IPHYUnit1Commentary - UNIT 1 INTRODUCTION TO NUTRITION AND...

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UNIT 1: INTRODUCTION TO NUTRITION AND HEALTH COMMENTARY The relations between nutrition and both health status and exercise performance can be illustrated in the following diagram: The left side of the diagram illustrates the relation between nutrition and one's health. Proper nutrition, in the form of a balanced diet, is important to maintain health and can also be beneficial for the prevention of certain chronic diseases. For instance, the risk of developing heart disease or cancer can be influenced to a large degree by a person's lifestyle, which includes dietary practices. Thus, what we eat can greatly influence our overall health and well being, as will be discussed in greater detail throughout the course. Proper nutrition can also influence our ability to perform exercise. The right side of the diagram illustrates this relation between nutrition and exercise. Whether you are a competitive athlete or a person who exercises for recreation, nutrition can be an important determinant of your performance. Improper nutrition, in the form of inadequate nutrient intake or the improper combination of nutrients in the diet, can lead to fatigue, muscle cramps, and an overall decreased ability to maintain the high levels of exertion needed during exercise. Thus, it is especially important for active individuals to ensure getting the proper nutrients in their diet. Because it is often difficult to determine which nutrients and how much of each are needed in the diet, this course is designed to teach you basic principles of nutrition that will assist you in your lifelong relationship with food. We will discuss what nutrients can be beneficial for the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis. We will also provide information concerning dietary supplements and discuss the circumstances under which a person might benefit from supplementation. Related to exercise we will discuss proper nutritional practices for active individuals, including recommendations for endurance athletes and for people who participate in strength and power sports. Nutrition & Its Relation to Health Chronic diseases are responsible for greater than 80% of all deaths in the United States. Among these, heart disease and cancer are the #1 & 2 killers, respectively.
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