Diet and exercise
Regular exercise and a balanced diet are needed to keep the body healthy. Too little food leads to a person being underweight and prone to illness, while too much food and not enough exercise leads to a person being overweight and prone to other illnesses. Excess cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease, and excess salt causes high blood pressure and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
A mixture of different types of food in the correct amounts is needed to maintain health. The main food groups are:
|food group||found in||required by our bodies for|
|potatoes, pasta, bread, bananas, sugar and rice||A source of energy for other life processes. Sometimes referred to as fibre, which is actually just one - very common - type of carbohydrate.|
|cheese, butter, margarine and oils||Fats are needed to make cell membranes and to insulate our bodies. They also contain important fat-soluble vitaminsvitamins: organic substances which are essential in small amounts to regulate the metabolism and maintain the immune system.|
|meat, fish, eggs and cheese||Growth and repair.|
|wholemeal bread, fruit, vegetables and pulses||The fibre or roughage in our diet is not digested, but is important because it allows the muscles in our intestines to move food through our system by peristalsisperistalsis: wave-like muscular contractions in the smooth wall of the gut which move food through the alimentary canal.|
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