In nutrition, the diet is usually the sum total of the food ingested by an organism or human being over a period of time. Dietary intake determines the energy balance in the body, the amount of nutrients available to the cells of the body and the development of the body’s normal function. It also controls the weight of the individual through regulating food intake and energy expenditure. The term diet is often used interchangeably with nutrition. However, nutrition is a process concerned with the whole life of an organism, including the physiological processes underlying growth, development and health of an individual.
The most important component of a diet is a daily balance of macronutrients such as carbohydrates, protein and fats. Macronutrient balance refers to the relation between a macronutrient – in this case, fats – and its amount in a particular diet. For example, in the United States, in the popular Atkins Diet there is a recommendation that the person should consume 30 grams of carbohydrates every day. This corresponds to one gram of fat per pound of body weight. The word ‘diet’ here refers to a periodic abstinence from eating food or excessive intake of food, rather than a single specific diet. There are several kinds of diets: the Mediterranean diet, the Low-fat diet, the vegetarian diet and the diabetic diet to name a few.
The whole grains and nuts approach to weight loss diet suggests that nuts and whole grains are good for you. The evidence that nuts are healthy and good for you is extensive and convincing. Nuts have many beneficial properties that can aid weight loss; they are high in protein, fiber, magnesium and iron, have low glycemic index, etc.
Apart from the above, fruits and vegetables are recommended to be one quarter of one’s daily intake. The rationale behind this recommendation is simple: fruits and vegetables consist of most of the nutrition needed by an individual. They are easy to digest and consist of mostly water. Nuts and whole grains are rich in protein foods which are important for building muscle mass. But they also contain carbohydrates, fats and calories that are not good for health in large quantities.
The problem with some people is that they tend to overeat. Fruits and vegetables are very filling and provide a continuous source of energy. This is why many people consider fruits and vegetables to be a healthy diet. If the individual adheres strictly to a healthy diet, then it becomes easy to control his/her calorie intake and stay slim. Eating too many sweet and dessert-rich foods can lead to obesity and all the health problems that go with it.
A healthy diet helps one to lose weight and can reduce the risk of various diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, cancer, etc. Overweight people often suffer from stress and this aggravates their unhealthy eating habits. This kind of stress can cause a variety of other illnesses, which further compromise one’s overall health and can result in many heart diseases.
The main reason for overeating is when a person gets bored with the foods he eats. It may sound good to eat light meals at odd times throughout the day. However, if you have to make frequent visits to the same fast-food outlets in the morning and evening, then you will feel full and stuffed rather than satisfied and motivated to do exercise or engage in some kind of physical activity. This can lead to compulsive eating and weight gain, which are not healthy eating.
Your diet should contain mainly raw fruits and vegetables that are packed with nutrients and vitamins. Apart from eating only such foods, you should take a multivitamin supplement if you are not meeting the recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals. You should take food which is rich in fiber. Some foods such as beans, whole wheat products, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds contain a high amount of fibers. Such foods should be included in your diet to curb your intake of sugar, salt and unhealthy oils.