Food Vs. Nutrition

Difference Between Food and Nutrition


Food. Long before recorded history, early humans obtained their food by hunting wild game animals, and fishing,. Plants eaten by early humans included acorns, barley grains, pine nuts, wheat grains, and yams.

Just when early humans began raising their own crops is not known, but they are believed to have started about 10,000 years ago. As humans were cultivating food crops, they were also domesticating animals as a source of food. Sheep and goats were probably domesticated as early as 9200 B.C., providing people with a source of meat when game animals were scarce. Cattle, which were domesticated by around 4000 B.C., were valued as a source of meat and milk and were also used as work animals. By 3000 B.C., humans had domesticated a number of other animals and were cultivating a variety of crops, including barley, beans, carrots, lettuce, onions, and wheat.

Over the centuries many agricultural tools and techniques were devised and improved. Irrigation and selective breeding were only two of the many innovations that enabled humans to increase both the quantity and quality of their food supply. Today, thousands of varieties of plants and animals are raised for food, and the food industry employs millions of people, from farmers and fishers to food processors, manufacturers, and suppliers.


Nutrition, the science dealing with knowledge of food substances called nutrients and the investigation of processes through which organisms take in and utilize nutrients for growth, repair, energy, and general health. Maintenance of a good nutritional state encompasses a suitable diet, a healthy appetite, and proper gastrointestinal and intermediary metabolism so that nutrients can be used effectively.

Because nutrition is an ever-changing discipline, some of what is presently accepted as good nutritional practice was not just a few years ago. Nutritionists are now shifting emphasis from the minimal requirements of nutrients in order to prevent acute depletion syndromes to adequate requirements for maintaining an excellent, long-term health status. Healthful diets in the future therefore may not only eliminate nutrient deficiencies but may also prevent, or at least ameliorate, ailments such as cardiovascular disorders, cancers, and infections.

Good nutrition is necessary for optimal health and resistance to disease. Every living creature requires nutrients to build and retain bodily structure and to supply the necessary energy for subsistence.

Numerous essential nutrients are now recognized. A nutrient is considered “essential” if a deficiency consistently results in recognizable clinical problems that can be treated by increasing that nutrient in the diet. Nutrients are subdivided into macronutrients and micronutrients. Vitamins and minerals, essential for life, are classified as micronutrients because they are used in comparatively small amounts. In contrast, macronutrients, which include carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, provide calories and structural materials and are needed in much greater quantities. Water and fibers, while not nutrients in the classic definition, are necessary components of a well-balanced diet.


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