Every woman has a desire to look good, stay healthy and shape her body. As the time has changed, women want to know the secrets of healthy living. How to cut through the nutritional hype, where to get accurate nutritional information, are their major concerns.
They are willing to make changes in their diets to improve their health and quality of their lives.
If a woman focuses on increasing her vegetables, fruits and whole grains and minimizes added fats, she would be well on her eating better.
More than 45 nutrients and several thousand health enhancing compounds cannot be manufactured either in sufficient quantities or at all, so they must be obtained from the diets. These nutrients are grouped into 7 categories:
2. Carbohydrates, including fiber
1. Protiens: It is comprised of large strings of amino acids.8 to 10 amino acids cannot be manufactured in our body.They are called essential amino acids. So, they should be supplied from the food we eat. The best sources of protein include extra lean meat, chicken, fish, low fat milk, soy products and cooked dried beans.
Protein is essential for tissue repair, maintenance and growth. Many essential body compounds are comprised of proteins including hemoglobin, all enzymes, antibodies and many hormones.Protein maintains the fluid balance in the body and buffers against changes in the acid base balance.
Too much protein is dangerous. Excess protein flushes calcium out of the body increasing risk of osteoporosis, raises blood fat level and elevates your risk of developing kidney stones. That’s why it’s important to get enough, but not too much protein.
2. Carbohydrates: They are simple sugars in fruits honey and refined sugar and complex or starches in grains beans and starchy vegetables. They supply our body with primary source of fuel glucose. Glucose is blood sugar while package of glucose stored in the liver and muscles for future use are called glycogen.Glucose from carbohydrate also is essential for the burning of body fat and for sparing protein so it can be used to build muscles and tissues.
The main source of carbohydrates are fiber rich whole grain.It lowers our risk for everything from heart disease and cancer to diabetes. It’s good have fiber in our diet. Fiber is an umbrella terms for the family of compounds that are indigestible. Dietary fiber adds bulk through the stool and help move waste through the intestine. Insoluble fibers such as cellulose are found in wheat bran, celery and other vegetables and reduce a woman’s risk of intestinal cancers and digestive tract disorders, such as constipation and diverticulosis. Soluble fibers such as protein in fruit, oat bran and the fiber in cooked dried beans and peas, lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes. Both help you loose weight and maintain the loss.Also, less the food is processed greater is the fiber content. The recommended daily amount of fiber is 34 to 35 gms.
3. Lipids: Which consist of fats and oils, are high-energy yielding molecules composed mostly of carbon (C), hydrogen (H), and oxygen (O) (though lipids have a smaller number of oxygen molecules than carbohydrates have). This small number of oxygen molecules makes lipids insoluble in water, but soluble in certain organic solvents. The basic structure of lipids is a glycerol molecule consisting of three carbons, each attached to a fatty-acid chain. Collectively, this structure is known as a triglyceride, or sometimes it is called a triacylglycerol. Triglycerides are the major form of energy storage. The energy contained in a gram of lipids is more than twice the amount in carbohydrates and protein, with an average of 9 kcal/g.
Lipids can be broken down into two types, saturated and unsaturated, based on the chemical structure of their longest, and therefore dominant, fatty acid. Whether a lipid is solid or liquid at room temperature largely depends on its property of being saturated or unsaturated. Lipids from plant sources are largely unsaturated, and therefore liquid at room temperature. Lipids that are derived from animals contain a higher amount of saturated fats, and they are therefore solid at room temperature. An exception to this rule is fish, which, for the most part, contain unsaturated fat. The important difference between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids is that saturated fatty acids are the most important factor that can increase a person's cholesterol level. An increased cholesterol level may eventually result in the clogging of blood arteries and, ultimately, heart disease.
Not all fatty acids are considered harmful. In fact, certain unsaturated fatty acids are considered essential nutrients. Like the essential amino acids, these fatty acids are essential to a person's diet because the body cannot produce them. The essential fatty acids serve many important functions in the body, including regulating blood pressure and helping to synthesize and repair vital cell parts. Lipids are also required for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and they are generally thought to increase the taste and flavor of foods and to give an individual a feeling of fullness.
4. Vitamins: Are chemical compounds that are required for normal growth and metabolism. Some vitamins are essential for a number of metabolic reactions that result in the release of energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. There are thirteen vitamins, which may be divided into two groups: the four fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K) and the nine water-soluble vitamins (the B vitamins and vitamin C). These two groups are dissimilar in many ways. First of all, cooking or heating destroys the water-soluble vitamins much more readily than the fat-soluble vitamins. On the other hand, fat-soluble vitamins are much less readily excreted from the body, compared to water-soluble vitamins, and can therefore accumulate to excessive, and possibly toxic, levels. This means, of course, that levels of water-soluble vitamins in the body can become depleted more quickly, leading to a vitamin deficiency if those nutrients are not replaced regularly. Deficiencies of vitamins may result from inadequate intake, as well as from factors unrelated to supply. For instance, vitamin K and biotin are both produced by bacteria that live within the intestines, and a person can become deficient if these bacteria are removed by antibiotics. Other factors that may result in a vitamin deficiency include disease, pregnancy, drug interactions, and newborn development (newborns lack the intestinal bacteria that create certain vitamins, such as biotin and vitamins.
5: Minerals: are different from the other nutrients discussed thus far, in that they are inorganic compounds (carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and vitamins are all organic compounds). The fundamental structure of minerals is usually nothing more than a molecule, or molecules, of an element. The functions of minerals do not include participation in the yielding of energy. But they do play vital roles in several physiological functions, including critical involvement in nervous system functioning, in cellular reactions, in water balance in the body, and in structural systems, such as the skeletal system.
Because minerals have a very simple structure of usually one or more molecules of an element, they are not readily destroyed in the heating or cooking process of food preparation. However, they can leak out of the food substance that contains them and seep into the water or liquid the food is being cooked in. This may result in a decreased level of minerals being consumed if the liquid is discarded.
There are many minerals found within the human body, but of the sixteen (or possibly more) essential minerals, the amount required on a daily basis varies enormously. This is why minerals are subdivided into two classes: macrominerals and microminerals. Macrominerals include those that are needed in high quantities, ranging from milligrams to grams. Calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium are macrominerals. Microminerals are those necessary in smaller quantities, generally between a microgram and a milligram. Examples of microminerals include copper, chromium, and selenium. Dietary requirements for some minerals have yet to be established.
6. Water: Makes up the last class of nutrients, though the fact that it is considered a nutrient is surprising to many people. Water, however, has many necessary functions in the human body. Some of its actions include its use as a solvent (a substance that other substances dissolve in), as a lubricant, as a conduction system for transportation of vital nutrients and unnecessary waste, and as a mode of temperature regulation.
There are many available sources of water other than tap water and bottled water. Some foods have a high water content, including many fruits and vegetables. In addition, the body can make small amounts of water from various metabolic prcesses that result in molecules of water as a by-product. This, however, is by no means sufficient for the body's needs of water. It is generally recommended that people drink eight cups (or nearly 2 liters) of water a day to maintain an adequate supply.