What Is Medical Malnutrition?

In the study of nutrition, food is defined as any material eaten to supply nutrition to the organisms. Generally speaking food is generally of plant, animal or fungi origin, and contains various vital nutrients, including proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, or minerals. The main function of food is to increase the life span of an individual and prevent or remove disease, including nutrition. It is used in most human societies, but is deficient in many countries.


There are 6 fundamental food groups, with each having several members that provide different nutrients. These are carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts. Each food type has a particular group of nutrients it provides, as well as the protein and mineral content of each one. Some examples of the categories of food are the protein-rich foods, which are beans, fish, meat, and pulses; the carbohydrates, which are vegetables, cereals, fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and fruit juice; the fruits, which are berries, melons, vegetables, meats, and dairy products; and the vegetables, which are legumes, nuts, and fruits.

Food plays a significant role in human nutrition and health because it provides the body with essential minerals and micronutrients. Some of them are iron, zinc, copper, vitamin E, riboflavin, thiamine, Vitamin B-complex, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, and folic acid. All these provide important roles in the immune system, development of the reproductive organs, tissue repair, and growth. Foods that have a sufficient amount of nutrients and minerals are highly beneficial to our well-being.

According to nutritionists, food nutrition consists of five interrelated components: carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins and minerals. The food system needs all these elements in perfect proportions to be able to grow, develop, and maintain good health. It is not enough to eat only one type of food group, as mixing different food types can result to poor nutritional balance. The food system also requires adequate quantities of essential fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins.

Proteins are the main elements of food. Proteins are the building blocks of life and are needed for the normal functioning of the cells in our body. Carbohydrates are also made of protein and contain calories. Fats, on the other hand, are made of fats and are commonly used as sources of energy. We get the vitamins and minerals from carbohydrates, while the amino acids from proteins.

The best way to avoid malnutrition is by having a proper intake of food, i.e., a diet rich in nutrients and sufficient in calories. Meals that have appropriate proportions of each are considered healthy. However, some people are unable to follow this dietary requirement because of their physiological makeup. Under such circumstances, special food items may be required. For instance, some patients may need a balanced diet even when they do not feel hungry, because their bodily systems are unable to cope up with the deficit food.