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Chapter 8

Chapter 8: What is Nutrition?

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Sarah Wakefield

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CHAPTER 8: WHAT IS NUTRITION? 8.1 WHAT DRIVES OUR FOOD CHOICES  During the course of one day, we make over 200 decisions about food from  What to eat  When to eat  How much to eat  How food is prepared  And even what plate to use  A multitude of interrelated factors affect your food choices, beginning with your personal preference 8.1.1 WHAT DRIVES OUR FOOD CHOICES  Research has found that taste is the most important consideration when it comes to making food choices  Most people prefer the taste of salts or sweet foods to some degree, which is influenced by our genetics  Children enjoy extremely sweet flavours  Adults enjoy subtle sweet flavours  Breast-fed babies whose mother ears a variety of foods, are more likely to embrace new foods as adults  Formula-fed babies are more tolerant to bitter or sour tastes by the age of 4-5  When fat is combined with sugar, such as a doughnut, our taste for that food is stronger  Texture also affects our liking of food. One may hate or like the following textures  Flaky  Tough  Crunch  Mealy  Creamy  Lumpy  Slippery (30% of adults dislike this texture) 8.2.1 CULTURE AND ENVIRONMENT  Culture and environment affect the food we enjoy eating and often influences what we put on our plates  Mexico: Corn  India: lentils, rice, legumes, vegetables  Native American: mutton, corn, vegetables, berries  China: rice  Environment also affects the food that we eat. Food that is available and accessible are more likely to be consumed  Individuals near coastal waters are more likely to eat seafood and other aquatic organisms than those in landlocked areas  Other choices influence what and how much we consume such as  Shape and size of plates and glassware  Packaging of food  Types and amounts of food visible  We are more likely to eat more food on larger plates, drink more in larger glasses, drink less in taller glassware  Environmental patterns also influence our eating habits  Lingering over food in dimmed conditions  Eating faster when everyone is finished 8.1.3 SOCIAL REASONS AND TRENDS  Eating is an important way to bond with each other.  An example is thanksgiving, where one is likely to eat more than any other Thursday in the year  Eating with others has shown to increase the size of the meal by 40%  Choosing to eat quickly in the campus cafeteria is not the best choice for healthy food, but it enables you to socialize with classmates  Activities influence the decision of food as well  More pizzas are sold on Super Bowl Sunday than any day of the year  Moviegoers usually buy snacks such as popcorn and candy (more likely when with a group of friends)  Food choices are also affected by popular trends  Home cooks in the 1950’s bought frozen vegetables to provide healthy food faster  Today consumers pay a premium for fresh bagged vegetable that have been prewashed, peeled, sliced or diced  Organic food is also priced at a premium 5.1.4 WEIGHT CONCERNS, BODY IMAGE, AND HEALTH BENEFITS  Individuals may choose certain foods because they are perceived as being healthy, or avoid those associated with weight gain or loss  Your perception of foods can be influenced by your current state of health  If you are overweight, you will be aware of the kilocalorie contents of food and avoid sugar/fat  The more aware you are on the effects of food on health, the more likely you will make an effort to improve you eating habits  Americans are eating less food with trans-fats with the knowledge that they are unhealthy  Americans have been consuming functional foods to improve their health since the late 1920’s. Functional food includes  Whole foods (oats, bran)  GM foods with higher nutritive contents  Food fortified with phytochemicals (e.g. calcium fortified orange juice) 8.1.5. ADVERTISING  Manufacturers spend $10 billion to $15 billion annually on food advertising  $700 million to market breakfast cereals, candy, and gum  $500 million to market soft drinks  Food companies spend these large sums of money for advertising to target young people  American children view up to 40,000 television commercials annually  40% of ads are related to sugary foods in between cartoons  Commercials of fruits and vegetables are rare, because they can easily be marketed  When milk consumption went down, marketers launched a campaigned called “Got Milk?” which was successful and raised the consumption of milk by 1.5 billion pounds 8.1.6 TIME CONVENIENCE AND COST  When it comes to putting a meal together, time is a premium  In America, working women want to put meals together in less than 15 minutes  To accommodate this demand, more and more supermarkets are offering partially or prepared food  If chicken is on the menu, you could buy it uncooked or at the rotisserie where it is ready to be consumed  For reasons related to convenience, more and more people are eating out than they did a few decades ago  Americans spent 25% eating out a few decades ago  This has risen to 45% today  Fast food is cheap, but is taking a toll on the health of Americans. Risks include obesity, heart disease, etc..  