In GCSE Science students will be taught the requirements for keeping healthy. This is the first of six quizzes on that topic and it look in particular at which foods make up a healthy balanced diet, the different groups of food - carbohydrates, proteins and fats - as well as vitamins, minerals and fibre, and in which foods they can be found. It also looks at why we need the different food groups in our diet and the effects of malnutrition and overeating as well as the necessity of regular exercise.
A combination of a balanced diet and regular exercise is needed to help keep the body healthy. A balanced diet involves eating the right types of nutrients in the right proportions. You may see claims made that fast food is in fact healthy. Yes, the fast food companies do include the main nutrients - carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, mineral ions, fibre and a drink, but these are in the wrong proportions to be healthy when eaten regularly. There is usually a lot more fat and salt than is required by your body and very little fibre.
Your body uses the nutrients you eat for releasing energy that enables you to live and also as the raw materials for repairs and growth. Energy is most easily released from carbohydrates but it can also be obtained from stored fat. The proteins are digested to supply your body with amino acids. These can then be delivered to the cells of your body by your bloodstream where they can be rebuilt as necessary to form the proteins of your body.
Eating more calories than you use during the day has one effect - you put on weight. This can then lead to a lot of health problems later in life including heart disease and diabetes. High levels of the sodium ion from salt increases blood pressure which means you have an increased risk of heart disease and strokes.
Regular exercise improves your health in many ways. It burns more calories than if you didn't exercise and helps you to control your weight more easily. Exercise improves your circulation which can reduce your risk of heart disease and strokes. It makes you stronger and fitter so you will be less tired during the day and it can also improve your mood since it stimulates the release of certain chemicals in the brain that are associated with relaxation and happiness.