Balanced Diet - Nutrients and Related Deficiency Diseases


Balanced Diet.

  • Definition:

    • A diet rich in the nutrients our bodies need for optimal growth and development. A balanced diet comprises both adequate and nutritious foods to promote excellent health.

    • A regular balanced diet has enough fiber, while the other nutrients supply the necessary quantity of energy and water.

  • Importance and Purpose of Having a Balanced Diet:

    • A balanced diet includes a variety of food kinds in the appropriate proportions to maintain health. 

    • It is crucial for both physical and mental wellness. 

    • Consuming a single meal would not give all necessary nutrients. 

    • According to nutritionists, a well-balanced diet is vital for maintaining excellent health and a healthy body weight. 

    • An improper diet causes malnourishment in the body, while overeating leads to weight gain, diabetes, obesity, and other food-related disorders.

    • The main objectives of the balanced diet include:

      1. For proper weight and energy balance.

      2. To deliver the critical nutrients needed for our body's cells, tissues, and organs to operate properly.

      3. Limit your intake of saturated fats, processed foods, junk foods, simple sugars, iodized salt, sodium, and so on.

      4. Include plenty of fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, and whole grains.

      5. To prevent malnutrition and other nutritional deficiency illnesses.

  • According to the Department of Nutrition and Food Science, nutrients are split into two categories:

    • Micronutrients include carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins.

    • Macronutrients: Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K Water and other minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, and zinc, are considered macronutrients.

  • The two elements are essential for general good health. 

  • An unbalanced diet may result in either an excessive or insufficient consumption of a nutrient. 

  • Certain deficiency illnesses occur when a vitamin is not consumed in appropriate quantities.

  1. Carbohydrates:

  1. Chemically these are polyhydroxy aldehydes or ketones or products derived from them.

  2. Carbohydrates are an essential source of nutrients that supply energy to our bodies. 

  3. The glucose/blood sugar created by carbohydrate conversion is used to provide energy to the cells, tissues, and organs of the body.

  4. Sources:

    1. Carbohydrate sources include cereal, grains, potatoes, processed cheese, maize, beans, lentils, peanuts, peas, whole-grain bread, pasta, milk, refined sweets like candies and carbonated drinks such as soda, syrups and dairy products.

  5. Functions:

    1. Carbohydrates' primary job is to provide energy, but they also play a role in fat metabolism and protein breakdown.

  6. Deficiency diseases:

    1. This results in hypoglycemia, ketosis, tiredness, decreased energy levels, unhealthy weight loss, low sodium level, etc.

  1. Fats:

  1. These are chemical compounds which on hydrolysis produces fatty acids.

  2. Fats are regarded as the most concentrated kind of energy. Fats are categorized as lipids. There are two kinds of fats: saturated fats (bad fats) and unsaturated fats (healthy fats).

  3. Sources:

    1. Almonds, ghee, red meat, fish, cheese, butter, walnuts, cream, oils including coconut, rice bran, mustard soya bean and ground nut.

  4. Functions:

    1. They are mainly involved in the transportation of vitamins and also they act as insulators by protecting vital organs like the heart, liver, kidney, as an important source of energy etc.

  5. Deficiency diseases:

    1. There are no such deficiency diseases other than skin and nervous disorders.

    2. Basically these disorders are caused due to deficiency of the fat soluble vitamins as fats are responsible for the absorption of these vitamins.

  1. Proteins:

  1. Chemically these are polymers of amino acids and are the main building blocks of our body.

  2. They serve as the foundation for our body's metabolism and strength. 

  3. Proteins are huge macromolecules that play important roles in the operation and regulation of our cells, tissues, and organs. 

  4. Sources

    1. Almonds, eggs, poultry, fish, shellfish, beans, soya, legumes, cottage cheese, yogurt, broccoli, milk, and other dairy products.

  5. Functions:

    1. Proteins are the primary source of energy, which is mostly utilized for bodily actions. 

    2. They are primarily responsible for manufacturing enzymes, hormones, DNA molecules, and other metabolic compounds. 

    3. Proteins also help to enhance our immune system, develop muscles, communicate amongst cells, digest food, and produce keratin.

  6. Deficiency diseases:

    1. This results in kwashiorkor, weight loss, marasmus, etc.

  7. Vitamins:

  1. These are chemicals which can not be synthesized by our body but their deficiencies lead to deficiency disorders hence to avoid that they have to be taken externally in smaller quantities.

  2. They are categorized as,

    1. Fat Soluble vitamins.

    2. Water soluble vitamins.

  3. Fat-soluble (A, D, E, and K) and Water soluble Vitamin (C and B).

  4. Sources:

    1. Milk, cheese, egg, liver, red meat, poultry, fish oils, green leafy vegetables, dark-coloured fruits and vegetables, vegetable oils, cereals and pulses, peanuts, lentils and other legumes.

  5. Functions:

    1. Vitamins are necessary for good eyesight, development, a strong immune system, and healthy skin, bones, teeth, and gums. 

    2. It also has a role in nerve cell activity as well as the creation and synthesis of erythrocytes (RBC) and leukocytes (WBC).

  6. