It refers to the group of foods that make up the nutritional behavior of living beings.
The eating habits of living beings will depend on our way of life, habitat, and other factors.
A diet does not translate into eating little; it is a diet. There are diets to lower, raise, or maintain weight and there are also to improve our health.
The feeding of human beings is governed by social, biological, psychological, hormonal, economic, political, and cultural factors.
Geography and climatic conditions also restrict the availability of food. As well as customs, tradition, personal factors, preferences, advertising influence, and eating disorders, among others, are also conditioning aspects of the food we consume.
What is a healthy diet?
A good diet is essential for our health and can help us feel our best, but what is a good diet?
In addition to breast milk as baby food, no food contains all the essential nutrients the body needs to stay healthy and work properly.
For this reason, our diets must contain a variety of different foods to help us obtain the wide range of nutrients that our body needs.
How much food do I need to have a healthy diet?
A healthy diet should provide us with the right amount of energy (calories), food, and beverages to maintain energy balance.
The energy balance is where the calories taken from the diet are equal to the calories used by the body. We need these calories to carry out daily tasks, such as walking and moving, and all body functions that we may not even think about.
Influence of diet on our life
Processes like breathing, pumping blood around the body, and thinking also require calories. Therefore, meals and beverages provide the calories we need for our daily lives, but consuming more calories than we need over time will cause weight gain.
The extra calories we consume but do not use will be stored as fat.
More than 50% of adults in the world are overweight or obese. There is also a significant concern about childhood obesity, where 1 in 3 children between 4 and 5 years old and 1 in 5 children between 10 and 11 years old are overweight or obese.
They were overweight as a child increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers in adulthood.
Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight is essential for health. The amount of energy you need from food and beverages depends on many different things, such as how active you are.
However, on average, eating only as many calories as you need will help you maintain a healthy weight. However, the food and drinks you choose should be correct and in the right proportions to stay healthy.
Diet and emotional well-being
Diet is such an essential component of mental health that it has inspired an entire field of medicine called nutritional psychiatry.
What we eat matters for all aspects of our health, especially mental health. Several recent research analyses that analyze multiple studies support a link between what one eats and our risk of depression, specifically. An analysis concluded:
“A dietary pattern characterized by a high intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, olive oil, low-fat dairy products and antioxidants and a low intake of food of animal origin was associated with a lower risk of depression.”
“A dietary pattern characterized by high consumption of red and processed meat, refined grains, sweets, high-fat dairy products, butter, potatoes and high-fat sauce, and a low intake of fruits and vegetables is associated with an increased risk of depression. “
Types of diet
There is no single diet. Genetics, culture, customs, region or environment, and personal preferences are factors that define our diet. The goal of a diet will also determine what type of diet is right for us.
- Omnivorous diet: Consists of consuming foods of animal and vegetable origin. It is the most common in the human species.
- Carnivorous diet: This type of diet stands for foods of animal origin. It is frequent in humans.
- Vegetarian diet: It is based on the non-consumption of meat (Birds, Res, Marine animals). A vegetarian diet can be economic, religious, ideological, ethical, ecological, and healthy.