What is nutrition?

Nutrition is the science of food. It is the study of the nutrients and substances that make up food. Nutrition looks at the action, interaction, and balance of food as it relates to health and disease and the process of how the body digests, absorbs, transports, uses, and eliminates food.
Nutrients are substances needed for health that the body cannot make or makes in amounts too small to support health.   Nutrients primarily provide energy, support growth and development, and keep body functions running smoothly. 

Learn more about nutrition here!

Nutrition in your life

The foods we eat have a huge impact on our health and how long we live. The combination of an unhealthy diet and too little physical activity is indirectly the second leading cause of death in the United States. Obesity is considered the second leading cause of deaths that could be prevented (smoking is the first). 

Healthy eating and regular exercise can prevent and treat many of the common deadly diseases, like heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. To correct these problems, many Americans need to make big changes to their eating habits and lifestyles.

You can have a healthier diet by 

  1. Eating more fruits and vegetables
  2. Making more of your grains whole grains
  3. Choosing healthier proteins (lean meats, seafood, nuts and seeds)

Eating healthy can be a challenge if fruits and vegetables are difficult to get or cost too much money. Check out these tips on how to eat healthy on a budget!

Use MyPlate to make healthier choices

You can go to to find practical tools that can help you make healthier food choices. The Daily Food Plans help you know what you should eat and drink and the SuperTracker can help you plan, analyze, and track your diet and physical activity.

MyPlate is the federal government’s newest food icon for presenting these guidelines. MiPlato is the Spanish-language version.  MyPlate and MiPlato highlight the amount of fruit, vegetable, grains, protein foods, and dairy groups needed to make healthy food choices.

The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture work together to release the Dietary Guidelines every five years. These guidelines use the newest scientific knowledge to create helpful tips for healthy eating and keeping a healthy weight.