What kinds of food provide you with energy?
foods that are the best sources of energy are those that contain large amounts
of carbohydrates and fats. When these foods are chemically changed
in your cells, large amounts of energy are released.
are compounds of three elements – carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Starch is one
common carbohydrate. Grains such as wheat, corn, oats, rye, and rice are mostly
starch. So foods made from grains are very rich in starch. Some of these foods
are breakfast cereals, bread, crackers, spaghetti, macaroni, and noodles.
Potatoes, dried beans, and dried peas also contain much starch.
are also carbohydrates. The sugar that you are probably most familiar with is sucrose.
This is the sugar that we ordinarily use to sweeten our food and for cooking.
Candy, honey, molasses, fruits, and berries have much sugar in them. Milk
contains much lactose, or milk sugar.
common simple sugars are glucose and fructose. They are found in
the sap of plants and in the juice of fruits. Simple sugars are the only
carbohydrates that your cells can use. All the more complex carbohydrates must
be changed into simple sugars. This is one of the changes that takes place when
carbohydrates are digested.
are also compounds of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Fats provide more energy
than any other food. Your body gets more than twice as much energy from an ounce
of fat as from an ounce of sugar. However, fats are usually more expensive and
are not so easily digested.
greasy and oily foods contain fats. An oil is a fat that is liquid at ordinary
temperatures. Cottonseed oil, corn oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, olive oil,
coconut oil, and fish-liver oil are liquid fats. Fat meat, egg yolks, nuts,
cream, and cheese all contain large amounts of fats.
carbohydrates and fats are important mainly as sources of energy, there are
other reasons why your body needs them. Carbohydrates provide food for tiny
bacteria that live in your intestines. These bacteria make some of the chemicals
your body needs. Plants such as lettuce, celery, cabbage, and green beans
contain much cellulose. This carbohydrate cannot be digested by your
digestive juices. However, it provides the bulk needed to remove waste materials
from your intestines. Fats help your body use other foods efficiently. Fats also
contain materials that your body needs in very small quantities. The cells of
your body also use digested fats as one kind of building material for
What kinds of food provide you with materials?
Your body needs food to supply it with materials as well as energy. Some of
these materials are used by your cells to make protoplasm and other materials
that are part of your body. Your cells also use materials to make the chemicals
that keep your body working properly. Foods
that are rich in proteins and minerals provide your body with many
of these materials.
are compounds that contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, just as fats and
carbohydrates do. But besides these three elements, all proteins contain
nitrogen. Most proteins also contain sulfur, and some contain phosphorus. You
get most of your proteins from meat, eggs, fish, milk, and cheese. Peas, beans,
and some nuts also have large amounts of proteins in them.
rich in proteins are not used mainly as energy foods. Your body has better uses
for them. The cells of your body are made almost entirely of proteins and water.
To make new protoplasm, your cells must have proteins. Without proteins, your
body cannot grow, repair itself, and keep working properly. Protein-rich foods
are often called body-building foods. Your body cannot make proteins from fats
food is burned as completely as it can be, only the minerals are left. So
chemists often call minerals ash.
body needs fairly large amounts of calcium and phosphorus to make the hard
material in your bones and teeth. Calcium also helps your blood thicken, or
clot, if you cut yourself. New blood cells must have iron and copper to grow.
Your hair and nails need sulfur. A chemical that controls the beating of your
heart contains sodium. Chlorine is used to make hydrochloric acid, which is an
important part of the digestive juice made by your stomach. Without iodine, the thyroid
gland in the front of your neck cannot make its chemical. Lack of iodine may
cause a disease called goiter, in which the thyroid gland becomes much
enlarged. Potassium, magnesium, manganese, cobalt, fluorine, and other mineral
elements are needed in your body, too.
provide your body with building materials. However, minerals also supply
materials to make chemicals that your body needs. Because these chemicals
protect your body and keep it working properly, minerals are sometimes called
protective foods. Most people get enough of all the mineral elements except four
– calcium, phosphorus, iron, and iodine. Milk and cheese provide calcium and
phosphorus, while egg yolk and meats provide phosphorus and iron. Some
vegetables contain all three of these elements. Fish, oysters, clams, and other seafood
are very rich in iodine. If you do not eat much seafood, you can use iodized
salt, which has a small amount of iodine in it.
material that your body must have is water. Water from wells and springs often
contains dissolved minerals. But water itself is important to your body. Almost
2/3 of your weight is water. Protoplasm is about 4/5 water. And the liquid part
of blood is almost all water. Water helps digest food and is needed for many
other chemical changes in your body. It also helps keep your body at the proper
temperature and remove waste materials. To stay alive, you must have a constant
supply of water. Your body can go without other foods much longer than it can go
amount of water you must take into your body depends on how much you have lost.
