What is Nutrition? Is it eating? Is it a Diet? Is it something that we can read on a food label? Let's simplify.
The dictionary provides this definition of Nutrition (nu-tri-tion), a noun:
- the act or process of nourishing or being nourished.
- the science or study of, or a course of study in, nutrition, esp. of humans.
- the process by which organisms take in and utilize food material.
- food; nutriment.
- the pursuit of this science as an occupation or profession.
The definition tells us that we can study nutrition. It is a science and an occupation. By definition, there must be some complexity to "Nutrition" and it is likely that the majority of us don't have the time or desire to study Nutrition at this level.
In keeping it a little more simple and relating it to ourselves, Nutrition is nourishment and eating supplies each of us with materials – food – required by our bodies and cells to function and stay alive. An important function for all of us! We must eat, or body requires it, our cells require it, it is something we must have.
Unfortunately, we get thousands of messages a year from commercials, food labels, friends, and restaurants telling us what is good for us, their food is low in this and that, what can help us lose weight, etc. The bottom line is that each of us needs to understand 1) how much we should eat, 2) what we should eat, and 3) how our body uses what we eat. We are all different, so the answers may be a little different for each of us. The concepts are still the same.
Q. Is it true that I can get all the vitamins/minerals I need from the food that I eat?
A.It is true that healthy individuals can get all of the vitamins and minerals they need from a well balanced diet. Not sure, you can consult your physician. They have many options available to check your vitamin and mineral levels through simple tests.
Q. What is the difference in water soluble and fat soluble vitamins?
A. There are two groups of vitamins, water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins (the eight B vitamins and Vitamin C) can dissolve in water and be excreted by the kidneys. Water-soluble vitamins are not stored by the body (except for vitamin B12, which is stored in the liver). Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) dissolve in fat and are transported by fat in the body. Excess fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and fat tissue, and are not excreted by the kidney. Because of this storage, they can build up to toxic levels if too much is taken, especially vitamins A and D.
Q. Is there a law that requires food labels to list ingredients that commonly cause food allergies?
A. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, which went into effect January, 2006, requires that food labels identify in plain English if the product contains any of the eight major food allergens – milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and soybeans.
Q. What are the most common foods that people are allergic to?
A. An article in the FDA Consumer Magazine – "Food Allergies: When Food Becomes the Enemy" – lists the most common foods to cause allergies in adults as shrimp, lobster, crab, and other shellfish; peanuts (one of the chief foods responsible for severe anaphylaxis); walnuts and other tree nuts; fish; and eggs. For children, it lists eggs, milk, peanuts, soy and wheat. Children typically outgrow their allergies to milk, egg, soy and wheat, while not usually outgrowing allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shrimp. Adults usually do not lose their allergies.
Do you have a question about nutrition? Ask our Nutritionist!