What is Nutrition?
The discipline of nutrition investigates the relationships between diet and health, disease, and metabolism. With advances in the fields of molecular biology, biochemistry, nutritional immunology, molecular medicine and genetics, the study of nutrition spans a wide range of research, including basic science investigations of the role of nutrients and food components at the cellular level to clinical trials of the impact of dietary interventions.
Numerous studies show that eating habits play a major role in the development of certain chronic diseases, including heart disease, obesity, cancer, and diabetes. Making changes to diet can help prevent and treat these conditions. For example, lowering certain fats and cholesterol and adding whole grains to a diet can help prevent atherosclerosis (plaque build up in the arteries), which can lead to heart disease or stroke. Eating fewer calories will lead to weight loss. Cutting down on simple sugars (glucose, sucrose, fructose, and lactose) can help prevent diabetes, and diets high in fiber (especially soluble fiber) can help control diabetes.
Teresa M. Waters, Ph.D.
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Memphis, TN 38163