What is considered as a healthy diet? There is always an on going discussion on what is considered to be a healthy eating regime. There are many groups like vegetarians and vegans who consider their food beliefs as healthy. Doctors and medical people also have opinions on what is a healthy diet. Some religions also emphasise the eating and not eating of certain foods to be a healthy practice.
So what really constitutes a healthy diet?
A healthy or well balanced diet is one where all the nutritional needs of our bodies are catered for. Our bodies require a complicated mixture of vitamins, carbohydrates,proteins, minerals,water ,certain fats acids, alkali's, enzymes and many other chemicals and trace elements to function properly.
We obtain most of these chemicals and nutrients from drinking water and eating and digesting food as well as using sunlight on our skin for others. Combined with oxygen we breath, these chemicals are used by our bodies to build muscle, grow hair and skin, create new tissue, create neural pathways, maintain healthy blood, grow bones and teeth and provide energy for us to move. Every person is different and also requires different quantities of these base materials depending on age-height-weight and many other factors like the amount of exercise she or she does. Even genetics plays a major part in our bodies balance of these nutrients needed.
It is often much easier to define an unhealthy diet than to prescribe a healthy diet. An unhealthy diet is usually one where a person eats too much of one type of food causing an overload of what that food consists of and usually not enough of other needed food groups which then causes an unbalance of chemicals and nutrients in our bodies.
In poorer countries where some people live mostly on seasonal staples such as rice or corn they often are loaded with carbohydrates but usually don't get enough protein and vitamins and minerals for their bodies which can often lead to diseases such as rickets.
Then in some modern western countries a lot of people live on takeaway foods which are often saturated with carbohydrates, sugars and fats. This type of diet can also lead to severe medical problems such as obesity, heart problems and much more.Some people recommend not to include fats in our diets as they consider them to be unhealthy but our body does need a certain quantity of different fat types to function properly and fats also supply us with a vital energy store for our muscles and other organs to function properly between meals as well as being the carrier for some fat soluble vitamins like the vitamin D group.
So to have a truly healthy diet what we need is to have a balance of different types of food sources that will provide our body with all the chemicals it needs to function properly during our various activities and a small store of some nutrients,fats and other vital chemicals for rebuilding tissue and providing energy between meals .
Meat is a good source of protein some vitamins and minerals and fats,but we still need other foods like green vegetables, fruit and nuts to supplement it. Vegetarians and vegans can live healthy lives without meat by sourcing a variety plant derived foods like nuts and berries, sea weed, grains and legumes that contain high levels of proteins, unsaturated fats and vital minerals. So to sum it up, a healthy diet is one where our bodies nutritional and energy needs are met in moderation without an over or under balance of one particular chemical.