All the organisms in this earth need food and water for its survival. There are different types of food groups for different organisms. The food that we intake is digested, assimilated and absorbed by the body to give us energy. This science of consuming and utilizing the food for survival is called nutrition. Nutrition also includes the prevention of certain diseases by making proper dietary changes. It involves the metabolic changes taking place in our body in response to the food ingested. Nutritionists study the nutrient content of a food and also its health benefit on the body.
Diet includes all the food groups that we take habitually in our day to day life .A balanced diet is the right amount of food with right proportion taken in right time. A balanced diet is essential to meet nutritional needs of the body so as to stay healthy. There are different plans prescribed for different individuals based on their age, gender, physical activity, disease condition. Diet plans prescribed for certain diseases are called therapeutic diets. For example: weight loss diet, weight gains diet, gout diet, diet for hypertension, diet for diabetes mellitus, hernia diet etc…
No single food group can meet the nutritional needs of an individual. A combination of all the food groups in the right proportion is essential. The food groups include fruits, vegetables, cereals and pulses, dairy, poultry, fish and meat. These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, proteins and carbohydrates. These nutrients are the essential component that builds, repairs and provides energy to the body.
A nutritionist studies and analyses the different nutrient contents of the particular food. A dietician helps in making diet plans ideal for us based on different factors such as age, gender, activity level etc…The dietician plans the diet, knowing the nutritional value of different food groups. So always, diet and nutrition goes hand in hand. A nutritionist mostly works in the food industry. A dietician works in health care centre.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine says that “let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”. We are living in a civilized world where the role of diet and nutrition is tremendous. There are many diseases which can be prevented by proper diet plans. Obesity and diabetes mellitus are the diseases which has growing concern all over the world. A slight dietary change can eradicate these diseases .A food pyramid is illustrated by the dietician to show the proportion of food groups to be taken .When we follow this , it becomes easy for us to eat the right amount of the food everyday .Nowadays , there is a great awareness among the people about the calorific value of different foods.
They are also keen on knowing the ingredients of the packed food. It is always good to read the labels before buying the product. The label will give the clue whether the grains are whole or polished, whether trans fat is added, is MSG added etc… It is also important if one is allergic to certain foods such as dairy allergy, peanut allergy etc…
So, with diet and nutrition, know the right food for you and stay healthy!!