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Encyclopedia > Healthy diet

A healthy diet is the practice of making choices about what to eat with the intent of improving or maintaining good health. This usually involves consuming nutrients by eating the appropriate amounts from all of the food groups, including an adequate amount of water. 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; they are more concerned about obesity.[citation needed] Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... A meal is an instance of eating, specifically one that takes place at a specific time and includes specific, prepared foodstuffs. ... Nutrients and the body A nutrient is any element or compound necessary for or contributing to an organisms metabolism, growth, or other functioning. ... The food groups are part of a method of classification for the various foods that humans consume in their everyday lives, based on the nutritional properties of these types of foods and their location in a hierarchy of nutrition. ... Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... This article is about modern humans. ... The Nutrition Facts table indicates the amounts of nutrients which experts recommend you limit or consume in adequate amounts. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Percentage of population affected by malnutrition by country, according to United Nations statistics. ... A developed country is a country that has achieved (currently or historically) a high degree of industrialization, and which enjoys the higher standards of living which wealth and technology make possible. ...


Nutritional overview

Fresh vegetables are common in a healthy diet.
Fresh vegetables are common in a healthy diet.

Generally, a healthy diet is said to include: Image File history File links Colorful_Photo_of_Vegetables. ... Image File history File links Colorful_Photo_of_Vegetables. ...

  1. Sufficient calories to maintain a person's metabolic and activity needs, but not so excessive as to result in fat storage greater than roughly 30% of body mass. 2,000 is the recommended daily allowance of calories for most people, but it depends on age, gender, height, and weight. (see Body fat percentage)
  2. Sufficient quantities of fat, including monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat and saturated fat, with a balance of omega-6 and long-chain omega-3 lipids. 65 grams is the recommended daily allowance of fat.
  3. Maintenance of a good ratio between carbohydrates and lipids (4:1): four grams of the first for one gram of the second.
  4. Avoidance of excessive saturated fat (although the "evidence" for this claim is forever in debate after the testimony of results provided by the Framingham Heart Study of 1948-1998)
  5. Avoidance of trans fat.
  6. Sufficient essential amino acids ("complete protein") to provide cellular replenishment and transport proteins. (All essential amino acids are present in animals. Some plants together give all the essential acids ex. rice and beans which have limitations.)
  7. Essential micronutrients such as vitamins and certain minerals.
  8. Avoiding directly poisonous (e.g. heavy metals) and carcinogenic (e.g. benzene) substances;
  9. Avoiding foods contaminated by human pathogens (e.g. e.coli, tapeworm eggs);
  10. Avoiding chronic high doses of certain foods that are benign or beneficial in small or occasional doses, such as
    • foods or substances with directly toxic properties at high chronic doses (e.g. ethyl alcohol);
    • foods that may interfere at high doses with other body processes (e.g. refined table salt);
    • foods that may burden or exhaust normal functions (e.g. refined carbohydrates without adequate dietary fibre).

