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Nutrition and Health

Nutrition and Health

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This lesson will look at the effect that diet and exercise have on normal body functions.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

In this lesson you will learn the importance of a healthy diet by learning about:

  1. Nutrition
  2. BMI

1. Nutrition

To start, let's identify the parts of your diet that can play a role in your body. The important parts of your diet include vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

  • Vitamins - organic substances. There are many different types of vitamins your body needs like Vitamin C, vitamin D, Vitamin K, Vitamin E to name a few

Example Vitamin D is a vitamin that can actually be made in the skin, but also can be obtained through diet by eating things like fish, egg yolks, milk, et cetera. This vitamin is important for making sure that bones grow and develop; it also helps calcium to be absorbed more easily by your body. Vitamin D plays a role in enhancing the immune system as well.

  • Minerals - inorganic substances; examples of minerals would be like calcium, iron, magnesium, et cetera.

Example Calcium is most often associated with dairy foods, such as milk, cheeses, ice cream, but it can also be found though in green veggies and other foods. It's important for bone formation, blood clotting, and for the functioning of the nervous system and muscles.

  • Nutrients - carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. Let's take a look at the different kinds of nutrients more in depth:
    • Carbohydrates are necessary because they are broken down into glucose and then used by your body as an energy source. Complex carbs the most healthy type of carbohydrate, versus simple carbohydrates.
    • Lipids are also known as fats and they're needed for cell membranes, for energy, and for cushioning of your organs. Some fats are healthier than others. Olive oil is an example of a healthy fat, whereas French fries would be an example of an unhealthy fat.
    • Proteins are nutrients that are needed for protein synthesis in our body, and help with muscle building.

Terms to Know

    • Vitamins
    • A diverse class of organic compounds that are involved in almost every metabolic process in the human body.
    • Minerals
    • Inorganic elements found in soil that are involved in almost every metabolic process of the human body.
    • Carbohydrates
    • A class of organic compounds that are the body’s main source of energy; carbohydrates are sugars that can be found as monosaccharides (glucose), disaccharides (fructose), and polysaccharides (starch).
    • Lipids
    • Long hydrophobic hydrocarbon chains that act as the body’s main source of stored energy along with other secondary functions.
    • Protein
    • Large, complex polymers of amino acids that have diverse functions (structure, communication, identity, immunity, carriers, etc.)

Essential fatty acids and essential amino acids also have to be obtained by our diet. Some types of fatty acids and some types of amino acids our body can make on its own, but not all. Those we cannot make have to come from our diet.

Example Essential amino acids are amino acids that our body cannot produce on its own. There are 20 amino acids; eight of them are essential. In other words, eight of those 20 cannot be made by the body itself, so we get those through our diet.

Terms to Know

    • Essential Fatty Acids
    • Fatty acids we cannot naturally synthesize are called essential fatty acids; since we cannot synthesize them we must consume them in our diet.
    • Essential Amino Acids
    • Amino acids we cannot naturally synthesize are called essential amino acids; since we cannot synthesize them we must consume them in our diet.

Fiber is another important element to have in our diet, even if it doesn't provide a lot of nutritional value. The importance of fiber basically is to add bulk to help push food through our digestive system. Diverticulosis and hemorrhoids are examples of possible outcomes if our diet is lacking in fiber. There are various types of foods that have fiber in them such as fruits and foods that have a lot of wheat.


2. BMI

In this part of the lesson here we're going to take some time to talk a little bit about BMI, body fat, and healthy weight loss.

BMI is a term that you've probably heard before, and it stands for is body mass index. It uses a person's height and weight to measure the amount or the percentage of body fat that they have. And there's actually an equation that goes along with it:

Term to Know

    • Body Mass Index (BMI)
    • A measurement ratio of your height and weight to assess a person’s body composition that is often used as a health and disease indicator.

An easier way generally is just to use a BMI table


Try It

Let's use this chart to see what zone someone who is 5’8” tall and weighs 135lb would fall. Are they underweight, normal, overweight, or obese?

Since feet and inches are being used, start on the right hand side of the chart to find height. Move to the left until you reach the correct weight. This individual falls in the normal range. Use your own height and weight to see where you fall.

BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate, and is the amount of energy needed to sustain body functions It tells you how many calories do you need to sustain your body functions. This rate is going to vary from person to person, depending on the person's size, their age, their activity level, et cetera.

IN CONTEXT

Question:
why would knowing your BMR be important when it comes to maintaining your health?

Answer: If a person wanted to lose weight, they would then find their BMR, or how many calories they would consume on a daily basis to maintain their current weight, and then they would eat less calories than that in order to lose weight. Losing one pound of fat is equal to about 3,500 cumulative calories being used versus consumed.

Big Idea
Having some fat in the body is important; it helps to cushion organs and helps to provide energy, but having too much fat in the body can be detrimental to health.

Summary

Nutrition is very important for the proper functioning of our bodies. Our diet is the main way we take in many of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients we need to live. Nutrients include carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. Essential fatty acids and essential amino acids are those we can only get through our diet. Fiber, while not nutritionally valuable, is important for digestion. Your BMI is a way to calculate the percentage of fat on your body. While fat is needed for our bodies to function properly, too much body fat is not good for you.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Vitamins

    A diverse class of organic compounds that are involved in almost every metabolic process in the human body.

  • Minerals

    Inorganic elements found in soil that are involved in almost every metabolic process of the human body.

  • Carbohydrates

    A class of organic compounds that are the body’s main source of energy; carbohydrates are sugars that can be found as monosaccharides (glucose), disaccharides (fructose), and polysaccharides (starch).

  • Lipids

    Long hydrophobic hydrocarbon chains that act as the body’s main source of stored energy along with other secondary functions.

  • Protein

    Large, complex polymers of amino acids that have diverse functions (structure, communication, identity, immunity, carriers, etc.)

  • Body Mass Index (BMI)

    A measurement ratio of your height and weight to assess a person’s body composition that is often used as a health and disease indicator.

  • Obesity

    Having too much body fat, not to be confused with being overweight, this means weighing too much. Obesity is a risk factor for many chronic diseases such as hypertension, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease etc.

  • Essential Amino Acids

    Amino acids we cannot naturally synthesize are called essential amino acids; since we cannot synthesize them we must consume them in our diet.

  • Essential Fatty Acids

    Fatty acids we cannot naturally synthesize are called essential fatty acids; since we cannot synthesize them we must consume them in our diet.