What happens when you eat?

This brief guide will address the query: “What happens when you eat?” Also, we’ll explore why eating is important, and what are the dangers of eating too little and of having an unhealthy diet. 

What happens when you eat? 

When you eat, you’re ingesting nutrients that your body will use for sustenance, and to carry out its basic and more complex functions. 

Eating is the way through which we nourish ourselves; it is how we acquire energy to do our day-to-day tasks, and at young ages, it is how we obtain the nutrients necessary for growth and development.

Once we’ve sourced all the available nutrients from the food we’ve ingested, our body removes the waste from our blood and digestive system. It does so via the excretory systems, through urination and bowel movements. 

Eating is the first step in the process collectively known as digestion.

Digestion has a mechanical phase, which is when we take food into our mouths and chew it thoroughly before it passes down the esophagus and into the stomach. 

Mechanical digestion overlaps with chemical digestion, which involves secretions to break down the chemical components of food. This starts in the mouth when we salivate, and continues in the stomach and small intestine when food travels along the digestive system. 

The chemical digestion that happens in the stomach is to break down proteins and some fat. Some fat-soluble substances can be absorbed into the stomach.

In the small intestine, more breakdown of molecules and absorption of nutrients is carried out, with help from substances secreted by the pancreas. 

Nearing the end of the digestive system, microbes can also help source nutrients from the food that has traveled along the digestive tract, particularly, in the large intestine. 

This is, of course, just a brief overview of the processes which are a lot more complex and may require a more in-depth look to address the role of the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and other organs. 

Why is eating important? 

Eating is important because it not only supplies a person with energy and other nutrients necessary for growth and development but often because it can dictate how long a person will remain healthy. 

People who eat too little are at risk of starvation and other symptoms of malnourishment. This can be characterized by having an emaciated appearance and being unable to carry out day-to-day tasks. 

However, health isn’t correlated with calorie intake, and eating in excess can also trigger a slew of problems. 

Being well-nourished requires finding a suitable intake of calories for your daily needs, consuming the appropriate amount of proteins, fat, and carbohydrates, and maintaining healthy eating habits.  

Healthy eating habits can also delay or avoid the onset of various diseases such as type II diabetes, heart disease, and other disorders

To summarize, a person’s health is a reflection of their diet and eating habits. 

What are the dangers of eating too little? 

The dangers of eating too little are closely related to malnourishment. Depending on your health, you may experience some effects that are more severe than others. 

For example, you may drop to a dangerously low weight, have irregular heart rates and low blood pressure, suffer from gallstones, and malnourished women may experience irregular or absent menstruation cycles. 

You may also suffer from irregular sleep cycles, shiftable moods, digestive problems, nervous disorders, and lethargy (exhaustion). 

Additionally, women who are breastfeeding may suffer accentuated malnourishment symptoms due to the physiological activity required for breastfeeding. 

What are the dangers of having an unhealthy diet? 

Other than being undernourished, the danger of an unhealthy diet includes an increased risk of many diseases and disorders. 

Namely, diets high in sugar and added calories can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, and other disorders. 

Excessive sodium consumption is also linked to increased risks of stomach cancer, heart disease, kidney stone formation, high blood pressure levels, and other disorders. 

A diet low in protein may result in difficulty recovering from injuries, low immune function, and other maladies where amino acid deficiencies are at the root. 

A diet low in fiber may cause a person to have digestive troubles such as indigestion, constipation, and other problems. 

A person’s diet should be balanced and contain the necessary amounts of protein, fiber, fat, and vitamins and minerals. 

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies may also cause their slew of troubles, which may require supplementation and dieting to address. 

To summarize, eating poorly (in both quality and quantity) can have severely detrimental effects on your health. 

We encourage our readers to speak with a general practitioner and/or a licensed nutritionist, who will help them address their specific dietary needs and provide tailored guidance. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the query: “What happens when you eat?” Also, we’ve explored why eating is important, and what are the dangers of eating too little and of having an unhealthy diet. 

References 

https://www.healthline.com/health/chemical-digestion

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/signs-of-not-eating-enough

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/overeating-effect

https://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health#how-it-works

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