In nutrition, the diet is simply the total quantity of food ingested by an organism or individual. The human body needs appropriate amounts of vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, fat and water to keep the body running efficiently. All these components are available in the diet that an individual follows and is required for the proper functioning of the body. This article looks at the basics of diet, the importance of a balanced diet and how it can help to reduce weight.
We know that all these components constitute the diet but we often overlook the fact that the quantity of each component has to be matched with another and so, there is a need for a diet to be balanced. A balanced diet should provide all the necessary nutrients for an individual while not causing any further damage to the body. It also helps in preventing diseases and it lowers the risk of heart diseases. If the diet is sparingly consumed, then chances are that an individual may develop chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes and osteoporosis. Thus, it is important for an individual to eat sensibly.
An individual can choose from a variety of diets, depending on his or her needs and the amount of energy one is willing to spend on it. The most common diet is the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) pyramid diet, which shows a very simple layout of what an individual can eat according to his lifestyle. The four main groups are: Grains, dairy products, vegetables, fruits and entry 1 fruits and vegetables. Grains include wheat, rye, barley, oats and some millet. Dairy products include eggs, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, condensed milk, cottage cheese and yoghurt.
Diets that are rich in fruits and vegetables are considered low energy dense diets. These kinds of diets make people eat fewer calories and thereby help to shed extra fat. Foods that are rich in fiber are known as fiber-rich foods and include wheat, whole grains, whole soybeans, fruits like apples and oranges, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and beans. Vegetables include cabbage, green beans, cucumber, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, squash and yams.
Diets that contain high protein and yet do not provide sufficient fiber content are known as protein-rich foods. They include steak, chicken, eggs, mutton, liver, goat and prawn. Fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber content but do not have sufficient amounts of water are known as fibrous foods. Other examples are refined sugars, grains, potatoes, white rice, pasta, and bread. Thus, the type of diet you should adopt depends on how much you need to lose weight and how many types of calories you need to balance your diet.
A diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and yet does not provide enough protein and calories will also cause weight loss. A diet that consists of a lot of entry foods such as white rice, white bread, pasta, and pizza will cause weight loss. A diet that consists of an excessive amount of protein will result to muscle mass development, while a diet that has a high amount of calories will result to fat gain. Thus, before choosing a diet plan, make sure you know the calorie level that will give you enough energy throughout the day.