A healthy diet is one of the basic requirements for growth, healty and happy life. An adequate diet is significant for lowering many chronic health disease risks, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and cancer. A healthy diet means a balanced intake of macronutrients (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and calorie.
Carbohydrates are the main source of necessary energy for our body. 55-60% of daily energy intake should be provided from carbohydrates. They are classified into two groups as simple carbohydrates like glucose, fructose and saccarose and complex carbohydrates such as starch, glycogen and fiber. 1 gram of carbohydrate gives 4 kcal (17 kj). Wheat, cereals, pasta and bread are the examples of carbohydrate sources.
Proteins are building blocks of our body and consist of aminoacids. 10-15% daily energy intake should be provided from proteins. They are one of the important parts of our diet. Muscles, tissues, enzymes and most hormones are made up of proteins. Since our body cannot synthesize all aminoacids, essential aminoacids have to be taken with foods. 1 gram of protein gives 4 kcal (17 kj). Foods such as meat, dairy products and legumes are rich in protein.
Lipids are the energy storage of our bodies. They involve into body structure and give energy. Essential fatty acids that cannot be synthesizeby our body have to be taken with lipids. Preserving body heat, protecting organs from external influences, maintaining digestion system, usage of fat-soluble vitamins are the some functions of lipids. Daily energy provided from lipids should not be more than 30%. 1 gram of fat gives 9 kcal (37 kj). Vegetable oil and butter are sources of lipids.
Vitamins are the necessary food components for healty growth, digestion, sight functions and immunity system. They are classified as water-soluble (B, C) and fat-soluble (A, D, E, K) vitamins. Vitamins do not give energy.
Vitamin A: egg yolk/ liver/ dark green, yellow and red colored vegetable-fruits/ cod liver oil
Vitamin B: cereals/ grains/ legumes
Vitamin C: oranges/ green-red pepper/ patato/green leafy vegetable
Vitamin D: egg yolk/ milk
Vitamin E: vegetable oil/ cereals/ green leafy vegetables/ nuts/ legumes
Vitamin K: green leafy vegetables/ egg yolk/ yoghurt/ green tea
Folic acid: dark green leafy vegetables/ fish/ meat/ egg/ cereal
Minerals are regulatory and restrorative food components. Strong teeth and bone structure, steady heart rhytm, muscle functions, reproductive system, cell development, healty circulation and nervous system are such functions of minerals. There are 15 minerals necessary for our body.
Calcium: milk-dairy products/dark green colored vegetables
Iron: meat/fish/poultry/whole cereals/legumes/green vegetables/legumes
Zinc: sea food/ liver/dairy products/egg/legumes
Iodine: iodized salt/ sea food/milk/egg
Selenium: onion/garlic/broccoli/poultry/sea food
Things to remember
5 advices of WHO for a healty diet;
- Keep your energy balance and ideal weight.
- Limit the energy intake from lipids. Shift the consumption of saturated fatty acid into the consumption of unsaturated fatty acids. Remove trans fatty acid intake.
- Increase fruit, vegetable, legume, whole cereal and nut consumption.
- Decrease simple sugar intake.
- Decrease salt/sodium intake. Maintain iodized salt consumption.
- Maintain the adequate intake of essential aminoacids, vitamins and minerals.
- Pay attention to calcium consumption for strong bones. Dairy products and green leafy vegetables are rich in calcium.
- Have breakfast! A healthy breakfast provides metabolism start working and meals in the day helps to protect the energy and to keep metabolism working.
Excess carbohydrate and protein are converted to lipids and stored in the body. Foods with high fat content can cause embolism and obestiy.