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Diets Information , Healthy Diets
A diet is whatever a person eats, regardless of the goal—whether it is losing weight, gaining weight, reducing fat intake, avoiding carbohydrates, or having no particular goal. However, the
By: Loss Weight diet Consultant
Standard healthy diets for children and adults are based on the needs of average people who have certain characteristics:
They do not need to lose or gain weight.
They do not need to restrict any component of the diet because of disorders, risk, or advanced age.
They expend average amounts of energy through exercise or other vigorous activities.
Thus, for a particular person, a healthy diet may vary substantially from what is recommended in standard diets. For example, special diets are required by people who have diabetes, certain kidney or liver disorders, coronary artery disease, high cholesterol levels, osteoporosis, diverticular disease, chronic constipation, or food sensitivities. There are special dietary recommendations for young children, but little guidance is available for other age groups, such as older people.
Spotlight on Aging
The best diet for older people has not been determined. However, older people may benefit from changing some aspects of their diet, based on the way the body changes as it ages. No changes are required for some nutrients such as carbohydrates and fats.
Vitamins and minerals: Older people may need to take supplements of specific vitamins and minerals in addition to a multivitamin. Calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 are examples. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D from the diet is difficult. These nutrients are needed to maintain strong bones, which are particularly important for older people. Some older people do not absorb enough vitamin B12 even though they consume enough in foods because the stomach and intestine become less able to remove vitamin B12 from food or to absorb it. Older people with this problem can absorb vitamin B12 better when it is given as a supplement.
Older people are more likely to have disorders or take drugs that can change the body's nutritional needs or the body's ability to meet those needs. Disorders and drugs can decrease appetite or interfere with the absorption of nutrients. When older people see their doctor, they should ask their doctor whether the disorders they have or the drugs they take affect nutrition in any way.
Weight Loss Diets
Weight loss requires consuming fewer calories than the body uses. Losing ½ pound of fat by dieting requires 10 days of consuming 200 fewer calories or 5 to 7 days of consuming 400 fewer calories per day than the body uses. One pound of body fat stores about 3,500 calories.
Most conservative weight loss diets involve consuming at least 1,200 to 1,400 calories a day. When rapid weight loss is needed, fewer than 1,200 calories may be consumed, but only for a short time. Such diets often have too little of essential nutrients, such as protein, iron, and calcium. Consuming fewer than 800 calories does not increase the amount of weight lost and is harder to tolerate.
To be healthy, weight loss diets should provide about the same volume of food (by including more fiber and fluids) as the normal diet. They should also be low in saturated fat and sugar and include essential nutrients, including antioxidants. The following general guidelines may help people lose weight:
Reading food labels: People learn what nutrients and how many calories food, including beverages, contains. Then, people can plan their diet more effectively.
Counting calories: People keep track of the number of calories they eat. This strategy helps people control calorie intake.
Choosing nutrient-rich, low-calorie foods: When fewer calories are consumed, getting the needed nutrients—particularly vitamins and minerals—is more difficult. So people should choose foods that contain many nutrients but not many calories. Whole-grain cereals and whole-grain breads that are fortified with vitamins are good choices. Fruits and vegetables that are deeply colored (such as strawberries, peaches, broccoli, spinach, and squash) tend to contain more nutrients than those that are less deeply colored.
Eating small meals frequently: This strategy can help with weight loss for several reasons. Insulin levels usually increase after eating, and more insulin is produced when many calories are consumed, especially when the meal is rich in carbohydrates. High insulin levels promote the deposition of fat and increase appetite. Eating small, frequent meals prevents insulin levels from increasing, thus discouraging fat deposition and helping suppress appetite.
Eating certain types of foods at certain times of the day: For example, fast-energy foods, such as carbohydrates, are best eaten when the body needs a large supply of energy—that is, in the morning and during vigorous exercise. The body's need for energy is lowest at night, so avoiding carbohydrates in the evening may help.
Using sugar and fat substitutes:
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