Regional Food Systems Michigan Good Food Charter. https://tinyurl.com/1lhlwtga
  3. Alicia Ault. Why Do We Love Junk Food So Much? https://tinyurl.com/hur4elgj
  4. Who is to blame for the health risks of junk food: consumers or food companies? 14 November 2019.  https://tinyurl.com/2hjluj72
  5. Gertner, D., & Rifkin, L. (2018). Coca‐Cola and the Fight against the Global Obesity Epidemic. Thunderbird Intl Business Rev. 60 (2): 161-173.
  6. Johnson O. The fundamentals of a balanced diet: foods, benefits, weight loss.     https://tinyurl.com/26cn2nwg

 

Dr. Sanjoy Kumar Pal is a Professor of Biology in Skyline University Nigeria. He has a PhD. in Animal Genetics from Indian Veterinary Research Institute, India.

You can join the conversation on Facebook @SkylineUniversityNG and on Twitter @SkylineUNigeria

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