Food is any material consumed for the purpose of providing nutrition to an individual. The word food is derived from Latin meaning “food” and can be described as the nourishment obtained from various kinds of food. Generally, food is of animal, plant or fungi origin, and consists of various nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or other minerals. In order to maintain a healthy and active life, an individual needs the proper combination of food groups, which are provided by the body’s cells, tissues and organs.
The most important categories of food include carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals, with a little bit of variety in between. For example, there are certain foods that have more cholesterol than others and some vitamins and minerals that are only available in certain foods. Since each category of food has its own specific functions, it is important to identify the type of food needed for a particular function in order to meet dietary needs.
For instance, a diet rich in carbohydrates provides the body with energy, while a diet high in fat helps to build and repair cells. There are two types of carbohydrates: soluble and insoluble. Soluble carbohydrates can be converted into many different forms including glucose, fat, and energy. Insoluble carbohydrates on the other hand cannot be converted into other nutrients and must be taken in the form of an ingredient in the food or as an ingredient in its natural form.