CARACTERISTICS OF GOOD
Most people find
pleasure in eating. Eating allows one to connect with family and friends in
pleasant surroundings. This connection creates pleasant memo-ries.
Unfortunately, in social situations it is easy for one to make food choices
that may not be conducive to good health.
What determines when
one needs to eat? Does one wait until the body signals hunger or eat when one
sees food or when the clock says it is time? Hunger is the physiological need
for food. Appetite is a psychological desire for food based on pleasant
memories. When the body signals hunger, that is the indication that there is a
decrease in blood glucose that supplies the body with energy. If one ignores
the signal and hunger becomes intense, it is possible to make poor food
choices. The choices one makes will determine one’s nutrition status. A person
who habitually chooses to eat, or not to eat, as a way of coping with life’s
emotional struggles may be suffering from an eating disorder.
Once foods have been
eaten, the body must process it before it can be used. Nutrition is the result of the
processes whereby the body takes in and uses food for growth, development, and
the maintenance of health. These processes include digestion, absorption, and
metabolism. One’s physical condition as determined by the diet is called nutritional status.
determine the height and weight of an individual. Nutri-tion also can affect
the body’s ability to resist disease, the length of one’s life, and the state
of one’s physical and mental well-being (Figure 1-1).
enhances appearance and is commonly exemplified by shiny hair, clear skin,
clear eyes, erect posture, alert expressions, and firm flesh on well-developed
bone structures. Good nutrition aids emotional adjustments, provides stamina,
and promotes a healthy appetite. It also helps establish regu-lar sleep and
elimination habits (Table 1-2).