In nutrition, the diet is essentially the amount of food ingested by an organism or individual during their lifetime. The consumption of food determines the growth potential and the development of an organism or individual. The importance of diet to an individual’s health is reflected in the constant search for new knowledge on how to better maintain healthy diets and lifestyles. The field of diet and nutrition continues to expand with more research being done on the nutritional content of foods and how their effects can affect the individual. In recent years, diet and nutrition have become more popular with people looking to improve the quality of their lives through diet.
A diet that is high in saturated fat has been associated with the development of hypertension (high blood pressure). Therefore, the consumption of saturated fats needs to be reduced or eliminated from the diet to reduce blood pressure. However, to lower hypertension, one should also reduce the intake of salt as well as the consumption of foods that are high in cholesterol and trans fat. The main reason why dietary education is important is to promote a lifestyle that is healthy, disease free and at least weight management and physical fitness level.
There are various types of dietary guidelines in place which help people to choose the right diet. There are nutritional food groups, which are usually provided on food labels. These food groups usually represent carbohydrates, proteins, fats and vegetables. It is important to follow the nutritional guidelines provided by food manufactures. The dietary guidelines may sometimes vary from one food group to another. Therefore it is advisable to check the nutritional facts provided on the packaging to make sure that the food you are planning to consume is in accordance to your diet and health.
Another important factor to consider when planning a diet is to check the effects of the consumption of foods on body weight, i.e. weight gain or loss. The effects of diet quality on the body are primarily related to carbohydrate consumption e.g. a diet high in glucose which may lead to excessive appetite, therefore leading to increased calorie intake, and the effects of a diet low in carbohydrates which can result in decreased appetite resulting in weight reduction.
Various other factors include nutrition e.g. vitamins and minerals that are important for regulating the body’s metabolic rate and helping it to function properly. It is therefore important to ensure that the diet quality that you choose is appropriate for maintaining good health. A healthy diet can sometimes be hard to find as some foods need to be prepared differently. In order to make the most out of a healthy diet, it is advisable to find a dietician or consult a nutritionist.
Some diets also recommend changes to the way that foods are consumed. Some diets recommend a diet free from saturated fat and salt and substitute them with fruits and vegetables. Changing the way you consume will sometimes be more effective in helping you to lose weight than making drastic changes to the way you eat. Reducing consumption of fatty foods and replacing them with fruit and vegetables may sometimes be enough to reduce consumption of calories and thus contribute to weight loss.