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What is food?

We explain what is eating and what are eating disorders. In addition, what is the diet.

  1. What is food?

The term food refers to the set of actions that enable the nutrition of living beings of a certain degree of complexity, in general of animals, including humans.

The diet includes not only the ingestion of foods containing the nutrients necessary for normal growth and development, but also the selection and cooking, if ingested cooked.

Thus, food and nutrition are two closely related but not coincidental concepts , since the second occurs at the cellular level and depends on involuntary physiological processes , such as digestion and intestinal absorption, while the first is a voluntary process managed by the own individual.

It is important to emphasize that the type of food that a person maintains depends on various factors , such as food availability, culture , religion , socio-economic status, psychological aspects, publicity , and also of individual needs that may be transitory (eg, wanting lose weight or at any given time in life) or permanent due to health issues (eg: celiac, diabetic, etc.).

Foods already transformed into nutrients allow us to meet global energy demands (which vary throughout life ), regulate metabolic processes, maintain body structures and form new ones, and prevent diseases. The main nutrients belong to the following chemical groups: proteins , carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Water is also a fundamental nutrient that we usually forget to consume in the right amount.

  1. Eating disorders

Anorexia - Eating Disorder
Anorexia generates an uncontrolled and irrational desire to lose weight.

At present , the importance of food education is stressed , that is to say, in the awareness that the foods we choose and the way we prepare and consume them are extremely important for our health and our psycho-physical well-being.

In this regard we have identified some specific problems , known today as disorders of conduct food (TCA). Among them, bulimia and anorexia stand out for their cultural and social impact:

  • Bulimia.  In the first there is an urgent need to consume a large amount of food in a short space of time, and then proceed to actions aimed at eliminating it (such as the self-provocation of vomiting).
  • Anorexy.  In anorexia there is a body distortion that makes the person perceive themselves as fatter than they really are, which generates an uncontrolled and irrational desire to lose weight, at the cost of physical deterioration due to insufficient daily caloric intake, below the vital minimum.
  1. Diet

Meat - Food
Medicine has insisted on the consumption of food of animal origin.

The diet is a traditional biological concept that tries to classify animals according to the food they eat and their location in the food chain, which in turn depends on various factors, including the degree of development of their mouth apparatus , of the conformation of your digestive system (if it is monogastric or polygastric) and of questions related to your behavior and habits of life (domestic life, wandering, community life , etc.).

Thus, they have traditionally distinguished themselves between carnivorous, herbivorous, omnivorous, carrion and saprophagic feeding animals , as the main types. The location of the human being in this sense continues to be the subject of debate.

Western medicine has historically insisted on the importance of consuming foods of animal origin (meats) to obtain an adequate supply of proteins, and, above all, of certain amino acids (the so-called essential amino acids).

Today it is known, however, that our body is able to obtain all the nutrients it requires if it is provided with a good variety of plant-based foods, including legumes, cereals, seeds, nuts, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

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