The term “diet quality” is difficult to define and there is little consensus on the definition of what constitutes a “quality” diet. Definitions of diet quality vary from one culture to another and are dependent on the local food supply and dietary practices. A general way of thinking about diet quality is to categorize foods into two categories, healthy and unhealthy. Healthy foods include fruits and vegetables and whole grains, while unhealthy foods include saturated fat, sugar and sodium.
Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and are found in full-fat dairy products, palm and coconut oil, ready-to-eat meats, peanut butter, and chicken and turkey skin. They contribute to weight gain and raise blood cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of heart disease. Sodium is another nutrient that should be limited. Dietary sodium should not exceed half a gram per day. Dietary fats should not exceed 10 percent of the daily energy intake.
When speaking of diet, we often refer to food intake on a daily basis. This may be controlled for physical reasons or during therapy. In a diabetic diet, for example, carbohydrates should be limited and fibrous foods should be consumed in moderation. Starchy foods, however, tend to raise blood sugar levels and should be avoided as much as possible. Diets should be planned carefully to suit the physical needs of the individual. The proper diet for a diabetic should include a variety of food types and quantities to help manage blood sugar levels.
Foods high in protein, including animal proteins, are the primary consumer of protein. The diets of these species are more diverse than the diets of most primary consumers. Compared to other food groups, animal proteins contain more energy and are lower in fat and carbohydrates. In addition, animals that live in areas with abundant amounts of processed food also tend to have lower body fat and body mass index than those that don’t. They need to consume plenty of protein each day to maintain a healthy body weight.
Many people’s relationships with food are affected by the way we view food. People who are conditioned to believe that they should be thin are more likely to have negative self-talk and have a “all or nothing” mentality. In these cases, their relationship with food is compromised and they may adopt unhealthy patterns. If we view food as fuel, we will be less likely to enjoy meaningful foods. In this way, we are unable to make the right decisions.
Before implementing a new diet, it’s important to talk to your doctor. He or she can assess your current health conditions and recommend a diet that will help you achieve your goals. Also, you can consult a registered dietitian to help you navigate the new rules and plan your meals. While there’s no universal diet that will work for everyone, there are some guidelines to follow to help you achieve your weight loss goals. You can also try a few different diets before settling on a final one.