In nutrition, the diet is a summary of the type of diet that an individual or group of organisms adopt. One of the most prominent properties of a diet is that it ought to be able to enable an individual to maintain a state of dynamic stability within a limited period of time. It ought to allow for regular and adequate input of new nutrients while excluding harmful substances from the diet. A well balanced diet should not only help to maintain a stable body weight, but also should contribute towards the maintenance of health and the prevention of various diseases. The five main components of diets include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber and water.
Carbohydrates come in two forms; simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates consist of breads, pasta, rice, cereals and fruits; whereas complex carbohydrates consist of potatoes, legumes, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans. The amount of intake of each type of carbohydrate will influence the body’s blood glucose level. The glycemic index of foods is a method used to rate the effect that different carbohydrates have on blood glucose levels. Foods with high glycemic index can contribute towards weight loss. The glycemic index system was developed by Dr. Michael Allen and Mrs. Paula Gudakunst in the early 1990s as a way of classifying foods according to their ability to raise blood sugar level.
Long-term effects of the diets, according to the research, were shown to differ between sexes and between overweight/obese status. Diets with a low glycemic index produced a slight reduction in weight loss over a one year period. However, researchers concluded that long-term weight loss depended upon the type of diet adopted as well as the amount of exercise performed. Furthermore, the results of the study showed no significant effect of low glycemic index in patients with diabetes type II. The diets are generally recommended for individuals who are trying to lose weight and for people who are suffering from diabetes.
The majority of diets recommend eating certain kinds of fats, such as saturated fats, trans fats, and those that come from dairy products, while guidelines suggest replacing them with lower-quality foods, such as grains, seeds, fruits, vegetables, beans, fish, and nuts. Although it is good to replace saturated fats with low-fat items, experts recommend avoiding partially hydrogenated oils and sticking to natural oils. A dietitian can help you in choosing the right kinds of fats and food items. For example, unsaturated fats are important in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, but experts advise against substituting them with vegetable oils as they are often high in calories. Some studies have also suggested that consuming grains high in protein may not be a good idea, as protein has become an essential building block in our body.
People who are on a low-glycemic index diet are advised to eat more fibrous foods such as legumes, vegetables, and whole grains. As stated earlier, experts recommend adopting a high-protein diet, specifically one rich in proteins from animal source. However, the type of protein you should eat should be balanced with other kinds of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Therefore, if you are going to take up a high-protein diet, it is important to increase your daily consumption of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which should be done in addition to your regular consumption of high-fiber foods.
Another major issue in proper nutrition and diet means overeating. The problem with overeating comes from our emotional response to food intake. When people feel full after consuming a large amount of food, it may cause them to crave for more. In turn, they will feel guilty, which will increase their desire to consume more food, until all food intake is out of proportion and overweight becomes a normal habit.