What is nutrition?
If the word nutrition is explained simply, it can be called a combination of the following processes.
Absorption of nutrients into the body.
Utilization of absorbed nutrients for the needs of the body.
A person’s nutritional needs depend on several factors.
You probably know that body size changes with age. Young children may need fewer calories and other nutrients per day than adults. However, there are times when a growing child’s need for certain nutrients is greater than an adult’s.
- Physical conditions
During pregnancy, the amount of nutrients a mother needs per day is slightly higher than that of a normal woman. Also, when someone is sick, the amount of nutrients needed increases slightly. That is because more energy is needed to fight the disease or pathogen. When a fever occurs, the body temperature rises. More of the body to generate heat for it
As calories are burned, the nutritional requirement increases slightly.
3.Physical activity level
A sedentary person’s daily caloric needs are significantly less than an active person’s daily caloric needs.
There are three main food groups that fulfill different nutritional needs of the body. They are,
- Foods that provide energy to the body – carbohydrates or starch and lipids
- Foods that grow the body – protein
- Foods that protect the body – vitamins and minerals
The harmful effects we get from nutrition are twofold. It can be defined as undernutrition and overnutrition.
Malnutrition comes in several forms.
Low birth weight
Underweight – Lack of weight for a child’s age.
Wasting – Lack of weight for a child’s height.
Stunting – Lack of height for a child’s age.
Body mass index (Body Mass Index/BMI) less than 18.5 (Low BMI).
Overfeeding comes in two forms.
Overweight – A body mass index of 25 or more and a BMI of 24.9 or more.
Obesity – having a body mass index of 30 or more.
The trend of nutritional problems among people aged between 18 and 59 years in today’s society can be explained as follows.
Stunness means lack of weight for height.
Male – 16.2%
Female – 14.9%
Male – 22%
Female – 24.6%
Obesity or obesity
Male – 4.2%
Female – 6.9%
Considering these data, the prevalence of nutritional problems among males aged 18-59 is 42.4%, while the prevalence of nutritional problems among females in the same age group is 46.4%.
The cause of nutrition-related problems is that our eating patterns gradually change over time. Our diets have become unbalanced and lacking in nutrients. Instead of a healthy balanced diet, we are used to eating high-energy foods and high-salt foods that are high in simple sugar or fat.
Why is this? Several reasons have contributed to it.
Abundance of processed foods.
Use of Advertisements and Other Promotional Tactics.
Easy access to unhealthy foods.
Gradual change in individual taste for food.
Culture, economy, and society gradually change.
Gradual change in environment.
What is a healthy balanced diet?
There are certain amounts and ratios between nutrients that our body needs different nutrients on a daily basis. A diet prepared accordingly can be called a healthy balanced diet.
There are 6 main food groups that should be included in a balanced diet.
Grains with starch like rice, sorghum, maize, millet
Foods made from whole grain flour
Vegetables and legumes
The fourth category
Fish, eggs, skinless chicken, legumes, dried fruits, flakes and nuts
The fifth category
Fresh milk and dairy products
Foods containing oils such as cashews, peanuts, coconut, coconut oil, sesame oil, canola oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, olive oil
What should be on a healthy plate? It should consist of different types of food in proper proportions.
Half (1/2) of the food plate should consist of carbohydrate-containing foods such as rice, yams, jackfruits, dates, foods made from grain flour with kuruta, peas, peas, and mung beans. For an adult, its volume should not exceed 200-250 ml.
The remaining 2/3 should consist of vegetables and legumes. Here, it is appropriate to choose more green, less floury vegetables.
The remaining 1/3 of the portion should consist of animal and plant proteins such as fish, skinless chicken, eggs, dry beans, legumes and pulses (soy, lentil, chickpea, pea, mung bean).
What are the consequences of adopting an unhealthy diet?
Eating more carbohydrates (especially foods high in simple sugars) and fat than the body needs adds a lot of calories to the body every day. Here, the extra calories consumed over the daily activities are stored as body fat. Gradually, the extra 7778 calories are stored as fat, resulting in a kilogram of body weight gain. Excess fat deposits thus lead to overweight or obesity.
This significantly increases the risk of developing non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, and heart attack.
Eating foods with less nutrients than the body needs slows down the growth of the body, and gradually atrophies the body’s muscles. Then there is underweight, thinness, and shortness.
Therefore, it is essential that we have the right amount of nutrients in the food we eat every day.
Vegetables and fruits
Vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. In particular, vegetables and fruits are rich in essential vitamins such as vitamins A, B complex, C, E, and vitamin K. Vitamins and minerals act as necessary components for various metabolic reactions in our body.
Vegetables and fruits are rich in minerals (potassium, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and iron) that our body needs to function properly.
Potassium reduces your blood pressure, kidney stones, and bone weakening. Minerals like calcium and phosphorus are constituents of bones. Iron is a component of hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells, which helps transport oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body through the blood.
Certain vitamins and minerals help our immune system to protect us from disease. Certain vitamins and other chemicals found in vegetables and fruits produce a type of highly active molecules called free radicals, and these molecules damage the cells of the body.
