Importance of Food Components:-
The purpose of food is to provide growth, energy, heat, and decorative materials to fix the wastes that are constantly accumulating in the body. Every breath, every thought, and every movement erases some part of the fragile and wonderful house we live in.
Various vital processes remove these worn-out and useless particles, and to keep the body healthy, their loss must be made up for by constant renewal of properly adapted elements to replenish worn-out and worn tissues. These reforming elements must be supplied by food and drink, and the best food is that from which the desired effect is most easily and completely achieved.
Owing to the diversity of character of the different tissues of the body, the diet must contain a variety of ingredients, so that each part may be properly nourished and replenished.
The various constituents found in food are starch, sugar, fat, albumen, minerals, and indigestible substances.
Digestible food ingredients are often divided into three categories according to their chemical composition; Vis., carbonaceous, nitrogenous and inorganic. The carbohydrate category includes starches, sugars, and fats; nitrogenous, all albuminous substances; and inorganic minerals.
Starch is found only in plant foods; All grains, most vegetables, and some fruits contain large amounts of starch. Various types of sugar are made in nature’s laboratories; Sugarcane, grapes, fruit, and milk sugar.
The first is derived from sugar cane, maple tree sap, and sugar beet. Dextrose and fructose are found in most fruits and honey. Milk sugar is one of the components of milk. Glucose, an artificial sugar similar to grape sugar, is now made by chemical processes mainly from corn or potato starch; But it lacks the sweetness of natural sugars and is not a good substitute for them in any way.
The albumen is found in its purest, undenatured state in the egg white, which consists almost entirely of the albumen. It is present, along with other food ingredients, in many other foods, both animal and vegetable. It is found in abundance in oatmeal and to a lesser extent in juices of other cereals and vegetables.
All natural foods contain substances that are in many respects similar to albumen and are so closely related to it that for the sake of convenience, they are usually grouped under the common name of “albumen”. Chief among these is gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, and barley. Casein found in peas, beans, and milk, and meat fibrin is a component of this class.
Fats are found in both animal and plant foods. Animal fats, butter, and suet are common examples. Nuts, peas, beans, various grains, and some fruits such as olives contain high amounts of fat, as do vegetables. Endowed by nature in nuts, beans, grains, fruits, and milk, this material is always found in a state of fine subdivision, the state most suitable for its digestion.
As most commonly used, as free fat, such as butter, lard, etc., it is not only difficult to digest by itself but often interferes with the digestion of other food ingredients mixed with it. There was no doubt that fats should be so altered from their natural state and separated from other food materials so as to be used as a separate ingredient of food.
The same may be said of the other carbonaceous substances, sugar, and starch, none of which, when used alone, is capable of sustaining life, although when combined with other foods in a proper and natural way goes, they play the most important role. body nutrition
Most foods contain a percentage of minerals. Cereals and milk provide these elements in abundance. Cellulose, or woody tissue, vegetables, and wheat bran are examples of indigestible materials that, although they cannot be converted into the blood in the tissues, serve an important purpose by supplying copious amounts of food.
With the exception of gluten, no food ingredient, when used alone, is capable of supporting life. A true food substance contains some component of all food ingredients, the amount of each varying from food to food.
As for the purposes of these various elements, it has been proved by the experiments of eminent physiologists that carbonaceous matter, which generally forms the bulk of the diet, serves three purposes in the body;
- They furnish the material for the production of heat;
- They are a source of energy when taken in combination with other food ingredients;
- They fill the fat tissues of the body. Of the carbonaceous substances, starches, sugars, and fats produce the greatest amount of heat in proportion to volume; That is, more heat is generated from one pound of fat than from an equivalent weight of sugar or starch; But this apparent advantage is more than counterbalanced by the fact that fat is much more difficult to digest than other carbonaceous substances, and if bodily heat is to be relied upon to supply sufficient material, it may produce excess tax and disease. would be very harmful. digestive organs
The fact that nature provided much more starch and sugar than fat in man’s natural diet indicates that they were intended to be the main source of carbonized food; Nevertheless, fats, when consumed in the proportion that nature provides them, are essential and important dietary components.
Nitrogenous nutrients especially nourish the brain, nerves, muscles, and more important and active tissues of the body and also act as a stimulus for tissue turnover. Therefore it can be said that a diet lacking in these elements is a particularly bad diet.
Inorganic elements, chief among which are phosphates, carbonates of potash, soda, and lime, help provide essential building blocks for bones and nerves.
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A perfect combination of food:-
While it is important that our diet should include some elements from all the different food elements, experiments on both animals and humans show that these elements, especially nitrogenous and carbonaceous, are used in certain definite proportions. Must go, as the system is only able to allocate one. fixed amount of each; And all excess, especially of nitrogenous elements, is not only useless but also harmful since the release of excess from the system imposes additional work on the digestive and excretory organs.
The relative proportions of these elements necessary to form a diet that fully meets the requirements of the system are six carbonaceous to one nitrogenous. Scientists have made many careful studies and experiments to determine the amount of each food element required for the daily nutrition of man under various conditions of life, and it is generally accepted that the nitrogen content should account for one-sixth of the intake. , about three ounces being all that can be used in twenty-four hours. A healthy adult of average weight, doing a moderate amount of work.
Although many items of food are deficient in one or the other of these elements, and in order to employ a diet that is deficient in any one of the nutrients, the other items must be Needs to be supplemented, although in abundance it can handle all the digestive organs. , this is actually starvation, and over time it can have serious consequences.
Thus it is clear that great care should be taken in the selection and composition of foods. Such knowledge is of first importance in the education of cooks and housewives, since upon them lies the responsibility of selecting food for the daily needs of the family; And they must understand not only which foods are best suited to meet these needs but also how to combine them according to physiological laws.
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