Good Research Paper On Six Primary Nutrients, New Dietary Guidelines, Antioxidants, Food Labels And Eating Habits
The institutional affiliation
The research refers to nutrition, describes its effect on human body and discusses healthy
lifestyle essentials. It proves that diet consisting of reasonable amounts of primary nutrients together
with good eating habits and following guidelines provided by health institutions allow staying
active and healthy.
Human body is a well streamlined mechanism consisting of interactive elements which
supplement and complete each other. Together they form complex but perfect processes that allow
our subsistence. Nutrition interprets influence of food substances and nutrients on human organism,
its health and development. The science examines types and subgroups of nutrients, healthy diets,
illnesses caused by unbalanced or malnutrition and policies which regulate nutrition field on the
Nutrients divide into two types: macronutrients which include carbohydrates, fiber, fats,
proteins, water and micronutrients including vitamins and minerals. Human organism needs
macronutrients in larger amounts. Micronutrients, in opposite, are needed in smaller portions. Each
product our body intakes contains a blend of all or particular kinds of nutrients which, depending on
the dozes absorbed can help or harm the organism. Scientists distinguish six major nutrients:
carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. These elements are absolutely necessary
and essential for our body.
Carbohydrates, for example, are the main source of energy for the body and brain. They are
transformed into glucose which is “transported through the body's bloodstream and distributed to
cells for conversion of energy” (Food Pyramid, n.d.). Not all carbohydrates are assimilated at the
same speed. Depending on their chemical structure, nutrients digest at different quickness and are
less or more useful for the body. Fast digesting carbohydrates are called simple carbs and slow
digesting are known as complex carbs. Fast carbohydrates are converted into glucose faster, they
provide energy very rapidly, however, it doesn't last long and body requires new energy very soon.
Simple carbs come with sugar saturated products such as milk chocolate, pastry, jelly, white bread,
flavored water, etc. Nutritionists warn from regular consumption of fast carbohydrates and suggest
trying to replace them by other sources of energy whenever it is possible. Slow carbohydrates digest
not that fast and are much more useful. They prevent from too high blood sugar level and help to
control weight since energy which comes with slow carbohydrates is lasting. Complex carbs foods
include whole grain pasta and bread, vegetables, fruits, rice, dark chocolate and other products
which contain fibers. Our body, in fact, needs more carbohydrates than any other nutrient and diet
consisting with no less than 45% of carbs ensures positive energy levels, exercise performance,
moods and overall function (Margolis, 2014).
Main function of fats is producing hormones and steroids. Fats accommodate fatty acids
which are “the building blocks of the fat in the foods we eat and the fat in our bodies” (Food
Pyramid, n.d.). Similarly to carbohydrates, fats divide into good and bad and number four types.
They are trans fatty acids, saturated fatty acids, mono unsaturated fatty acids, poly unsaturated fatty
acids. First group refers to unhealthy fats while the last one, in opposite, to essential. Trans fatty
acids can be found in microwaved, fried and fast foods, margarine which, in excessive
consumption, can lead to heart diseases. Saturated fatty acids should be included in a diet in
moderate amounts otherwise they can raise cholesterol levels. Such nutrients can be found in milk,
animal products and sometimes in vegetable oils. Most vegetable oils belong to mono unsaturated
fatty acids, control cholesterol levels and have positive effect on hearth function. Essential or poly
saturated acids are needed for “inflammation and immune response, blood clotting, blood pressure
and blood lipid levels” (Food Pyramid, n.d.). They include such elements as Omega 3 found in
grains, fruits, nuts, vegetables and Omega 6 found in salmon, cashews, walnuts, pecans, leaf
vegetables, spirulina. Poly saturated acids are not produced in the body, however, they must be
delivered to human organism because they balance hormones, bacteria, nerve impulses, brain
ability, immune system and other processes.
Proteins are iron and oxygen transporters, hormones and enzymes producers, immune
system catalysts and body fuel providers. They manufacture glucagon which stimulates burning
calories. In our organism proteins convert to amino acids which can be found in animal foods, soy
beans, oats, grasses, lentils (complete proteins) and plant foods, vegetables, peanuts, cereals
(incomplete proteins). Human body requires 22 amino acids, nine of which it receives from
complete proteins, the rest come from incomplete. Protein is important for memory, eyesight, skin,
hair, nails and muscles. Excessive consumption of the nutrient results in overweight and other
diseases such as dehydration or diarrhea, for example. According to the Food Nutrition Board it is
recommended to include 0.36 grams of protein per every gram of body weight into a daily diet
(Food Pyramid, n.d.).
Everyone knows that 60-70% of the body is made up of water. Water is essential for life. It
is responsible for many processes including removing toxins and dissolving elements body receives
on weight, climate, activity, age and even gender. According to The Institute of Medicine an adult
should drink 9 to 13 glasses of water per day, alternatively receive it from fruits and vegetables
Vitamins are extremely important for human body and cannot be substituted by any other
nutrient. They can be found in fruits, vegetables, milk, fish, soybeans. Vitamins from food are ore
effective than supplements available in pharmacies. Vitamins which the body stores are called fat-
soluble. Water-soluble vitamins are needed every day (except for B12). The United States Food and
Drug Administration recommends products containing vitamin C (fruits and vegetables), D (oily
fish, fortified milk), B9 (nuts, strawberries, citruses, wheat bread, oatmeal) for everyday diet (2014).
