A Food Guide For Everyone
Food is any material consumed to supply nutrition to an organism. In the human diet, food is generally of animal, plant or microbial source, and includes necessary nutrients, including vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, or minerals. In animals, food is meant to provide nourishment and support, whereas plants are used to add food and support. Plants have organs which manufacture food, but animals cannot live without food, for they can survive only on a few specific foods, like flesh, fur, roots, leaves and some forms of water. Humans, as a species, obtain all of their calories from food, either through eating or absorption, depending on the type of food.
Vitamins are components of food that are needed by all organisms in order to maintain health and perform to the best of their ability. Some vitamins are water soluble, while others need to be kept within the body in ionized form. Because some foods are rich in Vitamin A, B, C and E, in large quantities, these vitamins are necessary to keep health and good nutrition. Yet, a number of diseases called chronic diseases also can result when people do not eat enough vitamin-rich foods, because their bodies cannot make them.
Fruits and vegetables, which represent the major part of whole plant food groups, are the richest in vitamins and minerals. Fruits, green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, turnips, squash and yams constitute the only three food groups in which complete nutrition can only be achieved by consuming lots of raw fruits and vegetables, and by cutting-up other fruits and vegetables to consume in appropriate proportions. The typical American diet contains mostly processed foods, which are made from hydrogenated vegetable oils and high-fructose corn syrup; junk food, which is made of mostly sugar; and alcoholic beverages. Processed foods are not good for health, as they contain more sugar and less fiber. Sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, spinach and other leafy vegetables are the best diet choices.