Eat for what?


It is of interest to know just what we are doing when we sit down at the table and expectantly tuck our napkins under our chins. We eat for two purposes: (1) to supply the body with fuel for the day's work; (2) to furnish material to rebuild worn-out body tissues. If we get pleasure from our meals, so much the better.


It is important to get the right proportions of the various types of foodstuffs, if we are to make what we eat do us the most good. The chief sources of energy for body heat and action are those combinations of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen called CARBOHYDRATES, of which starch and table sugar are examples. The various FATS like butter, egg yolk and olive oil are also used by the body for the same purpose.

The proper repair for worn-out tissue or the building of new comes from the PROTEINS—those foodstuffs in which nitrogen is the important factor. Meats are rich in proteins, as are also peas, beans, milk and eggs. Information concerning the best combinations of foodstuffs and how much of each shall be used is available to those who want it.


To paraphrase the Scriptures, " Man doth not live by carbohydrates, fats, and proteins done." The body cannot get along without small amounts of MINERALS of calcium, phosphorus, iron, and other minerals. Also of importance are those substances, the VITAMINS. Milk, eggs, green vegetables, and fruits are some of the readily available sources of these " accessory " substances.


We need plenty of roughage in our diet. This is obtained in bulky foods which give the teeth, the stomach, and the intestines plenty of work to do. Raw fruits and vegetables and such roots as carrots and turnips are examples. Water is equally important and is needed in larger quantities than most people drink. For the average adult 8 glasses a day are recommended. Roughage and water help to avoid constipation.


The two essential points about diet are great variety, and great moderation. As each person is a law unto himself, he must learn by trial which foods are most suitable to his needs, and how much he needs each day to keep himself at, or slightly below, normal weight for his age and height. Some generalities that will help him begin his experiments on his own nutrition are these:


Fruit at breakfast and at other meals instead of most rich desserts and pastry; a pint of milk daily for adults (a quart for children), whole wheat cereals for breakfast, or whole wheat bread for part of the daily portion; at least one green vegetable and one raw vegetable every day. With due regard for moderation in all things, Mr. A. Man can rely pretty well upon his palate to guide him in choosing the rest of his daily bread until suet' time as he can learn more about food values in diet. He must eat correctly to live well.



What to Tell the Public About Health. New York: American Public Health Association, 1933. Print.



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