FOOD & NUTRITION
The Importance of Proper
Food & Nutrition
According to Healthline.com, the effective management of food intake and nutrition are both keys to good health. Smart nutrition and food choices can help prevent disease. Eating the right foods can help your body cope more successfully with an ongoing illness. Understanding good nutrition and paying attention to what you eat can help you maintain or improve your health.
What Is Good Nutrition?
Food and nutrition are the way that we get fuel, providing energy for our bodies. We need to replace nutrients in our bodies with a new supply every day. Water is an essential component of nutrition. Fats, proteins, and carbohydrates are all required. Maintaining critical vitamins and minerals is also vital to maintaining good health. For pregnant women and adults over 50, vitamins such as vitamin D and minerals such as calcium and iron are essential to consider when choosing foods to eat and possibly dietary supplements.
A healthy diet includes a lot of natural foods. A sizeable portion of a healthy diet should consist of fruits and vegetables, especially red, orange, or dark green. Whole grains, such as whole wheat and brown rice, should also play a part in your diet. For adults, dairy products should be non-fat or low-fat. Protein can consist of lean meat and poultry, seafood, eggs, beans, legumes, and soy products such as tofu, as well as unsalted seeds and nuts.
Good nutrition also involves avoiding certain kinds of foods. Sodium is used heavily in processed foods and is dangerous for people with high blood pressure. The USDA advises adults to consume less than 300 milligrams (mg) per day of cholesterol (found in meat and full-fat dairy products, among others). Fried food, solid fats, and trans fats found in margarine and processed foods can harm heart health. Refined grains (white flour, white rice) and refined sugar (table sugar, high fructose corn syrup) are also bad for long-term health, especially diabetes. Alcohol can be dangerous to health in more than one serving per day for a woman and two per day.
There are many high-quality, free guidelines for healthy eating plans that give more details on portion size, total calorie consumption, what to eat more of, and what to eat less to get fit and stay that way.
Even if you are getting enough to eat, you may still be at risk for certain nutritional deficiencies if you are not eating a balanced diet. Also, you may have nutritional deficiencies due to specific health or life conditions, such as pregnancy, or certain medications you may be taking, such as high blood pressure medications. People who have had intestinal diseases or had sections of intestines removed due to illness or weight loss surgery also may be at risk for vitamin deficiencies. Alcoholics are also at high risk of having nutritional deficiencies.
One of the most common nutritional deficiencies is iron deficiency anemia. Your blood cells need iron to supply your body with oxygen, and if you don’t have enough iron, your blood will not function properly. Other nutritional deficiencies that can affect your blood cells include low vitamin B12, folate, or vitamin C.
Vitamin D deficiency may affect the health of your bones, making it difficult for you to absorb and use calcium (another mineral that you may not be getting enough of). Although you can get vitamin D by going out in the sun, many people with concerns about skin cancer may end up with low vitamin D levels by not getting enough sun.
Other nutritional deficiencies include:
beriberi: low levels of vitamin B1 (found in cereal husks)
ariboflavinosis: low levels of vitamin B2
pellagra: low levels of vitamin B3
paraesthesia: low levels of vitamin B5 leading to a “pins and needles” feeling
biotin deficiency: low levels of vitamin B7, which can be expected in pregnancy
hypocobalaminemia: low levels of B12
night blindness: low levels of Vitamin A
scurvy: low levels of vitamin C
rickets: severe vitamin D and/or calcium deficiency
vitamin K deficiency
magnesium deficiency: occurs with certain medications and medical problems
potassium deficiency: occurs with certain medications and medical problems
Eating a balanced diet can help prevent these conditions. Vitamin supplements may be necessary for certain people, such as pregnant or nursing mothers and people with intestinal conditions.
How Do We Help Our Community?
Al-Maun CDC and Al-Maun Neighborly Needs have partnered with The Southern Nevada Health District and various grocery chains to provide a healthy alternative to those in need.
We will continue to inform, educated, and provide our community a much-needed neighborhood pantry.
Due to the current state of the declining economy and unemployment, many low-income individuals in our city fall below the poverty level and are prone to suffer from or be at risk of hunger and homelessness. Some individuals and families need emergency food assistance to recover from setbacks, but many need an emergency food pantry as a steady food source.
A FREE FARMERS MARKET on the last Sunday of every month. Everyone is invited to come up and receive a free bag of fruits and vegetables. Learn More
Our Health & Wellness Program offers workshops and classes on managing your diabetes that are free to the public. Learn More
Al-Maun's Food and Nutrition Program was designed to reduce hunger by providing FREE nutritional bags of groceries, lunch bags, and hot meals for these individuals.
Several times during the week, lunch bags are prepared and distributed to the ever-growing homeless population and the general community.
A balanced diet provides all the nutrients a person requires without going over the recommended daily calorie intake.
By eating a balanced diet, people can get the nutrients and calories they need and avoid eating junk food or food without nutritional value.
Let's Make A Change
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