Food is not fuel. It's a common misconception, especially in exercise and weight loss circles, and I believe the misconception is part of the reason why so many people struggle to lose weight, gain muscle, or experience any number of health issues.
Here's a good article on the topic: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/food-is-not-fuel
1. ONE function of food is to provide energy. But it does much more than that.
2. 1 calorie of food outside the body does NOT equate to 1 calorie of food inside the body.
3. The vitamins and minerals found in food does not directly provide energy, but they help perform a wide variety of functions that keep our bodies running smoothly. (Building bones, protein synthesis, nerve function, etc.)
4. Phytochemicals (from plants) and zoochemicals (from animals) help provide a wide variety of protective mechanisms for the body.
6. What we eat regulates production of certain hormones, which in turn informs our body how to digest and process the food we eat.
7. Human beings consist of trillions of bacteria creating complex ecosystems that help us digest food, and what we eat affects those ecosystems, which in turn affects how we digest food.
8. Food is cultural. It bonds families and communities.
9. The type of food we eat, and how we eat it, communicates who we are and what we value.
So what do you guys think? I'd especially love to hear how this information might impact your dietary choices.Here, food is information. It’s communication. It’s a set of instructions that you give your body to accomplish amazing things.
Also, food can affect what bacteria live in our gut, which MAY in turn directly affect our mood, such as emotions of anxiety. This is currently being studied with humans via probiotics, but it's an intriguing area of research: