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Biology - Healthy Diet (AQA Syllabus A)

In GCSE Science students will be taught the requirements for keeping healthy. This is the first of six quizzes on that topic and it look in particular at which foods make up a healthy balanced diet, the different groups of food - carbohydrates, proteins and fats - as well as vitamins, minerals and fibre, and in which foods they can be found. It also looks at why we need the different food groups in our diet and the effects of malnutrition and overeating as well as the necessity of regular exercise.

A combination of a balanced diet and regular exercise is needed to help keep the body healthy. A balanced diet involves eating the right types of nutrients in the right proportions. You may see claims made that fast food is in fact healthy. Yes, the fast food companies do include the main nutrients - carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, mineral ions, fibre and a drink, but these are in the wrong proportions to be healthy when eaten regularly. There is usually a lot more fat and salt than is required by your body and very little fibre.

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Your body uses the nutrients you eat for releasing energy that enables you to live and also as the raw materials for repairs and growth. Energy is most easily released from carbohydrates but it can also be obtained from stored fat. The proteins are digested to supply your body with amino acids. These can then be delivered to the cells of your body by your bloodstream where they can be rebuilt as necessary to form the proteins of your body.

Eating more calories than you use during the day has one effect - you put on weight. This can then lead to a lot of health problems later in life including heart disease and diabetes. High levels of the sodium ion from salt increases blood pressure which means you have an increased risk of heart disease and strokes.

Regular exercise improves your health in many ways. It burns more calories than if you didn't exercise and helps you to control your weight more easily. Exercise improves your circulation which can reduce your risk of heart disease and strokes. It makes you stronger and fitter so you will be less tired during the day and it can also improve your mood since it stimulates the release of certain chemicals in the brain that are associated with relaxation and happiness.

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  1. Which of the following is essential to a balanced diet?
    A nice easy question to start with! Carbohydrates include sugars and starch
  2. Which of the following four food items is the best source of vitamin C?
    A lack of vitamin C in the diet leads to a painful and potentially deadly disease - scurvy. Sailors on long sea voyages used to develop scurvy until it was discovered that eating citrus fruit prevented it. British naval sailors were called 'limeys' because British naval ships of the 19th century always carried a large stock of limes
  3. Which of the following foods contains carbohydrates?
    Carbohydrates are the primary souce of energy for your body
  4. Under-eating is as bad for your health as overeating. Why is this?
    As well as deficiency diseases caused by not eating enough vitamins and minerals, weighing too little can contribute to a weakened immune system, fragile bones and feeling tired
  5. Which of the following health problems is not related to eating too many calories?
    Rickets is a bone disease linked to a lack of vitamin D and the mineral ion calcium
  6. What are low density lipoproteins (LDL's)?
    LDL's take cholesterol from the liver to the cells of your body. Cholesterol is used by your body to make hormones, vitamin D, bile acids and in the creation and maintenance of your cell membranes. Although LDL's are not in fact cholesterol, they are often referred to as 'bad cholesterol" as it can be deposited on the inside of your arteries, restricting the blood flow and causing blood clots
  7. The level of cholesterol in your body is determined by what?
    The cholesterol level in your body can be affected by the genes you inherit from your parents and the amount of cholesterol in your diet
  8. Which is the best for your heart?
    Having a high cholesterol level can lead to heart disease but cholesterol carried by HDL's is often referred to as 'good' cholesterol as it can remove the deposits of LDL cholesterol that clog up your arteries
  9. Some people follow special diets to reduce their weight. One of these is called the Atkins diet which is very low in carbohydrates. This forces the body to do what?
    When the body releases energy mainly from stored fats, it produces chemicals that are called ketones. These are excreted through the lungs, making the breath smell strange and can also cause headaches
  10. The Weight Watchers diet gives points values for all of the food eaten. It does not limit what can be eaten but requires the person to stay to their points limit. Which of the following statements best describes this diet?
    It is designed to teach the dieter how to change to eating more healthily

Author: Kev Woodward

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