Therefore, antioxidants protect the cells of the body. Acting as an antioxidant, it neutralizes free radicals that are produced in the body and cause damage to cells. It reduces the risk of diseases such as paralysis, heart attack, cancer, and arthritis.
Cholesterol and sugar absorption is controlled by the fiber found in vegetables and fruits. Moreover, they also prevent colon cancer, hemorrhoids, and constipation.
Vegetables and fruits are also low in calories. Therefore, eating vegetables and fruits reduces the risk of diabetes and obesity.
Vegetables and fruits contain natural pigments called flavonoids. These flavonoids have the ability to fight allergy, cancer, and germs. They also act as antioxidants. Flavonoids can also reduce the risk of heart disease by 32%.
The fiber in vegetables and fruits means that you feel full sooner while eating. Thus, they can limit the amount of food and calories we eat, thus preventing weight gain.
At least two types of vegetables, one type of fiber, and two types of fruit should be eaten daily. Its weight should be approximately 400 grams.
Plant protein and animal protein
The importance of plant protein and animal protein is as follows.
Daily tissue repair.
It is important for the production of hormones that regulate body functions.
It is necessary for the production of various enzymes that are important for digestion.
Proteins help transport and store various molecules in the body. Examples include hemoglobin, ferritin, and myoglobin.
The immune system uses proteins to produce antibodies to fight pathogens.
Eating more protein can help you lose weight.
The use of simple sugar should be minimized as much as possible. An adult’s maximum sugar intake should be 6 teaspoons per day. Avoid sugary drinks, fruit drinks, sweets, cakes, and other solid foods as much as possible.
Excessive consumption of simple sugars increases the risk of conditions such as diabetes, obesity, overweight, and high cholesterol.
Use of salt
An adult’s maximum salt intake should be limited to one teaspoon of salt or 5 grams of salt per day. Why is it bad to use more salt? Eating more salt than this increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.
So, when cooking rice, avoid adding salt. By washing and cooking dried fish and halibut, you can reduce the amount of salt added to the food. It is also advisable to avoid eating salty biscuits and other foods.
Add fat or oil to the diet in moderate amounts, i.e. about 30% of the daily energy intake. Here, limit foods containing saturated fat that are harmful to the body, such as meat, sausages, butter, margarine, cheese, coconut oil, palm oil, cakes, short eats, and biscuits.
Instead, use fish, avocados, cashews, peanuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, canola oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and olive oil that are rich in healthy unsaturated fat.
Processed foods, snacks, fast foods, deep-fried foods, margarine, bakery products, and biscuits are rich in unhealthy trans fat. As eating them increases the level of cholesterol in the blood, such foods should be avoided as much as possible.
Milk and milk products
Eat fresh milk and dairy products such as milk and yogurt once or twice a day. In that case, it is more appropriate to refer to dairy products with no added sugar, fat-less or fat-free (Low-fat or non-fat).
It’s a good idea to include healthy snacks like peas, peas, green beans, fruit, or yogurt between main meals.
How to get an idea of your nutritional status?
Body parameters and chemical tests can be used for this.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
The ratio of hip circumference to waist circumference
Hemoglobin level in the blood
Blood protein levels
Blood vitamin levels
Iodine level in urine
According to the body mass index (BMI), the nutritional status of your body can be determined as follows.
Below 18.5 – Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 – proper weight
25 – 29.9 – overweight
Over 30 – obesity or obesity
Waist circumference gives an idea of the amount of extra fat stored in the abdomen and the total amount of extra body fat.
If the waist is more than 90 cm in men or more than 80 cm in women, the excess fat is deposited in the abdomen, as well as in other areas of the body. It implies that he or she is more likely to contract non-communicable diseases.
The ratio of waist circumference to hip circumference can give an idea of excess abdominal fat. If its value is more than 0.85 in men or 0.9 in women, there is extra fat in the abdomen, and the risk of non-communicable diseases increases for such people.
According to body shape, there are two types of people.
1.Apple shaped body – the risk for non-communicable diseases is high.
2.Pear-shaped body – the risk of contracting non-communicable diseases is relatively low.
What is your body shape?
Complications due to being overweight or obese
The risk of contracting non-communicable diseases increases.
The body is ugly.
Joint disorders such as arthritis occur.
The risk of developing asthma is high.
Obstructive sleep apnoea.
Psychological and social complications such as low self-confidence and stigmatization in society.
Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) in the limbs.
Increased risk of certain cancers (in sites such as colon, breast, esophagus, uterus, cervix, ovary, kidney, pancreas, thyroid, gallbladder, and prostate).
By engaging in moderate-intensity physical activities for at least 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, the risk of contracting non-communicable diseases is significantly reduced. The following exercises can be done for this.
But, to reduce extra body weight, the above exercises should be done at least one hour a day.
A healthy balanced diet, physical activity, and maintaining a proper weight are equally important for staying healthy. Apart from that, smoking and drinking alcohol should also be avoided.