A calorie refers to a unit of energy. ... Structure of the coenzyme adenosine triphosphate, a central intermediate in energy metabolism. ... For other uses, see FAT. Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and largely insoluble in water. ... A calorie refers to a unit of energy. ... Total body fat percentage consists of essential fat and storage fat. ... For discussion how dietary fats affect cardiovascular health, see Diet and heart disease. ... // In nutrition, polyunsaturated fat is an abbreviation of polyunsaturated fatty acid. ... Saturated fat is fat that consists of triglycerides containing only saturated fatty acids. ... Omega-6 fatty acids are fatty acids where the term omega-6 signifies that the first double bond in the carbon backbone of the fatty acid, counting from the end opposite the acid group, occurs in the sixth carbon-carbon bond. ... Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids found in certain fish tissues, and in vegetable sources such as flax seeds, walnuts, and canola oil. ... Some common lipids. ... Carbohydrates (literally hydrates of carbon) are chemical compounds that act as the primary biological means of storing or consuming energy, other forms being fat and protein. ... Figure 1: Basic lipid structure. ... Saturated fat is fat that consists of triglycerides containing only saturated fatty acids. ... A trans fatty acid (commonly shortened to trans fat) is an unsaturated fatty acid molecule that contains a trans double bond between carbon atoms, which makes the molecule less kinked compared to cis fat. Research suggests a correlation between diets high in trans fats and diseases like atherosclerosis and coronary... In chemistry, an amino acid is any molecule that contains both amino and carboxylic acid functional groups. ... Micronutrients are essential nutrients only needed by the human body in small quantities for it to fuction normally. ... Retinol (Vitamin A) Vitamins are nutrients required in very small amounts for essential metabolic reactions in the body [1]. The term vitamin does not encompass other essential nutrients such as dietary minerals, essential fatty acids, or essential amino acids. ... Binomial name Escherichia coli T. Escherich, 1885 E. coli at 10,000x magnification Escherichia coli (usually abbreviated to E. coli) is one of the main species of bacteria that live in the lower intestines of warm-blooded animals (including birds and mammals) and are necessary for the proper digestion of... Orders Subclass Cestodaria Amphilinidea Gyrocotylidea Subclass Eucestoda Aporidea Caryophyllidea Cyclophyllidea Diphyllidea Lecanicephalidea Litobothridea Nippotaeniidea Proteocephalidea Pseudophyllidea Spathebothriidea Tetraphyllidea Trypanorhyncha In biology, Cestoda is the class of parasitic flatworms, called cestodes or tapeworms, that live in the digestive tract of vertebrates as adults and often in the bodies of various animals... Ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol or grain alcohol, is a flammable, colorless chemical compound, one of the alcohols that is most often found in alcoholic beverages. ... Edible salt is a mineral, one of the few rocks people eat. ... Lactose is a disaccharide found in milk. ... Dietary fibers are long-chain carbohydrates (polysaccharides) that are indigestible by the human digestive tract. ...

Governmental guidance

People eat foods and not nutrients; as few people know which foods supply which nutrients, allowing people to self-regulate their diets means that they run the obvious risk of deficiency. Due to past difficulties of educating people about nutrient intake, governments have opted to counsel on what foods to eat rather than on what nutrients to ingest.

Most states set guidelines for a healthy diet -- these usually vary slightly from country to country based upon demographics. These guidelines do however usually share the same recommendations of eating less fried or fatty foods to reduce cholesterol. Many guidelines suggest replacing certain foods with healthier alternatives that supply an abundance of nutrients, for instance using legumes or beans within a salad or pasta. Demographics refers to selected population characteristics as used in government, marketing or opinion research, or the demographic profiles used in such research. ... Cholesterol is a sterol (a combination steroid and alcohol). ... Varieties of soybean seeds, a popular legume The term legume has two closely related meanings in botany, a situation encountered with many botanical common names of useful plants whereby an applied name can refer to either the plant itself, or to the edible fruit (or useful part). ... This article is on the plant. ...

As BMI and weight changes from person to person, the general Reference Nutrient Intakes (RNI) set by governmental institutions may be somewhat lacking for some people, despite the fact that the RNI is generally calculated as higher than the average nutrient intake. It is even thought[who?] that some people may have needs above that of the RNI, meaning even if a person ate the recommended amount of nutrients, they would still suffer deficiency. The only real way to know the RNI for many people is to monitor the intake of nutrients and amount of exercise. The term Exercise can refer to: Physical exercise such as running or strength training Exercise (options), the financial term for enacting and terminating a contract Category: ...

Examples of specific recommendations include:

Some groups have been critical of the U.S. pyramids, alleging poor scientific basis, and influence from food producers. Harvard School of Public Health researchers have proposed their own healthy eating pyramid. The Dietary Reference Intake is a system of nutrition recommendations from the Institute of Medicine of the USA National Academy (IOM). ... The current food guide pyramid, called My Pyramid MyPyramid, released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on April 19, 2005, is an update on the ubiquitous U.S. food guide pyramid. ... This 1992 food pyramid diagram can still be found on much of the food packaging in the United States The improved American food guide pyramid, informally known as the food pyramid, was a nutrition guide created by the USDA. Released in 1992, the food pyramid suggested how much of each... USDA redirects here. ... Canadas Food Guide is a diet planning tool produced by Health Canada. ... Harvard School of Public Health The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) is Harvard Universitys School of Public Health. ... poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo poo...

