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Nutrition (also called nourishment or aliment) is the provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary (in the form of food) to support life. Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a healthy diet. The diet of an organism is what it eats, which is largely determined by the perceived palatability of foods. Dietitians are health professionals who specialize in human nutrition, meal planning, economics, and preparation. They are trained to provide safe, evidence-based dietary advice and management to individuals (in health and disease), as well as to institutions. linical nutritionists are health professionals who focus more specifically on the role of nutrition in chronic disease, including possible prevention or remediation by addressing nutritional deficiencies before resorting to drugs. !hile government regulation of the use of this professional title is less universal than for "dietician", the field is supported by many high-level academic programs, up to and including the Doctoral level, and has its own voluntary certification board, professional associations, and peer-reviewed #ournals, e.g. the $merican %ociety for &utrition, &utrition %ociety of 'ndia, (ood %cientists and &utritionists $ssociation 'ndia, 'ndian Dietetic

$ssociation and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

$ balanced diet is one that helps maintain or improve general health. $ healthy diet provides the body with essential nutrition) ade*uate fluid, ade*uate essential amino acids from protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and ade*uate calories. The re*uirements for a healthy diet can be met from a variety of plant-based and animal-based foods. $ healthy diet supports energy needs and provides for human nutrition without e+posure to to+icity or e+cessive weight gain from consuming e+cessive amounts.


arbohydrates may be classified as monosaccharides, disaccharides, or polysaccharides depending on the number of monomer (sugar) units they contain. They constitute a large part of foods such as rice, noodles, bread, and other grain-based products. Monosaccharides contain one sugar unit, disaccharides two, and polysaccharides three or more. ,olysaccharides are often referred to as comple+ carbohydrates because they are typically long multiple branched chains of sugar units. The difference is that comple+ carbohydrates ta-e longer

to digest and absorb since their sugar units must be separated from the chain before absorption. The spi-e in blood glucose levels after ingestion of simple sugars is thought to be related to some of the heart and vascular diseases which have become more fre*uent in recent times. %imple sugars form a greater part of modern diets than formerly, perhaps leading to more cardiovascular disease. The degree of causation is still not clear, however.


$ molecule of dietary fat typically consists of several fatty acids (containing long chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms), bonded to a glycerol. They are typically found as triglycerides (three fatty acids attached to one glycerol bac-bone). (ats may be classified as saturated or unsaturated depending on the detailed structure of the fatty acids involved. %aturated fats have all of the carbon atoms in their fatty acid chains bonded to hydrogen atoms, whereas unsaturated fats have some of these carbon atoms double-bonded, so their molecules have relatively fewer hydrogen atoms than a saturated fatty acid of the same length.


Dietary fiber is a carbohydrate (or a polysaccharide) that is incompletely absorbed in humans and in some animals. .i-e all carbohydrates, when it is metabolized it can produce four calories (-ilocalories) of energy per gram. /ut in most circumstances it accounts for less than that because of its limited absorption and digestibility. %oluble dietary fiber comprises a variety of oligosaccharides, wa+es, esters, resistant starches and other

carbohydrates that dissolve or gelatinize in water. Many of these soluble fibers can be fermented or partially fermented by microbes in the human digestive system to produce short-chain fatty acids which are absorbed and therefore introduce some caloric content.


,roteins are the basis of many animal body structures (e.g. muscles, s-in, and hair). They also form the enzymes which catalyze chemical reactions throughout the body. 0ach molecule is composed of amino acids which are characterized by containing nitrogen and sometimes sulphur (these components are responsible for the distinctive smell of burning protein, such as the -eratin in hair). The body re*uires amino acids to produce new proteins (protein retention) and to replace damaged proteins (maintenance). $mino acids

are soluble in the digestive #uices within the small intestine, where they are absorbed into the blood. 1nce absorbed they cannot be stored in the body, so they are either metabolized as re*uired or e+creted in the urine.


