Is Your Diet Putting Your Health at Risk?
By Charles Hopkins
Published 04/21/2006 | Food & Drink
Are you feeling tired, stressed and apathetic? Did you know these are all common signs of a diet lacking nutritional value? If you are dieting, ill or eating a fast-food diet, you should you be concerned that you and your family are getting proper nutrition from your food.
HOW WILL I KNOW I'M GETTING ENOUGH NUTRITION?
If you find that a day goes by and the only thing you've had to eat is a bagel and coffee you will no doubt be feeling the physical effects of a lack of nutrition. A lack of mental clarity, weakness and irritability are all signs you haven't given your body enough good food to eat.
On the other hand, if you or your children indulge in high calorie diets on a regular basis you will notice the effects of over nutrition. Weight gain and related symptoms will also sap your energy and put a strain on your system.
UNDER NUTRITION AND OVER NUTRITION
Your diet is a crucial element to feeling good, strong and alert. If you have been suffering from a diet lacking in nutrition, or an over indulgence in nutrition, you will certainly be feeling the effects on your overall health - and may even be setting yourself up for more serious disease.
You need calories for energy. It is vital to obtain the necessary amount of calories every day to maintain your optimum health. Individuals who do not take in the proper amount of calories because of ill health, physical disability, dieting or problems with absorption, will begin to loose weight, lack concentration and with prolonged under nutrition begin to loose the function of organs such as the reproductive system and eventually major functions of the heart and lungs.
A diet too high in calories will also put health at risk. More common than under nutrition in developed countries, obesity puts a strain on the organs and increases the risk for health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.
Knowing what a typical serving size of food is can help you determine if you (or a family member) are taking in the appropriate amount of calories. It is important for parents to teach children moderate eating habits to ensure good eating for life.
IS YOUR FOOD NUTRITIOUS?
Aside from merely watching caloric intake it is important that your diet has strong nutritional value as well. You could eat an entire box of doughnuts to meet your calorie needs without having met your daily requirements for vitamins, protein, calcium and other minerals.
Choosing a diet that lacks nutrition on a regular basis will lead to a lowered resistance to illness, general weakness, and irritability. Other diet deficiencies, such as a lack of calcium, can lead to more serious disorders such as osteoporosis.
While pregnant women, lactating women, the elderly and ill individuals may choose to supplement their diet with multi vitamins, the average healthy person should get all the nutrition they need in a normal diet that includes fruit, vegetables, protein (meat and lentils), dairy and fibre (bread and cereals).
What about the occasional burger? Fast-food in the diet is not harmful if it is only an occasional treat, but may show its negative effects if consumed as a major part of the diet. Educating yourself and your family on what a healthy diet is will help you and your family feel great and enjoy good health.