A high-level summary of Government Guidance is:

  • Make sure that you eat five different types of fruit and vegetables every day. Every day also make sure that you eat at least one thing from each of the different food groups: Carbohydrates, Fruit and vegetables, Protein, Dairy, and Fats. Remember to eat the most fruit and vegetables, and the least fats.
  • Too much salt gives you high blood pressure; a high fat diet will give you hard and narrow arteries that could lead to heart attacks and strokes, possibly even death.
  • Fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants which will keep you healthy as long as you team them up with regular daily exercise. Your efforts to eat healthily will go to waste if you do not take part in regular daily exercise.
  • Having fiber in your diet will keep your digestive system going strong.

Detrimental eating habits

In specific individuals, ingesting foods containing natural allergens (e.g. peanuts, shellfood) or drug-induced triggers (e.g. tyramine for a person taking an MAO inhibitor) may be life-threatening. Habits are automatic routines of behavior that are repeated regularly, without thinking. ... An allergen is any substance (antigen), most often eaten or inhaled, that is recognized by the immune system and causes an allergic reaction. ...

Some foods have low nutritional value, and if consumed on a regular basis will contribute to the decline of human health. This has been demonstrated by various epidemiological studies that have determined that foods such as processed and fast foods are linked to diabetes and various heart problems. Fast food is food prepared and served quickly at a fast-food restaurant or shop at low cost. ... This article is about the disease that features high blood sugar. ... The heart and lungs, from an older edition of Grays Anatomy. ...

When improperly cut or prepared, a small number of foods (such as fugu) can result in death. Fuku redirects here. ...

The ingredient usually cited as being most crucial to good health, water, has even been known to result in death when consumed in extraordinary quantities. Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... Water intoxication (also known as hyperhydration or water poisoning) is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain function that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside of safe limits, ironically by that which makes up the majority of it - common water. ...

Cultural and psychological factors

From a psychological perspective, a new healthy diet may be difficult to achieve for a person with poor eating habits. This may be due to tastes acquired in early adolescence and preferences for fatty foods. It may be easier for such a person to transition to a healthy diet if treats such as chocolate are allowed; sweets may act as mood stabilizers, which could help reinforce correct nutrient intake. For other uses, see Chocolate (disambiguation). ...

It is known that the experiences we have in childhood relating to consumption of food affect our perspective on food consumption in later life. From this, we are able to determine ourselves our limits of how much we will eat, as well as foods we will not eat - which can develop into eating disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia, or orthorexia This is also true with how we perceive the sizes of the meals or amounts of food we consume daily; people have different interpretations of small and large meals based on upbringing. For other uses, see Anorexia. ... Bulimia nervosa, commonly known as bulimia, is an eating disorder and psychological condition in which the subject engages in recurrent binge eating followed by feelings of guilt, depression, and self-condemnation and intentional purging to compensate for the excessive eating, usually to prevent weight gain (see anorexia nervosa). ... Orthorexia, or orthorexia nervosa is a term coined by Dr. Steven Bratman, a Colorado MD, to denote an eating disorder characterized by a fixation on eating what the sufferer considers to be healthful food, which can ultimately lead to early death. ...

While plants, vegetables, and fruits are known to help reduce the incidence of chronic disease, the benefits on health posed by plant-based foods, as well as the percentage of which a diet needs to be plant based in order to have health benefits is unknown. Nevertheless, plant-based food diets in society and between nutritionist circles are linked to health and longevity, as well as contributing to lowering cholesterol, weight loss, and in some cases, stress reduction. Popular Japanese fashion magazine throughout the 1990s; the photography of which has recently been reissued in two collections from Phaidon press. ... Longevity is a term that generally refers to long life or great duration of life.[1] Reflections on longevity have usually gone beyond acknowledging the basic shortness of human life and have included thinking about methods to extend life. ... In medical terms, stress is the disruption of homeostasis through physical or psychological stimuli. ...

