In nutrition, the diet is the balance of food ingested by an individual or other living organism. It’s a system that regulate what we eat and how much, and how the food is digested to give the body nutrients needed to maintain health. It regulates blood pressure, glucose levels, and body weight. The term diet, in its widest sense, can also refer to a structured eating plan. In this way, it can be seen as the science of diet.
The Mediterranean diet concept is that a healthy diet should provide abundant sources of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, legumes, and roots. All of these food groups contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. A few groups, however, are significantly lacking when it comes to fat, salt, and sugar. That’s where the diet comes in. By including poultry, fish, eggs, and certain dairy products, the Mediterranean diet can provide good dietary nutrition while still losing weight. In fact, studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet and weight loss go hand in hand.
Diets high in fat and sodium increase the risk for hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The intake of salt can make a heart attack more likely. High-sugar intake leads to obesity and can damage organs, such as the kidneys. When you cut out or limit the amount of saturated fat, processed foods, and sugar your body needs, you increase the efficiency with which your metabolism functions. That means that you burn calories more efficiently, leading to weight loss. And the weight loss is often maintained long-term.
Low-fat and low-sugar diets are better for overall health than diets high in saturated fat and sugar. But for people who need a higher level of those substances (such as women who are pregnant or diabetic), restricting their red meat intake can help, as can limit the amount of bakery products and yeast products they consume. For most other people, diets that completely remove sugar from their diet provide the most health benefits.
A diet high in carbs can lead to overeating and eventual weight loss without compensating the extra calories by eating more often. If you feel hungry, eat a small portion of carbs. If you don’t feel hungry, but you know you should, snack on healthy carbs. Starches, such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole-grain bread, and popcorn are good sources of carbs that satisfy hunger. As long as you know you’re getting the nutrients your body needs, you won’t over indulge in calories. Overeating will only add to your fat stores.
Most people do not eat enough vegetables and fruits. Vegetables and fruits have many essential vitamins and minerals and fiber. You should eat at least five servings a day, including plenty of green vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and veggies. Lean meats, poultry, fish, and beans are other good foods for your diet. You should avoid any processed foods, such as canned goods, frozen foods, chips, crackers, and other pre-made meals. Instead, choose 100% natural and fresh foods, which are higher in nutrients.