Diet means proper food. The food taken by every person during every meal should be wholesome, tasty and nutritious. The body needs carbohydrates, protiens, fats minerals, vitamins in various proportions to remain healthy. Not all food items contain all the above essential ingredients. They are rich in one or two of these items only. Therefore it becomes necessary that the food intake should be balanced so that all the above essential ingredients are taken in the right proportion. The various food items that are taken both in cooked form and also without being cooked are vegetables, fruits, nuts, meat, fish, poultry, cereals, pulses green vegetables, whole grains etc. Some of these are rich in carbohydrates, some in proteins others in fats etc. One food that supplies all the essential ingredients is mother’s milk.
A breakup of the daily requirements for the body, of all the essential ingredients will be quite interesting. Carbohydrates, being the biggest source of energy constitute about 50 to 60% of everyday food. In terms of weight it is about 300 to 600 Gms every day. Every day the body needs about 40 Gms of protein, fat at about 20 to 30% of each day’s intake of calories, minerals about 3 to 5 % of body weight, fibers 25 to 30%, 6 to 8% of water form the basis of good nutritional diet.
Carbohydrates can be found in all products right from rice, wheat, corn etc. Meat contains the highest percentage of proteins compared to others. Fat is found in milk, cream, fish, eggs, red meat etc. The various minerals that the body needs and which are found in various quantities in various forms are calcium, iron, manganese, sodium, potassium, carbon, iodine, zinc etc. Milk is rich in calcium. Other minerals are found in meat, fruits, leafy vegetables, sea food etc. Vitamins are usually extracted from wheat, yeast or liver. Properly balancing the diet and taking the advice of a dietician if required will help in maintaining a healthy body.
The proportion of various items mentioned is of a general nature and they vary according to the person’s activity. Thus they will be different for athletes, people who engage in physical labor, office goers, other sportspersons, writers etc. Studies have shown that on an average a person’s intake of calories everyday should be 1600, provided he leads an active life. After crossing the age of 50, this requirement comes to about 10% for every 10 years.
Breakfast is the most important food. Food for breakfast varies from country to country and from person to person. In the present day many people are not able to stick to any particular timing for taking food and they grab whatever they can get when they get the time. This has lead to dietary problems and other health related problems. Over weight, flatulence and obesity are common problems caused by not having a proper diet and in the right proportions. Because of this problem, these days the word diet is for diet foods which usually kill the person’s appetite for food and reduces his food intake.
Diet means good nutrition, for maintaining the body in good health which will also help the person to remain mentally healthy.