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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Explain why an animal’s diet should be balanced and meet the needs of the body
  • Define the primary components of food
  • Describe the essential nutrients required for cellular function that cannot be synthesized by the animal body
  • Explain how energy is produced through diet and digestion
  • Describe how excess carbohydrates and energy are stored in the body

Given the diversity of animal life on our planet, it is not surprising that the animal diet would also vary substantially. The animal diet is the source of materials needed for building DNA and other complex molecules needed for growth, maintenance, and reproduction; collectively these processes are called biosynthesis. The diet is also the source of materials for ATP production in the cells. The diet must be balanced to provide the minerals and vitamins that are required for cellular function.

Food requirements

What are the fundamental requirements of the animal diet? The animal diet should be well balanced and provide nutrients required for bodily function and the minerals and vitamins required for maintaining structure and regulation necessary for good health and reproductive capability. These requirements for a human are illustrated graphically in [link]

Healthy diet logo shows a plate divided into four sections, labeled “fruits”, “vegetables” “grains,” and “protein”. The vegetables section is slightly larger than the other three. A circle to the side of the plate is labeled “dairy”. Beneath the plate is the web address “Choose My Plate dot gov”.
For humans, a balanced diet includes fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. (credit: USDA)

The first step in ensuring that you are meeting the food requirements of your body is an awareness of the food groups and the nutrients they provide. To learn more about each food group and the recommended daily amounts, explore this interactive site by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Everyday connection

Let’s move! campaign

Obesity is a growing epidemic and the rate of obesity among children is rapidly rising in the United States. To combat childhood obesity and ensure that children get a healthy start in life, first lady Michelle Obama has launched the Let’s Move! campaign. The goal of this campaign is to educate parents and caregivers on providing healthy nutrition and encouraging active lifestyles to future generations. This program aims to involve the entire community, including parents, teachers, and healthcare providers to ensure that children have access to healthy foods—more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains—and consume fewer calories from processed foods. Another goal is to ensure that children get physical activity. With the increase in television viewing and stationary pursuits such as video games, sedentary lifestyles have become the norm. Learn more at www.letsmove.gov.

Organic precursors

The organic molecules required for building cellular material and tissues must come from food. Carbohydrates or sugars are the primary source of organic carbons in the animal body. During digestion, digestible carbohydrates are ultimately broken down into glucose and used to provide energy through metabolic pathways. Complex carbohydrates, including polysaccharides, can be broken down into glucose through biochemical modification; however, humans do not produce the enzyme cellulase and lack the ability to derive glucose from the polysaccharide cellulose. In humans, these molecules provide the fiber required for moving waste through the large intestine and a healthy colon. The intestinal flora in the human gut are able to extract some nutrition from these plant fibers. The excess sugars in the body are converted into glycogen and stored in the liver and muscles for later use. Glycogen stores are used to fuel prolonged exertions, such as long-distance running, and to provide energy during food shortage. Excess glycogen can be converted to fats, which are stored in the lower layer of the skin of mammals for insulation and energy storage. Excess digestible carbohydrates are stored by mammals in order to survive famine and aid in mobility.

Questions & Answers

the study of living organisms
Dorcas Reply
what is body symmetry
Elizabeth Reply
What is the instrument used for measuring water potential?
Agyeiwaa Reply
tensiometers
osometer
MP
what is hemisphere
Abraham
hemisphere
Elizabeth
electrolytic Hygrometer
Elizabeth
difference between food chain and food web
tunz Reply
a food chain follows just only one path as animals find food while food web shows the many different path's plants and animals are connected
Elizabeth
is the study of living
Cabdi Reply
ohh ok..
HAMIDAH
hys
Cabdi
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Cabdi
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HAMIDAH
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Cabdi
aha
HAMIDAH
hee maxaa kwda hee
Cabdi
what is biology
Sandra Reply
Biology is the natural science that studies life n living organisms which include physical structures, chemical processes, molecular interaction, physiological mechanisms, evolution n development
HAMIDAH
biology is d study of living things
tunz
tru
Cabdi
brnch of biology
Cabdi
biology is the study of living things
tunz
hy hamidah
Cabdi
biology is the study of living things
Nikolas
main branch re botany, zoology n micro biology
HAMIDAH
1.Biochemistry 2.Biophysics 3.Biotechnology 4.Botany 5.Cell biology 6.Ecology
Peace
Main branch of biology are,zoology, botany and microbiology
Agyeiwaa
jarray
audio
Peace
audio
biology is the study of life
Elizabeth
the period of cell growth between nuclear division
AAYAT Reply
what is synapsis
Edward Reply
the fusion of chromosomes at yhe the beginning of meiosis
Hassan
what do we mean by the team genetic
Regina Reply
is the inheritance of the living organisms
Sarah
am I right?
Sarah
is the variation and inheritance of living organism
Raymond
genetic is define as the scientific study of heredity and variation in living things
HAMIDAH
they are the characters that we inherited from our parents
Elizabeth
give all the characteristics of an enzyme
Davies Reply
it alters the rate of chemical reaction
tunz
-some require coenzymes -they re inhibited by inhibitors -they re required in minute amount -they speed up the rate of chemical reaction
HAMIDAH
hi Hamida, may I ask how do you study bio?
al
thanks
al
they are the biological catalyst that speed up in chemical reaction
Elizabeth
what is the difference between meiosi and
Glory Reply
TCRs. in full. and was it all about .Tell me about all of immunity.
KIIZA Reply
why is it that, when using light microscope for viewing the red blood cell is not distinguishable
Samuel Reply
Hello guy what is happening
Glory Reply
what is a cell
Innocent Reply
basic unit of life
Adoma
smallest unit of living things
Nicholas
cell is a basic unit of life
Senamile
the fundamental and structural unit of a living organism
angelina
a cell is the basic unit of life
Elizabeth

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Source:  OpenStax, Biology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 29, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11448/1.10
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