For humans, nutrition is the process by which the body takes advantage of nutrients in food so that their body and cells stay alive and have energy. However, not only do humans need food, but also plants, for example.
Evolution, there is no single way to extract from food the raw material for what is to be built; it is a complex process that has been altered over millions of years of evolution. These processes may be different and therefore they can be classified in different ways into types of nutrition.
Nutrition is a vital process
The consumption of food by humans is a vital necessity for the body. Good nutrition, that is, a proper and balanced diet, is necessary for good health and to avoid physical and mental deterioration.
this process it provides the energy to keep us alive and allows us to perform all other functions of living things. Food also provides the raw materials necessary for the growth and repair of our body.
Difference between nutrition, diet and diet
There is some confusion with the term nutrition. As a science, it includes the study of foods and the processes involved in their use of nutrients: digestion, absorption and assimilation in body cells. Nutrition, in fact, is an involuntary process, because it is too important to let ourselves be under its control: the physiological functioning of the body is responsible for this.
It would therefore be wrong to speak of good nutrition or bad nutrition, because it would refer to food. Food is a series of voluntary and conscious actions they aim to select, prepare and ingest food. Diet is also often confused with diet. Instead, the diet is about a person’s eating habits. Although it is associated with weight loss and control, the diet should not have any purpose affecting body image.
Types of nutrition
But … What types of nutrition do you have? In the following lines you can find a classification of the different types of nutrition
1. Autotrophic nutrition
Autotrophic nutrition consists in nourishing oneself, in synthesizing organic substances. In other words, it’s nutrition produced by these living beings capable of producing their own food.
Plants are a clear example of this, as they feed on photosynthesis. Living things that go through the process of photosynthesis are called photolithoautotrophs. On the contrary, those which use elements of a chemical character are the chemolithotrophs. For example: bacteria.
2. Nutritional heterotrophs
This type of nutrition is used by living things that need a pre-prepared food source. For example: animals, fungi and most microorganisms. Heterotrophic nutrition it can be divided into several types:
Parasitic nutrition, in which the living being lives on or in another organism to which it harms and from which it obtains its nutrients by ingestion or absorption; saprophytic nutrition, in which living beings absorb nutrients from the environment and break them down using enzymes to obtain the energy they need; and Holozoic, which is characteristic of humans, in which an organism ingests food in solid form and then digests it to obtain the nutrients it needs.
Holozoic nutrition can be classified in three ways:
- Herbivorous nutrition: The body eats vegetables
- Carnivorous nutrition: The body feeds on meat.
- Omnivorous nutrition: The body eats vegetables and meat.
Types of nutrients
Nutrients are necessary for the growth and health of the body. There are five types of nutrients that they are divided into two large groups: macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are needed in large amounts and include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. In contrast, micronutrients are needed in small amounts and include vitamins and minerals. Water and fiber are not nutrients but are necessary for the proper functioning of the body.
Below are the different types of nutrients.
Although carbohydrates have become the enemies of the diet for weight loss, they are essential macronutrients for the body as they nourish the brain and muscles. carbohydrates they are the best source of energy and foods that contain it can also be high in fiber, which is necessary for proper bowel function.
There are two types: simple carbohydrates (banana, honey, etc.), which contain one or two sugars; and complex carbohydrates (eg, brown rice) which are made from three or more related sugars. These macronutrients provide 4 calories per gram, although complexes take longer to digest than simple carbohydrates and are more filling.
Proteins are nutrients structural in all cells. In other words, they form what we could call the raw material of our body, the bricks with which it is built and reformed. On the other hand, they also help repair tissues and fight infections. When consumption exceeds the body’s needs, protein can be used as a source of energy. They provide 4 calories per gram.
Fat, like the previous two macronutrients, also provides the body with energy and is involved in the processes that keep the body alive. however, they provide 9 calories per gram. Although currently demonized, fats are essential for maintaining good health.
On the other hand, fats have other functions besides energy. For example, they play a structural role, provide a means of transport for certain substances and increase palatability.
There are several types of fat, you can read more about it in this article: “Types of Fat (Good and Bad) and Their Functions”.
Vitamins are micronutrients that the body needs to assimilate other nutrients. Its functions are: to participate in the formation of chemicals in the nervous system, red blood cells, hormones and genetic material. They also participate in the regulation of metabolic systems and are necessary for the health and proper functioning of the body.
If you want to know the different types of protein, in this article you can dive into this section: “Types of vitamins: functions and benefits for your body”.
the minerals they give structure to bones, teeth and nails. Like vitamins, they help enzymes in many processes in the body. However, unlike these, they are inorganic substances that originate from soil, rocks and water. Calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc or magnesium are some examples of minerals.
Type of food
As discussed in the previous lines, food is a series of voluntary actions aimed at selecting what is ingested. The types of food available are as follows.
Veganism is the behavior of an individual who decides do not eat foods of animal origin nor, in general, the use of any product to be produced involves the death of animals. Therefore, a vegan does not eat meat and fish, nor does it consume eggs, dairy products or honey.
In addition, in some cases, products known to be doomed to death due to their production system are not consumed, although they are of purely plant origin.
Vegetarians are people who, due to their ideology, mostly eat vegetables. Aside from strict vegetarians, there are also lacto-ovo vegetarians, Who eat eggs and dairy products in addition to vegetables, and lacto-vegetarians, who only include dairy products in their diet in addition to vegetables. The idea is not to consume animals directly, but some of the products derived from their way of life do.
3. Emotional eating
It is the food that it is associated with emotional and psychological problems. For example, when a person suffers from anxiety, they consume more foods high in fat, even automatically and without realizing it.
4. Sports food
This is the food he’s looking for increase athletic or physical performance. For example, consuming carbohydrates to perform better in a marathon. It is also associated with improved fitness and bodybuilding.
5. Healthy eating
Healthy eating is the choice of consuming products which are beneficial for well-being. For example, fruit or olive oil for its healthy properties.