The subject of healthy dieting is now a very popular one across the globe and more and more people are realizing the need to develop a well thought out diet fit for their lifestyle and any special needs they face, be it health issues, weight loss, or activity levels, etc.
What is the definition of diet?
A diet comprises the foods that one lives on from day to day. Generally, humans are either omnivores or vegetarians. Omnivores eat diets that consist of plant and animal food sources; vegetarians live on vegetables and fruits only; some may eat fish, as well. Fish is a great alternative to red meat. Fish is a healthy, lean protein and contains a type of fat called "omega-3 fatty acids," which may help protect the heart.
The New Webster's Dictionary of English Language defines diet as; "the food and drink normally taken by an individual or a group or a prescribed course of what is to be eaten and what is not." This definition takes into account the fact that what you drink e.g. Milk, water, beer, whisky etc. is part of your diet.
A Balanced Diet
A balanced diet means getting the right types and amounts of foods and drinks to supply nutrition and energy for maintaining body cells, tissues, and organs, and for supporting normal growth and development.
A person's caloric need is determined using a variety of mathematical equations. Age, height, current weight, and desired weight are taken into account. Diet is what you eat. Dieting usually refers to eating fewer calories to lose weight.
A well-balanced diet provides enough energy and nutrition for optimal growth and development.
Carbohydrates in the Diet
The primary function of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body, especially the brain and the nervous system. An enzyme called amylase helps break down carbohydrates into blood glucose (blood sugar), which is used for energy by the body.
Diet and Athletic Performance
There is a large body of evidence showing a relationship between food consumption and athletic performance. A poor diet will almost certainly have a negative effect on the performance of even the most casual athlete. A good diet with adequate calories, vitamins, minerals, and protein will help provide the energy required to finish a race or simply enjoy a recreational sport or activity.
Diets come with some problems - especially poor diet habits. When a person becomes addicted to a particular unhealthy dieting, there is predisposition to several diseases simply because of the diet.
Note: A diet high in fat can lead to stroke, hypertension, coronary heart disease, diabetes, obesity and low self esteem.
Low Protein diets result in malnutrition and depressed immune system, anemia (this is common in vegetarians), and in children and the elderly. Kwashikor, a form of malnutrition that occurs when there is not enough protein in the diet, is sometimes seen in chidren and the elderly.
Kwashikor often occurs during a drought or other natural disaster, or during political unrest. These conditions are responsible for a lack of food, which leads to malnutrition. One government estimate suggests that as many as 50 percent of elderly people in nursing homes in the United States do not get enough protein in their diet.
While rare, when kwashiorkor occurs in the United States in children, it is usually a sign of child abuse and severe neglect.
It is extraordinarily difficult to actually consume all the nutrients needed for proper functioning of your body from food sources alone. This is when supplements enter the picture. They can be a great help but need to be approached with sensibility and a bit of guidance, as there is such an abundance of products and promises available to us.
In selecting a supplement, research is necessary as they are too many dietary pills and fat fighters out there that fail to achieve what they promise. Watch for medical endorsements, certifications, all natural ingredients and statements that there are NO FILLERS in the product. FDA approval is a sign of a well tested product in most situations.
Dieting is an important aspect of healthy living and everyone needs to be on one form of diet or the other. You may not even realize your diet is a particular type of diet! Yours may have been prompted by an illness, or maybe you want to lose weight, you are trying to maintain your current weight, or you do not just want to grow fat. However you eat, believe me, you're on a "diet" of sorts.
If you're looking to change or improve your diet, before any decision is taken on what kind of diet you should be on, consult with your doctor since he/she is in the position to give you appropriate advice for any specific health needs you may have.
Dieting will only make sense when we decide on it and stick to one that's right for us.
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