It is a fact that the fundamentals of healthy eating are well documented in academic textbooks, scientific journals, and government literature. However, this basic knowledge has not been conveyed to the general public in a comprehensive and assimilable format that enables people to make well-informed decisions to change their eating habits and lifestyle. Despite the large volume of information available, there is a large gap in the knowledge of those who need to know.
Advice on diet and health is often incomplete or biased, so people are somewhat confused or unsure how to put the concept of healthy eating into practice. Understanding such a message is only one side of the story; putting it into practice on a day-to-day basis is another matter. It has become obvious to me over the years that people, while familiar with general healthy eating messages like “eat less fat and more fiber,” lack a clear understanding of the makeup of a healthy diet. One of the many reasons these healthy eating messages remain simple messages is because everyone preaches them everywhere. For example, filling a shopping cart with fat-free or low-fat products does not guarantee the absence of ill health and chronic degenerative diseases, unless the diet as a whole is balanced.
While people are busy achieving life goals and developing their careers, the insidious process of narrowing and hardening of the arteries may be occurring. This is particularly likely in those who are inactive and / or have little concern about what they eat. Nutrition-related diseases, today called noncommunicable diseases, are quite different from infectious diseases; They take a long time to become known, and when they are diagnosed, it may be too late to reverse the damage. Surprisingly, most obesity-related diseases, including coronary heart disease and diabetes, are often only recognized when a non-fatal heart attack or angina is experienced, or when people are in the hospital for other reasons. , including annual check-ups. An interesting point is that most of these health problems could have been avoided if some time had been invested in assessing and maintaining nutritional health, prior to their implementation. Everyone should look for ways to assess nutritional status, such as cholesterol and blood sugar tests.
Today, there is much interest in the relationship between food and health and more and more efforts are being made to improve the health of the nation. There is a particular concern about fat, sugar, salt, dietary fiber, and calcium, but the science of nutrition is much broader than that. The main objective of this article is to inform and shed some light on the main components of food and how a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet can be achieved. This is not only for the purpose of losing weight, but also to achieve and maintain good health. This article is intended for those who are ‘health conscious’ and therefore interested in appreciating the role of nutrition in overall health. It goes beyond the short and often incomplete message of ‘eat less fat’ and a ‘high fiber diet’, to discover the practicality of starting over and eating for health.
Only during the last two centuries, with the emergence of the science of nutrition, has it been possible to accurately quantify the content of the optimal diet for the maintenance of health. Food provides energy and nutrition for both survival and enjoyment. Too little food can lead to illness, but too much can also lead to health problems. Therefore, it is important to strike a proper balance between the amount and type of food we consume.
The last few decades have also seen remarkable changes in eating habits and eating patterns. Today, there is a huge variety of affordable foods available throughout the year. But the fact that good quality food is easier to obtain does not always guarantee a healthier choice. In fact, the bewildering variety of foods available can make it difficult for some people to choose the components of what is considered a healthy and balanced diet. As a consequence, the incidence of the so-called diseases of the rich has increased dramatically, particularly in Western society, although developing countries are now following the same trend. Many common health problems such as obesity, heart disease, type II diabetes, arthritis, and various forms of cancer (endometrial, breast, and colon) are related to diet, either directly or indirectly.
The fast-moving world around us seems to have run out of time for food preparation, and setting specific meal times is rare. Despite the flood of information on diet and health, people are getting fatter and less fit. This trend could be due to the availability of a wide range of ready meals, both from supermarkets and take-out establishments. In addition, this type of food is usually promoted through strong advertising in all types of media. The modern kitchen is well equipped with all kinds of devices (food processors, microwaves, etc.) and these devices make food preparation easy, quick, simple and certainly more enjoyable compared to a few decades ago. However, cooking is increasingly becoming one of our last priorities, and the younger generation seems to have forgotten how to cook.
I believe that understanding the basic principles of nutrition and the impact of food and its nutrients on health will provide people with the knowledge and skills necessary to choose, prepare and consume a better diet, paving the way to a healthier life and better quality. of life. What is also important is the willingness of people to adopt changes in their eating habits and lifestyle in order to take advantage of the health benefits of diet.
The ways in which the adequacy of any diet can be evaluated are part of the science of Nutrition. Therefore, knowledge of its principles is important, especially for those who plan and provide meals. Before continuing, it is necessary to define the sources of energy in the diet.