Dietary minerals are the chemical elements re*uired by living organisms, other than the four elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and o+ygen that are present in nearly all organic molecules. The term "mineral" is archaic, since the intent is to describe simply the less common elements in the diet. %ome are heavier than the four #ust

mentioned 2 including several metals, which often occur as ions in the body. %ome dietitians recommend that these be supplied from foods in which they occur naturally, or at least as comple+ compounds, or sometimes even from natural inorganic sources (such as calcium carbonate from ground oyster shells). %ome are absorbed much more readily in the ionic forms found in such sources. 1n the other hand, minerals are often artificially added to the diet as supplements3 the most famous is li-ely iodine in iodized salt which prevents goiter. $ low sodium diet is beneficial for people with high blood pressure. $ ochrane review published in 4556 concluded that a long term (more than 7 wee-s) low sodium diet in aucasians has a useful effect to reduce blood pressure, both in people with hypertension and in people with normal blood pressure. The D$%8 diet (Dietary $pproaches to %top 8ypertension) is a diet promoted by the &ational 8eart, .ung, and /lood 'nstitute (part of the &'8, a 9nited %tates government organization) to control hypertension. $ ma#or feature of the plan is limiting inta-e of sodium, and it also generally encourages the consumption of nuts, whole grains, fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables while

lowering the consumption of red meats, sweets, and sugar. 't is also "rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium, as well as protein".


:itamins help with chemical reactions in the body. 'n general, vitamins must come from the diet3 the body doesn;t ma-e them. There are <= vitamins essential to the body. They are divided into two categories) water-soluble (vitamin and all the / vitamins) and fat-soluble (vitamins $, D, 0, and >). The fat-soluble vitamins are more easily stored by the body. Thus, you do not need large

amounts of these vitamins since e+cess amounts can be to+ic and cause a variety of problems. /ecause the water-soluble vitamins aren;t stored for long in the body, we must consume them daily. $nd, although ta-ing large doses of these vitamins isn;t necessarily dangerous, it may be wasteful as the body eliminates the e+cess water-soluble vitamins in the urine.


'n order to grow strong and healthy, children need to have a balanced diet. The clue to having a balanced diet is to include a variety of healthy foods so that children get all the minerals, vitamins and other nutrients that their bodies need for growth, to build healthy bones and maintain strong muscles and a healthy weight. The balanced diet for children must consist of a variety of vegetables and fruits, grains, dairy products and lean protein.


During the first few years of their life, children e+perience rapid growth and, therefore, need to have a variety of foods. The body weight of a baby increases almost three times during the first year of its life. The baby relies entirely on its mother;s breast mil- or a baby formula to provide the calories and

nutrition that it needs to go through this rapid growth stage. $ child continues to grow through its early childhood, though not as rapidly as in the first year, but need protein, calories, iron, vitamin $, calcium, vitamin , vitamin D and other nutrients in order to support their growth.

Brain Development

During early childhood, the brain develops rapidly and nutrition is very important for it to develop in a healthy manner. The amino acids as well as fatty acids present in breast mil- are essential for optimal development of brain during infancy. The development of the brain continues through early childhood and children need to have a balanced diet so as to assimilate the vitamins and other nutrients re*uired for the brain. $ child that does not eat a balanced diet during the early childhood is at a higher ris- of developing not only mental retardation, but also behavioral problems.

Bone Development

alcium is a very important mineral that children need in order to develop stronger bones and teeth. hildren get calcium re*uired for development through their diet. $dditionally, they also re*uire phosphorous and vitamin D for bone development. 't is, therefore, important that they have two to three servings of dairy products, including low-fat mil-, natural cheese and low-fat yogurt during childhood in order to avoid the possibility of developing osteoporosis later on in life.

Muscle Growth

$s a child grows bigger and stronger, the muscle mass of the child also increases and it is important to have a balanced diet to support this growth. The mineral iron, in particular, is very essential for the development of muscles. %ome of the iron-rich foods that they need to have during childhood include lean meats, beans, fish, nuts, green vegetables and grains fortified with iron.

Eating Habits

$ balanced diet does not only support a child;s physical development in early childhood, but also caters to their psychological development which can include the eating patterns that they will follow in future. ?oung children must, therefore, get accustomed to eating a variety of healthy foods in a rela+ed as well as pleasant environment. ,arents who are -een on e+posing their children to a wide variety of foods and acting as role models to them will support development of right attitudes and healthy eating patterns in them.