Indeed, ideas of what counts as "healthy eating" have varied in different times and places, according to scientific advances in the field of nutrition, cultural fashions, religious proscriptions, or personal considerations.

Public policy issues

Fears of high cholesterol were frequently voiced up until the mid-1990s. However, more recent research has shown that the distinction between high- and low-density lipoprotein ('good' and 'bad' cholesterol, respectively) must be addressed when speaking of the potential ill effects of cholesterol. Low-density lipoprotein is often prevalent in animal products, such as bacon and egg yolks, whereas high-density lipoprotein is more common in plant and fish tissues, such as olive oil and salmon. A lipoprotein is a biochemical assembly that contains both proteins and lipids. ... For the Popeye character, see Olive Oyl. ... For other uses, see Salmon (disambiguation). ...

Media coverage of mass-produced, processed, "snack" or "sweet" products directly marketed at children has worked to undermine policy efforts to improve eating habits. The main problem with such advertisements for foods is that alcohol and fast food are portrayed as offering excitement, escape and instant gratification. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Fast food is food prepared and served quickly at a fast-food restaurant or shop at low cost. ...

Particularly within the last five years government agencies have attempted to combat the amount and method of media coverage lavished upon "junk" foods. Governments also put pressure on businesses to promote healthy food options, consider limiting the availability of junk food in state-run schools, and tax foods that are high in fat. Most recently, the United Kingdom removed the rights for McDonald's to advertise its products as the majority of the foods that were seen to have low nutrient values were aimed at children under the guise of the "Happy Meal". The British Heart Foundation released its own government-funded advertisements, labeled "Food4Thought," which were targeted at children and adults displaying the gory nature of how fast food is generally constituted. McDonalds Corporation (NYSE: MCD) is the worlds largest chain of fast-food restaurants, primarily selling hamburgers, chicken, french fries, milkshakes and soft drinks. ...

Food additive controversy

Some claim that food additives, such as artificial sweeteners, colorants, preserving agents, and flavorings may cause health problems. Examples of fast food critics include Kevin Trudeau and Eric Schlosser. A sweetener is a food additive which adds the basic taste of sweetness to a food. ... Kevin Mark Trudeau (born February 6, 1963) is an American author, pocket billiards promoter (founder of the International Pool Tour), salesman, convicted felon and purported alternative medicine advocate. ... Eric Schlosser (born 1959) is an American journalist and author. ...

See also

Kinds of diets which may be prescribed for certain medical conditions

  • Ketogenic diet, to reduce epileptic seizures
  • Low-fat diet, to reduce heart disease and stroke
  • Low-sodium diet, to reduce blood pressure and risk of stroke
  • High-sodium diet, to reduce fainting spells in people with dysautonomia nerve conditions
  • High-calorie diet, to combat cachexia due to AIDS, cancer, or drug side effects
  • Low-oxalate diet, to combat kidney stones, vulvodynia, and possibly in combination with other diets, autism

Related articles The ketogenic diet is a very high fat diet that relies on inducing a state of ketosis. ... USDAs Food Pyramid According to the USDA, Low fat diet--as the name implies--is a diet that constitutes of little fat, especially saturated fat and cholesterol(which can lead to increased blood cholesterol levels and heart disease when existing in high levels). ... Dysautonomia is any disease or malfunction of the autonomic nervous system. ... For other uses, see AIDS (disambiguation). ... Cancer is a class of diseases or disorders characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these to spread, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue through invasion, or by implantation into distant sites by metastasis (where cancer cells are transported through the bloodstream or lymphatic system). ...

The methionine metabolism pathway. ... Diet may play an important role in causing or preventing heart disease. ... Nutritional genomics is a science studying the relationship between human genome, nutrition and health. ... Standard American Diet, or S.A.D., is a derogatory term used by naturalist health food advocates to describe the dietary habits of average Americans; advocates say that the average American has a diet that is relatively high in saturated fat, trans fat, chemical additives, and refined sugar. ... Red meat in culinary terminology refers to meat which is red-colored when raw, while in nutritional terminology, it refers to meat from mammals. ...


