Diet (nutrition)


Diet (nutrition)
A selection of foods consumed by humans; note that the human diet can vary widely.

In nutrition, diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism.[1] Dietary habits are the habitual decisions an individual or culture makes when choosing what foods to eat. With the word diet, it is often implied the use of specific intake of nutrition for health or weight-management reasons (with the two often being related). Although humans are omnivores, each culture and each person holds some food preferences or some food taboos, due to personal tastes or ethical reasons. Individual dietary choices may be more or less healthy. Proper nutrition requires the proper ingestion and, equally important, the absorption of vitamins, minerals, and food energy in the form of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Dietary habits and choices play a significant role in health and mortality, and can also define cultures and play a role in religion.

Contents

Traditional diets

Traditional diets are those of native populations such as the Native Americans, Khoisan or Australian Aborigines. Often, to qualify for cultural cuisine, traditional diets include more organic farming and seasonal food according to food origins.

Traditional diets vary with availability of local resources, such as fish in coastal towns, eels and eggs in estuary settlements, or squash, corn and beans in farming towns, as well as with cultural and religious customs and taboos. In some cases, the crops and domestic animals that characterize a traditional diet have been replaced by modern high-yield crops, and are no longer available.[2] The slow food movement attempts to counter this trend and to preserve traditional diets.

A recent study has suggested that traditional diets may have been more balanced than first thought. New research indicates grains were part of the diet of ancient people in Italy, Russia and the Czech Republic.[3]

Religious and cultural dietary choices

Some cultures and religions have restrictions concerning what foods are acceptable in their diet. For example, only Kosher foods are permitted by Judaism, and Halal foods by Islam.

Diet and life outcomes

A three-decade long study published in the British medical journal, The Lancet, found that Guatemalan men who had been well-fed soon after they were born earned almost 50% more in average salary than those who had not. The blind trial was performed by giving a high-nutrition supplement to some infants and a lower-nutrition supplement to others, with only the researchers knowing which infants received which supplements. The infants that received the high-nutrition supplement had higher average salaries as adults.[4] [5]

Individual dietary choices

Writers such as Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman[6] urge reduced animal consumption in the developed world for improved health and reduced impact on the environment. Many people choose to forgo food from animal sources to varying degrees (flexitarianism, vegetarianism, veganism, fruitarianism) for health reasons, or issues surrounding morality, or to reduce their personal impact on the environment. Raw foodism is another contemporary trend. These diets may require tuning or supplementation to meet ordinary nutritional needs.

Economic influence

In addition to culture, religion, and personal choices, diet is also influenced by economics. Throughout history and in contemporary life, poverty is often associated with the inability to afford meat, or with malnutrition.

Diets for weight management

A particular diet may be chosen to seek weight loss or weight gain. Changing a subject's dietary intake, or "going on a diet", can change the energy balance and increase or decrease the amount of fat stored by the body. Some foods are specifically recommended, or even altered, for conformity to the requirements of a particular diet. These diets are often recommended in conjunction with exercise. Specific weight loss programs can be harmful to health, while others may be beneficial (and can thus be coined as healthy diets). The terms healthy diet and diet for weight management are often related, as the two promote healthy weight management. Having a healthy diet is a way to prevent health problems, and will provide your body with the right balance of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. [7]

Eating disorders

An eating disorder is a mental disorder that interferes with normal food consumption. Eating disorders often affect people with a negative body image.

Health

A healthy diet is one that is arrived at with the intent of improving or maintaining optimal health. This usually involves consuming nutrients by eating the appropriate amounts from all of the food groups, including an adequate amount of water.[8][9][10] Since human nutrition is complex, a healthy diet may vary widely, and is subject to an individual's genetic makeup, environment, and health. For around 20% of the human population, lack of food and malnutrition are the main impediments to healthy eating.[citation needed] Conversely, people in developed countries have the opposite problem; concern is often not about volume of food but appropriate choices.[11]

Diet table

Food Type Carnivore Omnivore Pescetarian Vegetarian Vegan Raw vegan Islamic Hindu Jewish Paleolithic diet
Fruits and berries No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Greens No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Vegetables No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Starchy vegetables No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
Grains No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
Poultry Yes Yes No No No No Yes No Yes Yes
Fish (scaled) Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No Yes Yes
Seafood (non-fish) Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No No Yes
Beef Yes Yes No No No No Yes No Yes Yes
Pork Yes Yes No No No No No No No Yes
Eggs Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes
Dairy No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No
Nuts No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Alcohol No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes No

Notes

See also


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Diet — Diet, in relation to food, might mean: Diet (nutrition), the sum of the food consumed by an organism or group Dieting, the deliberate selection of food to control body weight or nutrient intake Diet food, foods that aid in dieting Cuisine, the… …   Wikipedia

  • Nutrition — The Nutrition Facts table indicates the amounts of nutrients which experts recommend to limit or consume in adequate amounts. Nutrition (also called nourishment or aliment) is the provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary (in… …   Wikipedia

  • Nutrition Transition — Increased consumption of unhealthy foods compounded with increased prevalence of overweight in middle to low income countries is typically referred to as the “Nutrition Transition.” It occurs in conjunction to the Epidemiological Transition and… …   Wikipedia

  • Nutrition transition — Increased consumption of unhealthy foods compounded with increased prevalence of overweight in middle to low income countries is typically referred to as the “Nutrition Transition.” It occurs in conjunction to the Epidemiological Transition and… …   Wikipedia

  • Diet (multiple sclerosis) — Swank Multiple Sclerosis diet= The Swank Multiple Sclerosis Diet is a low saturated fat diet for the management of Multiple Sclerosis championed by Dr. Roy L. Swank, since 1948. Swank s research on 144 patients over a 34 year period was published …   Wikipedia

  • Nutrition facts label — A sample nutrition facts label, with instructions from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.[1] The nutrition facts label (also known as the nutrition information panel, and various other slight variations) is a label required on most packaged… …   Wikipedia

  • Diet and cancer — are associated. While it is not yet possible to provide quantitative estimates of the overall risks, it has been estimated that 35 percent of cancer deaths may be related to dietary factors.[1] Almost all cancers (80–90%) are caused by… …   Wikipedia

  • Diet Pepsi — Type Diet Cola Manufacturer PepsiCo, Inc. Country of origin United States …   Wikipedia

  • Diet for a Small Planet — is a 1971 bestselling book by Frances Moore Lappé, the first major book to critique grain fed meat production as wasteful and a contributor to global food scarcity. Eating a planet centered diet, she argued, means choosing what is best for the… …   Wikipedia

  • Diet and heart disease — Diet is a significant contributing factor to the presence (or lack thereof) of heart disease, an umbrella term describing many heart ailments. For example, some claim a diet high in cholesterol may lead to coronary heart disease, a condition in… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.