Nutrition is the process of providing adequate nourishment to the body in order to promote growth and good health. The science behind the study of human nutrition is based in ascertaining the makeup of a healthy diet. There are many vitamins and minerals essential to a human diet that we need to ensure we get enough of in our daily food. There are also many unwanted elements found in food which we need to ensure we minimise in order to maintain good health, such as certain fats. It's also important to ensure we eat enough, but not too much food overall. Basically, it's a constant balancing act to ensure we get just the right amount of everything we need.
So, given all this conflicting and confusing information about food, it's no wonder many people are unsure as to exactly what they should be eating. People find themselves turning to nutritionists and nutrition guidelines to try and make sense of it all. Sometimes this only makes things more confusing. If you're in this boat then take a step back and breathe. Holistic nutrition doesn't have to be difficult.
Good nutrition is easy. Forget about fad diets and stop paying so much attention to any one nutrient. There are plenty of nutrients in vegetables. Nutrition is about getting those nutrients in to your body. If you vary your diet to encompass a good variety of fresh fruit and vegetable you will naturally ingest most of the nutrients you need. If anything is missing in your diet due to beliefs or choices (eg: vegetarians avoiding meat or vegans avoiding meat and dairy), a quick discussion with your doctor or dietitian will be able to ensure you are not missing anything essential.
The best nutritionists and dietitians to listen to are the ones with no vested interest in any particular product, diet or industry. These people purely have sensible eating habits in mind and will hopefully be knowledgeable enough to suggest a good eating plan for you. If you prefer the thought of general nutrition classes, look for a nutrition class with an impartial instructor.
Most of the advice coming from impartial nutritionists and dietitians boils down to a few simple guidelines: Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables; Vary your diet; Cook your food yourself; Don't eat too much.
If you can follow this basic advice you will probably be more healthy than most people these days.
Keep in mind when acknowledging nutritional advice, that recommendations given through the ages and by each country differ slightly because nutritionists as a whole have yet to agree on the perfect diet. Some national recommendations may even be influenced by industry bodies in that country.
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