Cheaper food doesn’t always mean fast food – when healthy food is priced right people buy them 8.1.7. HABITS AND EMOTIONS  Daily routines and habits affect both when you eat and what you eat  It could be bowl of cereal with a glass of OJ for breakfast  Eggs and sausage with coffee for breakfast  Snacking in front of the television  Emotions also play a role in what you eat  Being happy, sad, stressed, or depressed can trigger eating or supress them 8.2. WHAT IS NUTRITION?  The science of nutrition is the study of food and the nutrients required to sustain life  It explores how food nourishes the body and affects health  The study of relationship between food and health began as early as 1600’s  Scurvy which was disease usually associated with sailors was found to be caused due to vitamin C deficiency  By 1900’s the concept of essential nutrients was widely accepted  Nutrition Epidemiology (study of nutrition and health) was developed by the end of the 20 century  The science of nutrition has explored how food is digested, absorbed, transported, metabolized, and used/stored in the body  Nutritional scientists study how much we need of each nutrient, the factors that influence our need, and what happens when we don’t have enough  A chronic deficiency or excess can impact the body’s ability to function  Good nutrition reduces the risk of four of the top 10 leading causes of death in the USA  Heart disease  Cancer  Stroke  Diabetes 8.3. WHAT ARE NUTRIENTS?  The body is one large organism that is made up of millions of cells that grow, age, and reproduce  As cells die, nutrients from food provide  The building blocks to replace them  Provide energy needed by all bodily functions and processes from heart beat to playing sports  There are six categories of nutrients found in foods and the body  Carbohydrates  Lipids(fats)  Protein  Vitamins  Minerals  Water  Foods also contain phytochemical (non-nutrient compounds)  Non digestible fibre  Chemicals used to enhance colour, flavour, or extend shelf life 8.3.1 MOST NUTRIENTS ARE ORGANIC  Proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and vitamins are the most complex of the six classes of nutrients o These nutrients are organic because of their chemical structure which contains carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.  Minerals are the least complex of the nutrients and are considered inorganic because their chemical structure does not include carbon – water is also considered inorganic 8.3.2 MOST NUTRIENTS ARE ESSENTIAL  Nutrients are essential and must come from foods, because they cannot be made by the body with the exception of Vitamin D which is a nonessential nutrient which is synthesized on the skin with direct sunlight.  If vitamin D is not synthesized in the required amounts, they must be compensated with food consumption 8.3.3 SOME NUTRIENTS PROVIDE ENERGY  All creatures need energy to function and humans are no exception  Energy is defined as the capacity to do work, and provides a source of heat  The body derives energy from certain nutrients in food which store energy in their chemical bonds  During digestion, metabolism breaks the bond and energy is released  Carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins are defined as energy yielding nutrients  See measurement of energy section pg. 203-205 8.4. WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY ROLES OF INDIVIDUAL NUTRIENTS  Individual nutrients  Supply energy  Regulate metabolism  Provide structure  Some nutrients which include carbohydrate, lipids, proteins, and water are called macronutrients (macro = large). They are required in large amounts to support normal functioning  Vitamins and minerals are considered micronutrients (micro = small) because they are required in smaller amounts 8.4.1 CARBOHYDRATES ARE THE PRIMARY ENERGY SOURCE  Carbohydrates are the main source of energy and are composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen  They provide simple sugar, glucose, which is the primary source of energy for several body cells  Carbohydrates are found in most food  Rich sources  Breads  Cereals  Legumes  Nuts  Fruits  Vegetables  Dairy products  Poor sources  Eggs  Meat  Poultry  Fish 8.4.2 LIPIDS ALSO POVIDE ENERGY  Lipids are a diverse group of organic compounds including fats  They contain the same chemicals as carbohydrates  Lipids are more concentrated and contain less oxygen and water  Lipids in the form of triglycerides are an important source of energy for rest
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