Malnutrition and unhealthy eating habits are the primary contributors to the global burden of disease. We already know that weight loss, childhood hypoplasia and micronutrient deficiencies cause an average of 11 per cent of GDP losses in Asia and Africa each year, which is higher than the 2008-2010 financial crisis. Thus, malnutrition problems have an inhibitory effect on wide ranges of development, including human growth to social development. There is no need to emphasize the importance of the nutritional contents in food. Meanwhile, junk food as well as unhealthy food basically, is under heated debates worldwide. It is considered as the cheap food containing high levels of calories from sugar or fat with little fiber, protein, vitamins or minerals. However, nutrient-rich foods and junk food do not have a clear classification standard to determine whether the food is good or bad for health. In other words, in addition to breast milk, there is no absolute nutrient-rich foods.
Basic Nutrients Required For Good Health
The following details the six basic nutrients that required for good health:
1. Carbohydrates (sugar). Carbohydrate is the most important source of calories, participating in most life activities. It maintains normal neurological function and promotes metabolism of fat and protein. But high level of calories intake contributes to overweight, which is harmful to healthy badly.
2. Fat. The fat in food includes a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fat. Fat is absorbed by the body and provide more than twice the amount of calories. Also, fat is an important reserve form of energy supply. Fat can support and protect the body organs, as well as joints from injury.
3. Protein. Considering human body as a building, the protein is the building material to constitute the building. The important components of the human body are made of protein, including blood, muscle, nerves, skin, hair, etc. Adequate protein intake is also important for immune system.
4. Vitamins. It is necessary to maintain the body’s normal physiological function. Vitamins in the diet are absolutely indispensable because most of them cannot be made in the body. If suffering a long-term lack of vitamin or deficiency, leading to the metabolic disorders, pathological state and avitaminosis.
5. Minerals. Minerals includes constant elements and trace elements. Particularly trace elements, they have specific functions and are indispensable for life, including Iron (Fe), Zinc (Zn), Selenium (Se), Iodine (I), etc.
Are They Healthy Food or Junk Food?
Edible Bird’s Nest
Edible bird’s nests are bird nests created by edible-nest swiftlets using solidified saliva, which is considered to have high value of nutrition and exquisite flavor particularly in China. The Chinese believe that bird’s nest promotes good health and especially for skins. Modern medical research found that the main components of bird’s nest include water-soluble protein, carbohydrates and also trace elements (calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, potassium). These components are similar to many daily foods, such as eggs in which contains the best quality of protein, all the amino acids that the human body needs, carbohydrates, fatty acids, abundant vitamins and minerals. Moreover, eggs contain high value and high level of those nutrients, which are contained in bird’s nest. Some ‘experts’ claim that there is a small amount of hormones contains in bird’s nest that is good for human, but this is not special enough. For instance, milk also contains small amounts of sex hormones. Furthermore, the body can produce sufficient sex hormones of their own; a small amount of food sex hormones will not have any benefits to the human body (more harmful instead). Bird’s nest is overstated due to their rarity. Thus, it is just one of the rich-nutrients food and do not has such miracle affects to health.
(Edible bird’s nest. Sauce: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edible_bird’s_nest)
Fruit juice is often assumed to be healthy, but it is not true. Many fruit juices are actually considered to be fruit-flavored sugar water. It is true that the juice contains some antioxidants and vitamin C, but this must be weighed against the large amount of liquid sugar. Moreover, fruit juice contains just as much sugar as a sugary drink like Coke or Pepsi, and sometimes even more. Thus, fruit juice can be a junk food because of high quantity of sugar contents. But the pomegrenate juice and blueberry juice is confirmed to have health benefits.
Whole Wheat Products
World Health Organization (WHO) published ten ‘junk food’ include biscuits but exclude whole wheat products. Because of the poor taste of cellulose, the manufacturers tend to add a lot of oils in the biscuits, resulting in higher fat content. And most “whole wheat” products aren’t really made from whole wheat. Furthermore, the modern wheat is much different compared with primer wheat. Dr. William Davis claims that modern wheat is a “perfect, chronic poison”, because modified genes and less nutrients. It may much worse for people who are intolerant to gluten.
In conclusion, some junk food is disguised as rich-nutrients food. And nutritional intake is strongly related to human’s health conditions. For instance, overweight and obese people are not recommended to eat avocados regularly because of high level of calories. But a research shows that avocados can lower metabolic syndrome risk. Therefore, there is no absolute nutrients food that only do good to promote our health. Enriching the structure of diet and not fussy about foods are vital to obtain all kinds of required nutrients. We should hold a correct cognition of nutrients in particular foods, avoiding exaggerate the effects and even misunderstood.