Nutrition is the study of the way
humans make use of the foods they eat in order to fulfill the body's needs
for growth, repair, and maintenance. Nutrients are not foods all by
themselves. They are, instead, the elements found in foods. We do not eat
pure nutrients, we eat the foods that offer them in good supply. You
should still be seeing a beautiful, ripe, glossy, juicy, delicious piece
of fruit when you look at an apple - not a carbohydrate / fiber / vitamin
/ mineral / water delivery system!
A well-nourished body requires
adequate supplies of all the nutrients known to be important in
maintaining health. While it is likely that there are some essential
nutrients not yet identified, we do know that eating a wide variety of
foods should provide enough of those we have identified as essential -
protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals - as well as those
that we know less about.
The following sections below are
discussion of the various nutrients our bodies use in the day-to-day
process of maintaining, growing, and repairing, is meant as a brief
introduction to the terms that are frequently used to discuss foods and
the ways that they are used in a cooking style that has included nutrition
as a basic concern, along with flavor, texture, color, and overall appeal.