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Medicine LibreTexts

1: Nutrition and You

[ "article:topic-guide", "TextMap" ]
  • Page ID
    438
  • 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: Chapter Introduction
      Nutrition is an evidence-based science. Nutritional scientists continuously advance our knowledge of nutrition by building on prior research. A primary goal of this text is to provide you with information backed by nutritional science, and with a variety of resources that use scientific evidence to optimize health and prevent disease. In this chapter you will see that there are many conditions and deadly diseases that can be prevented by good nutrition.
    • 1.2: 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.
    • 1.3: 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.
    • 1.4: 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.
    • 1.5: 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.
    • 1.6: Assessing Personal Health
      Some tools to assess your lifestyle and make changes towards a healthier one.  1: Take charge of tracking your personal health.  2: Assess your diet and identify where it can be changed to promote health and prevent disease. 3: Start finding out the medical history of your family and identify the diseases you may be more susceptible to getting. 4: Assess your lifestyle by evaluating your personal habits, emotional health, sleep patterns, and work-life balance. 5: Start living a healthier life.
    • 1.7: A Fresh Perspective: Sustainable Food Systems
      Sustainability promotes the development of conditions under which people and nature can interact harmoniously. It is based upon the principle that everything needed for human survival depends upon the natural environment. A sustainable food system includes not only the food and those who consume the food, but also those who produce food (such as farmers and fishermen), and process, package, distribute, and regulate food.
    • 1.E: Nutrition and You (Exercises)
      Exercises to accompany the Zimmerman Textmap for Chapter 1 "Nutrition and You."