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REVIEW ON BALANCED DIET

About Author:
Kambham Venkateswarlu
Final Year Graduate Student
Sri Lakshmi Narasimha College of Pharmacy,
Palluru, Chittoor-517132, Andhra Pradesh, India.
k.v.reddy9441701016@gmail.com

ABSTRACT:
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

I. INTRODUCTION:
NUTRITION:

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.

NUTRIENT:
A nutrient is any substances that is digested, absorbed and used to promote body function. These substances are:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Fats
  • Vitamins
  • Mineral salts
  • Water

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 calculation:

BMI=       Weight (kg)
                Height (m)

Interpretation of BMI
< 16 Severely Underweight
16-19 under Weight
20-25 normal range
26-30 over Weight
31-40 obese
>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
50gm cheese

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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III.TYPES OF NUTRIENTS:

1. CARBOHYDRATES:
These are defined as poly hydroxyl aldehydes or ketones or compounds which produce them on hydrolysis, which are most abundant organic molecules in nature. They are primarily composed of the elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
* These are found in a wide variety of foods, e.g. sugar, jam, cereals, bread, pastsa etc.
* 1 gm of carbohydrates can provide 4 k.cal/gm (16.7 kj/gm) of energy.
* Daily 57% of energy can be provided by carbohydrates.

CLASSIFICATION OF CARBOHYDRATES:

1.1. MONOSACCARIDES:

These are chemically the simplest form in which a carbohydrate can exist.

E.g.
glucose
Fructose
Galactose

1.2. DI SACCHARIDES:
These consist of two mono saccharide molecules chemically combined. When split into their constituent mono saccharides energy is released for metabolic work.

E.g.
Sucrose
Maltose
Lactose

1.3. POLY SACCHARIDES:
These consist of complex molecules made up of large number of mono saccharide molecules in chemical combination.

E.g.
Starch
Glycogen
Cellulose
Dextrins

FUNCTIONS:
-  Provision of rapidly available energy and heat
-  Protein sparing
-  Provision of store of energy when carbohydrate is excess of body’s needs as it is converted into:
-  Glycogen as a short term energy store in the liver and skeletal muscles.

2. PROTEINS OR NITROGENOUS FOODS:
Proteins are the most abundant organic molecules of the living system. They occur in every part of the cell and constitute about 50% of the cellular dry weight, Proteins from the fundamental basis of structure and function of life.

* Dietary protein is the main source of nitrogen used in the body.
* 1gm protein can be provide 4k.cal/gm.
* Daily 13% of the energy can be provided by protein.

3. AMINO ACIDS:
These are a group of organic compounds containing amino and carboxyl functional groups.

These are divided into two types:

ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS:
These cannot be synthesized in the body therefore they must be included in diet.
E.g.

  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenyl alanine
  • Throninetryptophan
  • Valine

NON ESSENTIAL AMINOACIDS:
These are synthesised in the body.
E.g.

  • Alanine
  • Arginine
  • Asparagines
  • Aspartic acid
  • Cysteine glutamic acid
  • Glycine
  • Hydroxyproline
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Tyrosine
  • Glutamine

FUNCTIONS:
* Growth and repair of body cells and tissues.
* Synthesis of enzymes, plasma proteins, antibodies and some harmones.
* Provision of energy.

4. FATS:
These may be regarded as organic compounds relatively insoluble in water, soluble in organic solvents actually or potentially related to fatty acids and utilized by the living cells.

These are two types:

4.1. SATURATED OR ANIMAL FATS:
It’s containing mainly saturated fatty acids and glycerol. They are found in milk
Cheese
Butter
Eggs
Meat etc.

4.2. UNSATURATED OR VEGETABLE FATS:
It’s containing mainly unsaturated fatty acids and glycerol. . They are found in margarine and in most vegetable oils.

E.g.  Linoleic acid
Linolenic acid
Arachidonic acid

FUNCTIONS:
* Provision of most concentrated source of chemical energy and heat.
* Support of certain body organs e.g. kidneys, eyes.
* Transport and storage of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K.
* Storage of energy as fat in adipose tissue.
* Formation of cholesterol and steroid hormones.

5. VITAMINS:
These are chemical compounds, required in very small quantities, which are essential for normal metabolism and health. They are widely distributed in food and are divided into two main groups. They are

5.1) Fat soluble vitamins
·         Vitamin-A (Retinol)
·         Vitamin-D (calciferol)
·         Vitamin –E (tocopherols)
·         Vitamin-K (phylloquinone)

5.2) Water soluble vitamins:
·         B-complex
·         Vitamin-c (ascorbic acid)

6. MINERAL SALTS:
These are inorganic compounds which are necessary within the body for all the body processes, usually in small quantities, which are following
·         Calcium
·         Phosphate
·         Sodium
·         Potassium
·         Iron
·         Iodine

7. WATER:
Water makes up about 60% of the body weight in men and about 55% in women.

A man weighing 70kg contains about 40 litres of water, 28 of which are intracellular and 12 extracellular. Extracellular water consist of 2 – 3 litres in plasma and the remainder intestinal fluid.

Large amount of water is lost each day in urine, sweat and faeces.

FUNCTIONS:
* Regulation of body weight
* Moistening of food
* Dilution of waste products and poisonous substances in the body.
* Participation in all the reactions that occur inside and outside the body cell.

REFERENCES:
1.    Dietary Bio Chemistry by U.Sathyanarayana and U.Chakrapani
2.    Anatomy and Physiology by Ross & Wilson
3.    Guidelines for Americans-2005,Washington,DC. US Dept of Health and Human Services and US Dept of Agriculture; 2005.
4.    American Heart Association Nutrition Committee: Lichtenstein AH, Appel LJ, Brands M, Carnetho M, Daniels S et al. Diet and lifestyle recommendation revision 2006: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee. Circulation.2006; 114 (1) : 82-96.
5.    Sivan Ekstein, Davd Laniado and Benjamin Glick. Does Picky Eating Affect Weight for Length Measurement in Young Children? Clinical Pediatrics, 2010; 49(3):217-220
6.    Fishberg et al: Effect of Oral Supplementation with or without Symbiotics on Sickness and Catch up Growth in Preschool Chgildren, Int Pediatr, 2002; 17(4):216-22.
7.    Number of sick days decreased by 29% in a study conducted in children 1-6 years of age who were given pediasure with symbiotics. Results were only seen in children 3-5 years of age. Schrezenmier et al: Benefits of Oral Supplementation with and without symbiotic in Young Children with Acute Bacterial Infections Clin Pediatr: 2004; 43:239-249.
8.    Fussy eaters at nutritional risk fed pediasure as a supplement shoed a 45% decrease in the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections as compared to those who did not receive pediasure. Pedro Alarcon et al. Effect of Oral Supplementation on catch up growth in Picky eaters, Clinical Pediatrics, 2003; 42:209-217.

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