Healthy eating is one of the most important issues in terms of maintaining both health and body form. From the process starting with breast milk or formulas in infants to adulthood and old age, fulfilling the requirements for healthy and balanced nutrition in all age groups is of great importance in terms of protection from diseases and having ideal body mass. In order for the daily functions in the body to be carried out without any problems, all nutrients must be met completely. In order to achieve this, a healthy and balanced diet is essential. In addition, obesity is among the most important risk factors for many acute and chronic diseases for all ages. Therefore, keeping the body mass in the ideal range with calorie intake suitable for healthy nutrition and energy needs is very important in order to protect against diseases and lead a healthy life. For all these reasons, due attention should be paid to healthy nutrition in every period of human life, from infancy to old age, and efforts should be made to act consciously.
What is healthy eating?
Nutrients are needed to perform daily functions in the human body. The foods consumed constitute the energy source required for physical activity and biological functions in the body. There are three basic nutrients in the foods we eat. These are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. In addition to these three basic groups called macro nutrients, vitamins and minerals, which are micronutrients, are other components that are taken into the body along with nutrients. It is very important to fully meet the needs of vitamins and minerals for the smooth functioning of digestive, respiratory, excretory, respiratory, circulatory, nervous, skeletal and muscular systems, healthy production of hormones and body secretions, and healthy maintenance of motor skills and cognitive functions. has an importance. In addition, it is only possible to maintain the order of many systems in the body, especially the digestive system, by implementing a healthy and balanced diet plan. Healthy nutrition is the type of nutrition that contains all macro and micronutrients in the most basic sense in the amounts needed by the person, at the same time, fully meets the amount of energy needed by the individual and is suitable for the preservation of the ideal weight. Since each individual’s body composition, age, gender and health status are different, there is no single list that can be defined as a healthy diet program. The healthy diet list should be prepared by a dietician, although the general rules are certain.
Why is healthy eating important?
In order to maintain healthy body functions, protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamin, mineral and dietary fiber should be taken into the body with nutrients in sufficient quantity. For this, a sufficient amount of each food type should be consumed without overdoing, and diversity in the diet should be provided.
Proteins: Proteins are also called as constructive and reparative nutrients and are the most abundant nutrients in the structure of the human body. Protein needs must be fully met in order to support mental and cognitive functions, to realize motor skills and to produce the energy required for this, to maintain the immune system elements and blood in a healthy way and to perform many other functions. The amount of protein, which is found in varying proportions in plant and animal foods, increases the amount of protein required for healthy nutrition in young people, especially in physically working people and athletes with a high level of physical activity, and the amount of protein that must be taken with nutrients in liver and kidney patients.
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates, the body’s main energy sources; it is most commonly found in cereals, legumes and fruits. While taking care to fully meet the carbohydrate needs of individuals who want a healthy diet, they should meet them from complex carbohydrates (whole grains, legumes, etc.) with high fiber, vitamin and mineral content instead of refined sugar and purified grains. In this way, while weight control can be achieved, fluctuations in energy and mood can be prevented, and blood sugar can be kept under control.
Fats: Fats, another nutrient, are among the food groups that are most associated with weight gain and should be consumed in moderation. Nevertheless, the amount of fat that the body needs must be fully met from healthy sources in order to maintain body functions without any problems and especially to maintain hormonal balance. Processed fats such as fats of animal origin and margarine should be avoided as much as possible, and attention should be paid to the consumption of fish containing olive oil and omega 3 fatty acids. While the fat requirement is met, this is not just about the fats added to the nutrients; It should be remembered that there is a significant amount of fat in the structure of foods such as meat, milk, fish.
What are the problems that can be seen due to unhealthy nutrition?
Many of the chronic diseases frequently seen in the world have a direct relationship with nutrition. In addition, there is an increased risk of developing many acute diseases, especially unhealthy and unbalanced nutrition and infectious diseases. Obesity is the most common health problem due to nutrition in our country and in the world. Obesity, an advanced dimension of overweight; It is one of the most important risk factors of many diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hormonal diseases and metabolic syndrome. The malnutrition picture that occurs in the case of unhealthy, unbalanced or malnutrition is called malnutrition in the medical language. Some of the common health problems associated with malnutrition include:
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Thyroid diseases
- Infertility (infertility)
- Growth and developmental delay
- Frequent infections
- Forgetfulness, difficulty in concentration, and confusion
- Fatigue and weakness
- Anemia (anemia)
- Impairments in organ functions
- Bone and joint diseases
- Muscle loss (sarcopenia) and decreased muscle strength
If unhealthy, unbalanced, inadequate, or overfeeding continues for a long time, health problems can arise that may become more serious and progress until death.
How to create a healthy diet program?
While creating a healthy nutrition program, benefiting from nutritional alfalfa may benefit from simplifying the subject. Food clover from 4 leaves refers to 4 food groups. These groups consist of dairy products, meat, eggs, fish and legumes, fruits and vegetables and cereals. At least 2 servings a day from the milk and dairy group of healthy individuals; women during pregnancy, lactation or post-menopausal period should consume 3-4 servings. Healthy individuals should also consume 2-3 portions of meat or fish a day. Egg consumption may be 1 per day in children or healthy adults, while in cardiovascular patients it should be 1-2 times a week. Dried legumes, other foods in this group, should be consumed 2-3 times a week, and fish consumption should be paid at least 2 days a week. Nutrients such as walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds containing valuable proteins and healthy fats can be consumed in healthy individuals for 1-2 servings a day. Foods such as bread, pasta and wheat, bulgur and rice in the cereals group should be consumed 6 servings a day in individuals with a sedentary (sedentary) lifestyle, and 7-8 servings in those who work in heavy jobs or those who have a mobile lifestyle. These should be selected from whole grains instead of refined sugar or purified grains. From the last group of fruits and vegetables, at least 5 portions should be consumed daily. The daily energy requirement in humans is an average of 2000 calories. While this is an average figure, the daily energy requirement is higher in men, young people and those with high physical activity, whereas it is lower in women, the elderly and individuals with sedentary lifestyle.
All this information applies to healthy individuals, and those who have a disease or those who take medication regularly require changes to the diet. For this reason, individuals who want to start a healthy diet should first have routine health checks and then repeat them regularly. If you want to get support from a specialist for healthy nutrition or create a healthy nutrition program suitable for your current diseases, you can apply to health institutions, and after your health checks are completed, you can lead a healthier life by determining your nutrition routine under the leadership of your doctor and dietitian.