REVIEW ON BALANCED DIET
Final Year Graduate Student
Sri Lakshmi Narasimha College of Pharmacy,
Palluru, Chittoor-517132, Andhra Pradesh, India.
The diet is selection of food eaten by an individual. A balanced diet is essential for health. It provides the appropriate amounts of all nutrients in the correct proportions to meet body requirements.
An essential nutrient is substances that cannot be made by the body and must be supplied through the diet. Foods are described as carbohydrate or protein because they contain a higher proportion of one or the other. A balanced diet contains all nutrients required for health in appropriate proportions and is normally achieved by eating a variety of foods.
REFERENCE ID: PHARMATUTOR-ART-1639
It is sum total of the processes involved in the taking and utilization of food substance by which growth, repair and maintenance of body are accomplished. It involves ingestion, digestion, absorption, and assimilation.
A nutrient is any substances that is digested, absorbed and used to promote body function. These substances are:
Many foods containing a number of nutrients, e.g. potatoes and bread are mainly carbohydrates but both contain protein and some vitamins. Fibre has a beneficial effect on digestive tract.
If any nutrient eaten in excess or deficient, health may be adversely affected. For e.g. a high energy diet can lead to obesity and an iron deficient one to anaemia.
A balanced diet is important in maintaining a healthy body weight and can be assessed by calculating Body Mass Index (BMI).
BMI= Weight (kg)
Interpretation of BMI
< 16 Severely Underweight
16-19 under Weight
20-25 normal range
26-30 over Weight
>41 severely obese
II.TYPES OF FOODS:
Recommendations for daily food intake sort foods of similar origins and nutritional values into food groups and advice that a certain number of servings from each group be eaten daily. If this plan is followed, the resulting dietary intake is likely to be well balanced.
The five main food groups are:
1. Bread, Rice, Cereal and Pasta.
2. Fruit and Vegetables.
3. Meat, Fish and Alternatives
4. Fats, Oils and Sweets
5. Dairy products, e.g. milk and cheese
1. Bread, Rice, Cereal and Pasta:
Most 50-60% of the daily energy requirements should come from these sources. In practice this means eating 6-11 serving from this food group every day. These foods contains large amount of complex carbohydrates, which provide sustained energy release, as well as fibre.
One serving = one slice of bread, one small bread roll, two large crackers, 25g cereal.
2. Fruit and Vegetables:
It is recommended that at least five portions should be eaten daily. Fruit and vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals and fibres and are low in fat.
One serving = a medium apple, orange, banana;
100gm cooked or raw vegetables or
Tinned / fresh / Cooke fruit;
One wedge of melon;
125 ml fruit or vegetable juice.
3. Meat, Fish and Alternatives:
Current dietary habits in developed countries mean that too much of the daily energy requirements are from this group of foods and from high fat-foods. Although these foods are high in protein and some vitamins and minerals, only 2-3 servings daily are recommended because they have high fat content.
One serving = one egg, 30gm pea nut butter, 80 gm leancooked meat.
4. Fats, Oils and Sweets:
This group includes milk, cheese and yoghurt and is high in calcium and vitamins. 2-3 servings per day recommended. Dairy foods are often high in fat.
One serving = 250ml of milk or yoghurt
5. Dairy products:
These high energy foods contain little other nutritional value and should be used sparingly, if at all.
Certain groups of people require a diet different from the principles out lined above. For e.g. Pregnant and lactating women have higher energy requirements to support the growing baby and milk production.
Menstruating women need more iron in their diet than non menstruating women to compensate for blood loss during menstruation. Babies and growing children have higher energy requirements than adults because they have higher growth and metabolic rates. In some gastrointestinal disorders there is intolerance of certain foods, which restricts that person dietary choices e.g. celiac disease.
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