The foods you eat provide you with much of the water you need. Milk, soup, and
other liquid foods are mostly water. So are juicy fruits and vegetables such as
melons, apples, and tomatoes. Usually you cannot get all the water you need from
foods. You should also drink water every day to supply the rest of the water you
Why are vitamins important in your food?
are protective foods, too. They are materials that help regulate changes in your
body. Certain foods contain special chemicals which we must all have to keep
well. If a person does not get enough of some vitamin, he may develop a deficiency
disease such as scurvy, beriberi, rickets, or pellagra. A deficiency disease
is caused by the lack of some material, usually a vitamin or mineral, in a
person’s food. Only small amounts of these materials are ordinarily needed. If
you choose your foods wisely, you can usually get all the vitamins and minerals
you need in the foods you eat.
What foods should you eat?
foods that you eat every day should include the proper amounts of all these
things if you are to stay healthy. Your diet should be well balanced.
Diet means the kinds and amount of food that a person or an animal eats.
help people choose foods that will provide them with all the materials they
need, scientists have worked out a Daily Food Guide that is easy to follow. This
food guide includes four main groups: (1) the milk group, (2) the meat
group, (3) the vegetable-fruit group, and (4) the bread-cereal
group. If you eat the right amounts of foods from each of these groups and
drink plenty of water every day, you will get all the materials your body needs.
milk group includes milk, cheese, and ice cream. Milk is our best source of
calcium and is very rich in phosphorus. A quart of milk every day will provide
all the calcium and more than half the phosphorus that your body needs. Cheese
and ice cream do not contain as much calcium as milk does.
kinds of meats, fish, poultry, and eggs are included in the meat group. All
these foods are good sources of proteins. They also supply iron and several of
the B vitamins. Dried peas and beans, nuts, and peanut butter are also sources
of these materials. You should eat two or more servings of foods from the meat
group every day.
third group is made up of all the fruits and vegetables. You should be
especially careful to eat enough of those that provide vitamin C and vitamin A.
citrus fruits, cantaloupe, broccoli, fresh strawberries, and peppers are all
good sources of vitamin C. dark-green or deep-yellow vegetables and fruits such
as spinach, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe provide much
vitamin A. Usually the deeper the color, the more vitamin A the vegetable or
fruit provides. You should eat at least four servings of fruits and vegetables
every day. One of these servings should be a fruit or vegetable rich in vitamin
C. to get enough vitamin A, you should also eat a serving of a dark-green or
deep-yellow fruit or vegetable at least every other day.
cereals, and other foods made from grains are included in the fourth group.
These foods contain large amounts of carbohydrates, which your body uses for
energy. They also contain some proteins. Many people prefer bread made from
white flour, which has lost most of its vitamins and minerals. To make up for
part of this loss, white flour and white bread are usually enriched by
adding B vitamins and iron. Cereals are said to be restored when they
have been enriched with B vitamins and iron. You should eat at least four
servings of foods from this group every day. If you do not eat cereal, you
should choose a fifth serving of one of the other foods in this group.
will probably want to eat more than just the suggested number of servings in
each food group. You will also want to include other foods such as butter,
margarine, cream, salad dressing, and different kinds of sweets. Be sure not to
eat too many sweets or to eat them between meals. Very small amounts of sweets
can satisfy your hunger without providing you with all the materials you need.
How much food should you eat?
food from each of the four food groups every day will give you a well-balanced
diet. You should also eat the right amounts of these foods.
have worked out a way of deciding how much food a person should eat. They have
learned to measure the amount of energy different foods can provide. They have
also studied people to find out how much energy is needed to do different
things. From what they have learned, they have been able to figure out about how
much food is needed by people of different types and people who do different
fats, carbohydrates, or proteins are chemically changes in your cells, kinetic
energy is produced. Some of this kinetic energy makes it possible for your body
to move. Much of it is produced as heat. Scientists have found a way to measure
the amount of heat energy that a food can produce. For convenience, this
measurement is used to represent all the potential energy of the food. The
amount of energy that a food can provide is measured in a unit called the Calorie.
One Calorie is the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 pound of
water about 40 F. The amount of energy that a food provides depends
on the food. Fats produce more than twice as much energy as the same amount of
carbohydrates or proteins.
have studied different people and found that they need different amounts of
energy. The amount of energy a person needs depends on such things as his age,
size, and activities. The larger a person is, the more energy he usually needs.
People who are very active need more energy than those who are not. The energy a
person needs is also measured in Calories.
all the food you eat is used immediately. Some of it is stored in your body for
future use. Much of this food is changed into fat. A certain amount of fat is
healthful. Whenever it is needed, it can provide your body with much energy. It
also protects your skin, bones, muscles, and nerves from injury. Many people
overeat and become too fat. Overeating makes the body digest more food than it
needs. The extra food is changed into fat and stored. The weight of the extra
fat puts an added strain on the heart and other parts of the body.
important thing for you to do is to form good eating habits. Here are some
simple suggestions that will help your body make the best use of the foods you
1. Eat foods from the four food groups every day.
2. Eat three meals a day at regular hours.
3. Do not spoil your appetite with sweets.
4. Be willing to try new foods.
5. Do not rush through your meals.
6. Drink enough water and get plenty of fresh air, exercise, and sleep every