Fundamentals of Human Nutrition/You Are What You Eat

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You Are What You Eat

Our bodies contain similar nutrients to the food we eat. Therefore, depending on what kind of food we are consuming and the contents of that food, we are affecting our nutrient levels and over all, our health. On average, the human body is 6% minerals, carbohydrates, and other nutrients, 16% fat, 16% protein, and 62% water. Of course these percentages vary for every individual person depending on diet and lifestyle.

As mentioned above, it is important to eat a wide variety of foods from the five food groups to ensure that you are consuming all the different nutrients that your body needs. Eating one type of food may supply you with excess of a particular nutrient, but your body will be lacking other vital nutrients only obtainable from different foods. The saying, "You are what You Eat," isn't literally true because if you eat a hamburger, that doesn't make you a cow, however, your nutrient levels will equilibrate with that of the hamburger, or cow, that you are eating. Therefore, always make sure that you are putting healthy foods in your body because it doesn't just come in one end and go out the other. The foods you eat alter the nutrients in your body, making it very important to eat foods that will have a positive and beneficial impact on your body and your health. Almost everything is ok, in proportion. If you eat some ice cream or some candy every once in a while, it will not have a significantly detrimental impact on your health. However, if you eat large quantities of high-sugar foods, such as candy, you can continuously tax your system and eventually cause problems that can effect your health forever, such as Type 2 Diabetes. (Whitehead) It is important to make a habit of healthy eating. The more often you eat healthy, the easier it will be and the more you will start to enjoy healthy food over un-healthy food. It can be difficult sometimes to choose an apple over a candy bar and you don't always have to, but in the long run, your body will thank you for eating healthy.

We often don't think about the nutritional content of our food, but do some research and find out what you're really putting in your body when you eat certain foods. Awareness of the contents of our consumption is the first step in moving towards a healthier diet and therefore, a healthier body.

Helpful Sources:

1. Whitehead, Ross D., Daniel Re, Dengke Xiao, Gozde Ozakinci, and David I. Perrett. "You Are What You Eat: Within-Subject Increases in Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Confer Beneficial Skin-Color Changes." PLoS ONE 7.3 (2012): n. pag. Web.

2. Manivannan, R. "You Are What You Eat: Salt Consumption and Hypertension." Public Health 118.1 (2004): 78. Web.