Defining a Healthy Diet
So what exactly is a healthy diet? One of the most common misconceptions that people have is that they usually correlate less body weight with having a good diet. But does less body weight truly be conclusive of having a healthy diet?
A few days ago while I was browsing through the headlines in the internet, I came across an article regarding the “revised food pyramid” promoted by the Obama administration. This new food pyramid becomes a colorful plate with 4 main portions plus a cup at the side. The MyPlate is divided such that they were suggesting that a person’s diet should be consisted of grains, proteins, fruits, vegetables and dairy.
The MyPlate is a good and simplified visual representation of the proper portions of each food category for a healthy diet. But to be less simplistic, and to help you understand more about a healthy diet, let me give you a short discourse about carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. According to medical journals, it has been suggested that our diet should mainly consist of 60% carbohydrates, 15% protein and 25% fats.
So why do we actually need 60% of carbohydrates in our diet? Most people usually correlate carbohydrates intake with fat build up; but do they actually know that these carbohydrates are the primary source of energy not only by the muscles but also by the brain?
So why do we actually need 25% of fat in our diet? Most people see these fats as extra inches in their waistlines; but in-fact, these fats do play a lot of roles in our daily living. These fats serve as a membrane that covers our cells, these fats aids in the transmission of impulses from one neuron to another, so on and so forth. But not all fats are utilized by our body systems such as trans-fats (a type of fat that we get from frying).
Protein should only consist 15% of our diet as too much protein could lead to stress. According to an article of Medicinenet, cutting back on carbohydrates and adding more protein on the diet leads to dehydration. Dehydration temporarily decreases our body weight, but will eventually cause stress on the kidneys and the heart. Too much protein also causes bad breath. In addition to that, protein discourages calcium absorption by the bones. In the book What to Eat by Marion Nestle, she discusses about the American diet adding too much protein in their diet, thus affecting the proper calcium absorption in our bones. Americans consume more milk than any other people on earth but still get problems on the bones. Why? Because as you increase your protein intake, you decrease your chances of calcium intake (Nestle, 2007).
Diets vary depending on their geographic location and financial capabilities. Like the people who reside along the beaches have more fishes in their diets, those who reside along the farms have more vegetables in their diets and those who frenzy these fast-food chains usually have more fats in their diets. So how can we actually formulate the healthy diet plan suited to our needs? Simple, eat everything in moderation and you won’t have to worry about your blood-works!
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