Describe the Requirements of a Balanced Diet

It is now known that some health problems are caused by dietary intake, such as too much fat causing heart disease and too much salt Contributing to strokes. Dietary needs will vary for each individual. As you have seen from the information above, dietary needs will differ according to age, but other factors will come into play. Such factors include: _ the level of exercise taken _ the type of job a person does _ religious or cultural decisions _ likes and dislikes _ a person’s health _ availability of food. The balance of good health is based on the government’s Eight Guidelines for a healthy diet.

It forms the basis of the Food Standards Agency nutrition strategy. Although the main components of the diet should be healthy, people can still eat less healthy foods, but in smaller quantities. This is sometimes known as the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time people should eat healthily and they can then eat less healthily 20% of the time. It does not necessarily mean that people have to vary their diet daily – as long as they can achieve a good balance over a week or two-week period. In 1991, the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy (COMA) Published

Dietary Reference Values (DRVs), which were designed to provide guidelines by which doctors and nutritionists would be able to assess the adequacy of the diets of different groups of people. From this, three different values were set for most nutrients. It is important that there is energy balance in the diet. The diet should contain a variety of foods so that energy comes from different sources. As you will see later in the unit, different food groups provide different amounts of energy per gram of the food, and balancing these will help to provide an overall healthy diet.

Maintaining good health depends on the consumption of sufficient amounts of nutrients and energy. Malnutrition can describe under nutrition or over nutrition. Under nutrition is the result of not Taking in enough energy or nutrients and if this continues over a length of time, starvation and other deficiency disorders will occur. Most particularly, children who suffer from under nutrition can suffer from physical stunting or mental retardation. Over nutrition results from an excessive intake of energy of one or more nutrients and can result in medical problems such as obesity, heart disease or diabetes.

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