Minerals contribute to proper functioning of the whole organism, especially bones and nerve
signals. They can be found in foods in very small amounts and are available in a form of various
supplements for those who need extra supply (pregnant women, older people, diabetics). Human
body requires particular minerals in different amounts. Minerals needed in larger amounts are called
macro elements. Micro elements, in opposite, are required in smaller dozes.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health defines antioxidants as
“man made or natural substances that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage” (n.d.). They
can be found in fruits, vegetable and foods which contain vitamins, beta- carotene, lycopene,
selenium (NIH, n.d.) Antioxidants are the result of complex chemical processes and lower risks of
Possessing the above mentioned information still may not prevent from challenge of
choosing a right product among dozen of alternatives on the shelf unless you learn how to read food
labels. They explain important and helpful information which includes food components, nutrients
ratios and proportions, calories and recommendations. Nutrition facts label usually starts with the
serving size and number of servings per container. The United States Food and Drug Administration
strongly recommends to read the serving size section carefully: “ask yourself, “How many
servings am I consuming?” (2014), since their size and number determine amounts of nutrients.
Next section indicated amount of calories. Third and fourth sections list unhealthy and healthy
nutrients as well as their amounts. They are colored in yellow and blue respectively. These sections
should prevent from or encourage to buy the food depending on grams and milligrams indicated
next to each nutrient. Fifth section contains footnote with important nutrients recommendations for
2 000 and 2 500 calories daily diet. It is the same for all products, can be found on large containers
and contain four columns: nutrients, daily value (in grams and milligrams, for 2 000 and 2 500
calories diets), daily value % and goal (less than or at least). Following the daily values guidelines
allows to “stay within public list experts' recommended upper or lower limits” (U.S. FDA, 2014).
Sixth section which is called the percent daily value indicates amount of each nutrition (in grams,
milligrams and percents). Comparing the following section with the previous section table allows to
calculate how much total fat or carbohydrate, for example, can be consumed with other products
during the rest of the day. Labeling information requirements are different depending on whether
the food is packed or not, sold in a supermarket or restaurant and other factors.
Healthy body and active life vastly depends on our eating habits. They may be good or bad,
hard to change or even notice. Unbalanced nutrition and bad eating habits such as eating too much
snacks, junk food, skipping meal, eating in a hurry, visiting kitchen at night, etc., affect human
organism and should be avoided. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
suggests to deal with bad eating habits by keeping a journal about what and how much you eat,
detecting problems, developing list of new healthier habits and trying to follow them (2013). Such
simple steps as analyzing problematic issues, trying to determine reasons why they occur, thinking
about ways to control and prevent them require minimum time but assure healthy mind and body.
Meanwhile, The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recently presented New Dietary
Guidelines for Americans. They differ, offer many changes and look at dieting from new perception.
Moreover, some experts state that “we got the dietary guidelines wrong” and “they have been
wrong for decades” (Nissen, 2015). New Guidelines doubt cholesterol limits, stresses on impact of
fructose on human organism and provides helpful recommendations. They include consumption of
organic products, animal products which are “sourced from animals raised according to organic
standards” (DGAC, 2015), healthy fats and calculating right ration of minerals and vitamins. Unlike
previous practices, new guidelines discourage from avoiding products which contain fats since low
and no fat foods are high in sugar. They also highlight importance of sleep, exercise and active
lifestyle, avoiding harmful habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption.
Healthy eating contributes to longevity, helps to enjoy life without disease and
feel good. Consequently it is taught in high schools in many countries, discussed between children
and their parents, highlighted in mass media. Nowadays we have enough information to keep up
healthy nutritive habits and make sure our organism receives necessary lactation and functions
properly. Healthy mind comes from healthy body and healthy body comes from balanced eating.
Terms and processes described in this research refer to nutrition -a complex study which, in fact, is
useful and interesting to know. Discover it and stay healthy.
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. (2015). New Dietary Guidelines Reverse Flawed Recommendations on Cholesterol. Mercola. Retrieved March 20, 2015, from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/02/25/new-dietary-guidelines-fat-cholesterol.aspx
The Institute of Medicine. (2006). Dietary Reference Intake: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. Washington D.C., USA: The National Academic Press.
Margolis, S. (2014, January 08). List of complex carbohydrate foods. Livestrong. Retrieved March 19, 2015, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/27398-list-complex-carbohydrates-foods/
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (n.d.). Medline Plus. Retrieved March 20, 2015, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/antioxidants.html
The United States National Food and Drug Administration. (2014, October 29). Retrieved March 20, 2015, from http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm274593.htm
UNICEF & The National Center for Biotechnology Information. (n.d.). Food Pyramid. Retrieved March 19, 2015, from http://www.foodpyramid.com/6-essential-nutrients/