“HEALTHY EATING HABIT” Paper presented AtMEDICAL SEMINAR ORGANISED BY The Medical Services Of International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture ON 30TH APRIL 2008. BY DIETITIAN TUNDE AJOBO (RD) MNDA
INTRODUCTION Our bodies are made of Skin, Muscle, Bone and Organs, the Organs are made of tissue, and those tissues are made of cells. In essence each are made up of millions of cells! These cells all die and have to be replaced. How do we replace them? How do we build new cells?
The raw materials come from onlyone place- what we put in ourmouth.If we put healthy food in ourmouth, we make healthy cells butif we put unhealthy food in ourmouth, then we have rawmaterials that are unhealthy andproduce inferior, sick cells thatcan make us sick!
Among all human activities eating undoubtedly has the greatest effect on Health! After breathing eating is what we do most frequently during a lifetime.
What is food?Food — Anything that; whentaken into the body, servesto nourish, build, and repairtissues, supply energy, orregulate body processes.
To be built up and to performits functions, the human bodymust be supplied with foodswhich contains ―Nutrients‖ andenergy to assemble thesecomponents and ensure theproper functioning of theorgans.
The work resulting from the utilizationof foods by the body is used mainly for: Maintenance of the vitalfunctionsThis is the energy necessity for life, i.e.The energy used for beating the heartBlood circulationRespirationDigestionMaintenance of the body temperatureat 370C
Physical activitiesIt is clear that energy requirementdepend on the type of activity andtherefore vary widely; from 75 to300 calories (and more) per hour.Consequently a person caloricrequirement will clearly dependon his occupation.A docker will need more energythan a watch- maker.
GrowthOur body obtains the substancesessentials for its own constructionfrom food.Food also forms the basic materialfor tissue maintenance and repair.Indeed most of the body’s cells havea much shorter span of life than thebody itself.The cells age, die and are thenreplaced by other cells that the bodyhas built from the food.
This is also true for the healing of wounds, for example. Protection It is not sufficient to supply the body with the means for growth and action. It should also be protected against diseases, infections, and environment stress such as noise, over work e.t.c. Food also supplies the body with the substances it requires, for its own protection.
Foods consist of different components of variable nutritional value called nutrients:These are: Carbohydrates - e.g. Yam Cassava, Plantain, Cocoyam, Potato, Rice, Corn etc Proteins — e.g. Meat, Milk, Egg, Fish, Fats/Oil — Butter, Margarine, Palm oil, Soy oil, Cotton Oil, Minerals Salt -e.g. Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Iodine, Na+ Vitamins, e.g. Vitamin C and B Complex, Vitamin A, D, E, K. Water
They are classified according to their basic functions, as. Energy Factors Carbohydrates: 1gm of carbohydrates - 4 calories Fats: 1 gm of Fat - 9 calories Protein May also 1gm of protein - 4 calories Alcohol 1gm – 7 calories Building factors: These are mainly proteins, factors for building tissues and organs, and mineral salts, which play a part in building bones and teeth. However, water, fats and carbohydrates are also components of all the body’s cells.
Protective factors:Vitamins and mineral salts. Someproteins and fat also helps.It is important that healthypatterns be established early toprevent the development ofconditions such as obesity andhypertension that may increasedisease risk in later year.
Eating adequate amounts ofessential nutrients coupledwith energy intake in balancewith energy expenditure, isessential to maintain healthand to prevent diseases.Individual foods as well asfoods within the same foodgroup vary in their nutrientcontent.
No one food contains all the knownessential nutrients.Eating foods from each of the differentfood groups helps ensure that allnutrients needs are met.Portion number and size should bemonitored to ensure adequate nutrientintake without exceeding energyneeds.Healthy individuals obtain an adequatenutrient intake from foods .
Vitamin and minerals supplementsare not a substitute for a balancedand nutritious diet, there is needto emphasize the intake of fruits,vegetables, and grains.Excessive food intake, especiallyof foods high in saturated fat,sugar, and salt, should beavoided.Eat according to guide line in foodpyramid.
Consume a variety of grain products,including whole grains.Grain products provide complexcarbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, andfibre.Foods high in starches(Polysaccharides: e.. Bread, cereals,potatoes) are recommended oversugar (monosaccharides anddissacharides).Foods that are sources of whole grainsas well as nutrient — fortified andenriched starches (such as cereals)should be major sources of calories inthe diet.
Consume a variety of fruits andvegetables.Habitually consuming a variety of fruitsand vegetables (especially those thatare dark green, deep orange or yellow)helps ensure adequate intakes ofmicronutrients normally present in thisfood group.Fruit and Vegetables also have a highwater content and hence a low energydensity.
Dietary patterns characterizedby a high intake of fruits andvegetables are associated witha lower risk of developingheart disease, stroke andhypertension.Fruits and vegetable should betaken daily, both as meals andsnacks.
To ensure an adequate fiber intake, eatwhole fruit and vegetable ratherthan juice.Food sources: Oranges, Apple, Grape,Watermelon, Pineapple etc.Proteins are needed in the body on dailybasis because the body cannot store it.Proteins are widely distributed in nature:The main sources of dietary proteins areAnimal proteins: Meat, fish, eggs, milk,cheese etc.
Vegetable proteins:cereals (Bread) pulses (Lentils, chick-peas, beans) vegetables usually have alow protein content (1 to 2%) proteinsform the basic structure of each of thebody’s cells.Therefore they are essential for lifeand with greater reason for growth.Children, pregnant and lactatingwomen need additional protein forsynthesis of new tissues.
Animal protein foods are completebecause they contain balancedproportions of all the essential aminoacids while protein from plant foodsare incomplete, lacking one or moreessential amino acids.Fat and Oil:Fat supply the body with energy,provide the building blocks for cellmembrane and help key systems in thebody function properly. It helps in theabsorption of fat soluble vitaminA,D,E,K. Not all fat are bad.
Polyunsaturated andMonounsaturated fats(helpful to heart) e.g. fish oil, nuts, andvegetable oils (Soy oil) etc.Saturated fat and trans fats(increases blood cholesterol) e.g. Fattymeat, butter, whole milk, coconut, Palmkernel oil. Trans . fats are found naturally insome foods, the major source in the diet ispartially hydrogenated oil.Examples of foods that may contain transfats are: cookies, crackers, muffins, potatochips, and stick margarine.
Water:Water is essential for life.The body can go without food forseveral days but it cannot dowithout water. It is the mostimportant component of thehuman body. It represents, on average 66% ofbodyweight in adult and almost75% in new-born.
Body water is divided into two compartments: Intracellular, approximately 50% of bodyweight and 2/3 of total body water. Extracellular. Water has various functions: It helps build and renew tissues It acts as a solvent and carrier of nutrients in solution and waste products. It is required for numerous reactions. Mineral salt.
Mineral SaltThe body contains approximately 4%minerals, which, in common with allother components, must be suppliedby the diet.Minerals do not provide energy inthemselves but, because they formpart of the tissues and skeleton, theyare essential for growth.
For example Calcium,Phosphorus, Potassium, Sulphur,Sodium, Chlorine and Magnesium:Sodium and potassium govern thewater balance inside and outsidethe cells.Potassium is mainly found insidethe cells, sodium outside. Iron isessential for the formation of thered corpuscles.
To nourish yourself optimally, youneed to eat foods that provideadequate amounts of essentialnutrients and energy.Research confirms that dietaryexcesses, especially of energy, fatand alcohol, contribute to manydiseases, including heart disease,cancer, diabetes and liverdisease.
“May your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food”Hippocrates, Greek Physician 5th Century b.C.