Chapter 1: Food Choices and Human Health
A Lifetime of Nourishment
The body renews its structures continuously, and each day it builds a little
muscle, bone, skin, and blood, replacing old tissues with new. It may also add
a little fat if you consume excess food energy (calories), or subtract a little if
you consume less than you require.
The best food is the kind that supports the growth and maintenance of strong
muscles, sound bones, healthy skin, and sufficient blood to cleanse and
nourish all parts of your body. It needs food that provides not only energy but
also sufficient nutrients such as
A well-chosen array of foods supplies enough energy and enough of each
nutrient to prevent
. Malnutrition includes deficiencies,
imbalances, and excesses of nutrients.
The Diet and Health Connection
Diet choice affects health, both today and in the future. Only 2 common
lifestyle habits are more influential: smoking and other tobacco use,
and excessive drinking of alcohol. Of the leading causes of death, 4
are directly linked to nutrition, and another—car accidents—are related
to drinking alcohol. The
—heart disease, diabetes,
some kinds of cancer, dental disease, and adult bone loss—all have a
connection to poor diet, but also to genetics, activities, and lifestyle.
Genetics and Individuality