What is Nutrition?
Nutrition is the process by which food and nutrients are provided to the body for health and growth and plays an important role in supporting the various systems in our body. In children, nutrition is important for normal growth and development, but for adults, it promotes health and reduces the risk of disease.
Healthy adults should be aware of their energy needs and balance their caloric intake as required by these needs. This makes proper nutrition an important part of life. Good nutrition helps in keeping younger adults strong, as they need energy for an active life. In the middle years, proper nutrition helps prevent disease and weight gain that normally is associated with aging. However, as people reach their mature years, nutrition becomes critical. Sadly, many people in their later years do not eat properly due to medical conditions or social factors.
Dietary Recommendations for Adults
Enjoy a wide variety of foods: Wide varieties of food including fruits, vegetables, cereals and grains, meat, fish and poultry, dairy products, fats, and oils are considered necessary for good health and proper diet. Eating different types of foods will ensure your body is getting all the essential nutrients for optimizing health.
Eat regularly: Eating a balanced diverse diet regularly allows you to get the right amount of nutrients every day which helps to fight off sickness, keep energy levels up, and maintain health and mental alertness.
Maintain a healthy body weight: The healthy weight of an individual varies depending upon many factors like gender, height, age, and heredity. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall health and can help in the prevention and control of many diseases.
Balance and moderation: Nearly all types of foods can be consumed when taken in moderate portions. The right balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and micronutrients will help you maintain your ideal body mass index (BMI).
Eat fruits and vegetables: Vegetables and fruits form a major part of a healthy diet. They also can reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, prevent some types of cancer, and lower the risk of digestive problems.
Include carbohydrate-rich food: Foods with a high carbohydrate content are an important part of a healthy diet, as they provide glucose needed for energy to support various body functions and physical activities. However, the quality of carbohydrates taken in is also very important. Good carbohydrate foods include whole grains and vegetables. Bad carbohydrate foods include white bread and pastries.
Drink plenty of fluids: Drink plenty of fluids every day as water helps in digesting food, absorbing nutrients and removing waste products. A healthy adult needs to drink at least 1.5 liters of fluid daily.
Control of Fats: Fat is essential for good health as it acts as a source of energy and enables the body to absorb, circulate and store various fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K. Various essential fatty acids needed by the body are obtained from the fats in food. However, too much fat can have an adverse effect on the body.
Balancing salt intake: Salt is important in helping the body to maintain fluid balance, proper functioning of nerves and muscles, and regulation of blood pressure. Sodium is a nutrient present naturally in foods. However, excess sodium intake can cause high blood pressure.