Nutrition

Nutrition is the science that interprets the nutrients and other substances in food in relation to maintenance, growth, reproduction, health and disease of an organism. It includes ingestion, absorptionassimilationbiosynthesiscatabolism and excretion.

The diet of an organism is what it eats, which is largely determined by the availability and palatability of foods. For humans, a healthy diet includes preparation of food and storage methods that preserve nutrients from oxidation, heat or leaching, and that reduces risk of foodborne illnesses. The seven major classes of human nutrients are carbohydratesfatsfibermineralsproteinsvitamins, and water. Nutrients can be grouped as either macronutrients or micronutrients (needed in small quantities).

In humans, an unhealthy diet can cause deficiency-related diseases such as blindnessanemiascurvypreterm birthstillbirth and cretinism,or nutrient excess health-threatening conditions such as obesity and metabolic syndrome; and such common chronic systemic diseases as cardiovascular disease,diabetes, and osteoporosis.Undernutrition can lead to wasting in acute cases, and the stunting of marasmus in chronic cases of malnutrition.