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Medicine LibreTexts

1: Nutrition and You

  • Page ID
    301
  • In this Chapter, we provide an overview of nutrition as an evidence-based science and explore the concepts of health, wellness, and disease. We also provide an introduction to the different types of nutrients, health factors, personal health assessment, and the concept of sustainable food systems.

    • 1.1: Defining Nutrition, Health, and Disease
      Health is defined as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” World Health Organization. Disease is defined as any abnormal condition that affects the health of an organism, and is characterized by specific signs and symptoms. Disease affects all three aspects of the health triangle. Good nutrition provides a mechanism to promote health and prevent disease.
    • 1.2: What Are Nutrients?
      Foods contain nutrients that are essential for our bodies to function. Four of the classes of nutrients required for bodily function are needed in large amounts. They are carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and water, and are referred to as macronutrients. Two of the classes of nutrients are needed in lesser amounts, but are still essential for bodily function. They are vitamins and minerals. One measurement of food quality is the ratio of essential nutrients to the amount of energy in a food.
    • 1.3: The Broad Role of Nutritional Science
      The scientific method is an organized process of inquiry used in nutritional science to determine if the food suspect fits the claim. The scientific method is part of the overall evidence-based approach to designing nutritional guidelines that are based on facts. There are different types of scientific studies—epidemiological studies, randomized clinical interventional trial studies, and laboratory animal and cell studies—which all provide different, complementary lines of evidence.
    • 1.4: Health Factors and Their Impact
      The expression of genes determines all of your traits including your risk for certain diseases. Nutrients can change the way genes are turned “on” and “off,” consequently affecting health. Certain stages of life require changes in nutrition to maintain bodily functions, such as growing. The traits that a person has are largely a product of their genes and environment. One aspect of a person’s environment is socioeconomic status, which is dependent on income, occupation, and education.
    • 1.5: Serving Size
      Judging portion sizes can be done using your hand or household objects in comparison. It can also be done using the MyPlate guide to determine how much food is a portion for that meal.
    • 1.E: Nutrition and You (Exercises)
      Exercises to accompany the Sacrament City College Libretext for Chapter 1 "Nutrition and You."