How Does Your Diet Affect Your Health?

In nutrition, the diet is basically the total amount of food ingested by an organism or individual over a period of time. The total amount can either be a food quantity or percentage of the body weight or total daily energy consumption. The food eaten by an individual is categorized into two major categories nutritive foods or substances that supply the body with minerals and vitamins or physiologic foods that provide energy to the body and preserve the body’s health. Nutritive foods are classified as they include those foods that contain nutrients and vitamins needed by the body such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and vegetables.

There are different types of diets in nutrition. Low-fat, low-calorie and low-sugared diets are a few examples of the different types of diets. On the other hand, a healthy diet is defined as the diet that meets the requirements of the body without causing excessive fat and caloric accumulation, with balanced nutrient intakes. This type of diet is recommended for both the prevention and treatment of diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension, certain cancers, and obesity. A healthy diet may differ from one person to another depending on his/her needs.

A balanced diet is a method of regulating the intake of food and the amount of calories and nutrients that are supplied to the body. Experts recommend that individuals consume meals with a large portion of vegetables and carbohydrates rather than with proteins and fats. Carbohydrates can be converted into glucose that aids in the conversion of glucose to energy useful for the body. Lean meat and dairy products are advised because they contain low-fat content and higher levels of nutrients like protein, iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The consumption of fruits and vegetables helps in maintaining a balanced diet because fruits and vegetables consist of most of the nutrients required by the body.

A healthy meal is made up of five to seven servings of grains, preferably, whole grains. These grains are made up of vitamins and proteins. They also have fibre and complex carbohydrates that help regulate the absorption of calories. For instance, eating whole-wheat bread will provide the necessary nutrition for an entire person without the addition of extra calories.

Diets that contain a low fat content and are rich in fibre, vegetables and phyto-nutrients can be considered healthy meal choices. Many people believe that foods high in sugar, salt and fat must be avoided because these foods are believed to trigger the onset of diabetes. However, there are many foods that do not contribute to diabetes and can actually prevent it from happening. For instance, certain fruits like avocado and prunes are rich in beta carotene and other polyphenols that prevent diabetic formation of blood clots.

On the contrary, people who are on high-fat and low-sugar diets are advised to avoid foods that are high in sugar and fat and replace them with fruits, vegetables, whole-grain bread and cereals. The goal of these diets is to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure. However, it is important to note that a diet that contains low fat and high fiber does not necessarily result to weight loss. There are many factors that can contribute to weight gain such as overeating, hormonal changes due to menopause, pregnancy and menopause. So make sure to consult your doctor first before undergoing any diet.