Why is Nutrition Important

Nutrition is actually the study of food and the role it plays in our bodies. Nutrition is what our food is made of including vitamins, protein, fat and others. We should eat foods that include fruits, vegetables, whole grain, and dairy products and stay away from foods with empty nutrients such as sugary drinks and candy.

Your body needs a balance of nutritious foods that contain carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins. The food pyramid helps us to select foods that are healthy for us.

Knowing what foods to eat and how much food to eat is what can make us healthy and can help us to maintain a proper weight for our height.

Food Pyramid

The food pyramid is a tool that we can use to help us to see the five food groups arranged in a way that shows us how the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) views a healthy diet. The pyramid tells us that it is important to eat a variety of foods and that a balanced diet is important for a healthy body.

Good nutrition means eating more of foods that contain the nutrients that our bodies need to stay healthy and eating less of those foods that contain empty calories such as sugar and fat.

Quantity vs. Quality

It is not just what foods to eat that can make a good nutritious diet but how much food we consume. You can still get fat eating too much of the foods that are healthy for us. Portion sizes are important when it comes to staying healthy.

Foods that are nutritious are frozen or fresh vegetables without added fat such as butter or sauces and fresh or frozen fruits, canned fruits that have been packed in juices, and whole-grain breads, pitas, and tortillas, whole-grain pasta, brown rice and hot or cold unsweetened whole-grain breakfast cereals.

It is important to eat and drink dairy products such as skim and 1% milk, fat-free and low-fat yogurt, part-skim, or reduced-fat, and fat-free cheese, and low-fat and fat-free cottage cheese, beef and port that has been trimmed of fat, and extra-lean ground beef, chicken or turkey with its skin off, tuna canned in water, and fish and shellfish that has been baked, broiled, steamed, or grilled. Also, healthy to eat are beans, split peas, and lentils, tofu, egg whites and egg substitutes, and sparingly amounts of sweets and fats.

We need food for fuel, knowing which foods to choose to eat and how much to eat will help keep us healthy.