Is sleep deprivation bothering you? What about the difficulty in losing weight despite your best efforts? Or is your hairline receding faster than your fathers did? Have you ever wondered why this was the case? Scientists and dieticians around the world argue that this, as well as a slew of other problems, are linked to our diet!
Unfortunately, harmful chemicals are used in modern food production, whether for growing vegetables, preserving, or cooking. Many dietary problems, such as indigestion and ulcers, are common in people who rely on chemically treated food. In this context, a new school of thought that is gaining traction is eating whole, natural foods. Meat and vegetables without preservatives, fresh and raw milk purchased directly from vendors, and fresh fruits are just a few examples.
Having said that, it does not diminish the importance of consuming a variety of nutrients and calories daily. Deficiencies in any of them will initially manifest as a minor issue.
Let us see what the USDA has suggested for Americans. If you consume fewer than 1,800 calories per day as a teen, you must increase your intake by at least 200 calories per day. For an active man, the figure rises even higher. Women's calorie requirements differ from those of men. For example, an 18-year-old male requires 400-800 more calories than a female. What foods contain these calories, and how can the calorific values be calculated? What other nutrients contribute to food balance?
The USDA has a chart (food guide pyramid) with recommendations for obtaining these calories. To balance your diet, you must perform some calculations.
- Three servings of milk and milk products
- 11 servings of pasta, cereal, and bread
- Two to three servings of red and white meat, eggs, nuts, and beans combined
- Use fats and sweets sparingly
According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), one serving consists of a bread slice, an ounce of cereal, a cup of cooked rice and vegetables, one glass of juice or milk, and 2-3 ounces of lean meat, 1 cup boiled beans.
Diet should not be viewed in isolation. Diet is a broad term, so there are diets that are appropriate for patients as well. The key is to consume as much as your body requires. Maintaining a balanced diet from childhood is critical if you want to live to old age. It could save you a lot of money on medical bills!