  1. ^  MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) 1990: Eight Guidelines for a healthy diet London: Food Sense
  2. ^  Barasi, Mary E. (2003) Human Nutrition: A Health Perspective London:Arnold
  3. ^  Mcdonalds Corporation Quality & Nutrition information - McDonalds USA Big-Mac Nutrition factsheet Mcdonalds Corporation (http://app.mcdonalds.com/bagamcmeal?process=item&itemID=5)
  4. ^  Spurlock, M. Supersize Me - A film of epic Proportions Columbia Tristar
  5. ^  Nestle, M. (1998) Animal v plant foods in human diets and health - Proceedings of the Nutrition Society
  6. ^  National Health Service (2005) Five a day - a guide to healthy eating NHS Press (http://www.5aday.nhs.uk/)
  7. ^  Johnson, R. K. (2000). The 2000 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: foundation of US nutrition policy. - British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin 25. p241-248
  8. ^  Achterberg, C., McDonnell, E., Fagby, R. (1994) How to put the Food Guide Pyramid into practice - Jornal of the American Dietetic Association Volume 94 p 1030-1035
  9. ^  United Kingdom Department of Health (2005): Choosing Health: making healthier choices easier -- Public Health White Paper CM 6374 retrieved from: United Kingdom Department of Health Website
  10. ^ United States Department of Agriculture (2005) . MyPyramid - Guidelines for healthy eating - Dietary guidelines for Americans USDA Press/Printing retrieved from United States Department of agriculture - MyPyramid replaces food pyramid guide
  11. ^  Oliver, J., Channel Four (2005) Jamie's School Dinners - Documentary produced for channel four Television Programme.
  12. ^  Food standards Authority (2005) 8 easy steps to keeping a healthy and balanced diet - Eat well, be well retrieved from Eat well, be well website.
  13. ^  National Cancer Institute (2005) Eat five to Nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day retrieved from 5-a-day National Cancer institute
  14. ^  British Heart Foundation (2005). Food4Thought - Campaign against junk food within children's diets. retrieved from British Heart Foundation Food4Thought

Columbia Pictures logo, used only in the early-1990s Columbia Pictures, now Columbia-Tristar Pictures after their merger with the former Tristar Entertainment, is a film production company, and part of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ...

External links

Look up who in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Possible meanings: Faro Airport (Portugal) Federation of Astrobiology Organizations Financial Aid Office Food and Agriculture Organization This page expands a three-character combination which might be any or all of: an abbreviation, an acronym, an initialism, a word in English, or a word in another language. ... The American Heart Association (AHA) is a non-profit organization in the United States that fosters appropriate cardiac care in an effort to reduce disability and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke American Stroke Association Web site. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Healthy diet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3661 words)
A healthy and balanced diet is usually defined as a diet in which nutrient intake is maintained, and cholesterol, salt, sugar and fat are reduced.
The idea of a healthy diet is often used by a government to ensure that people are well "protected" against common illnesses, as well as conditions which stem from poor diet; of which everything from headaches, lessened sexual drive, to heart disease, alcohol poisoning, and obesity may be attributed.
When eating healthy, the likelihood of succumbing to common minor illnesses, such as lesser forms of Influenza, is decreased, mainly because consumption of a healthy diet would provide ample nutrients and energy for the body, so as to help stave off such illnesses.
Healthy Eating: Guide to New Food Pyramids and Tips for a Healthy Diet (3163 words)
Healthy eating is an opportunity to expand your range of choices by trying a variety of foods—especially vegetables, grains, or fruits—that you don't normally eat.
Healthy eating and being physically active are keys to a healthy lifestyle.
Women require more calcium and iron than men do, but what constitutes a healthy diet for a woman depends a great deal on where she is in the life cycle, the amount of exercise she gets, whether she is pregnant or lactating, and other lifestyle factors.
  More results at FactBites »



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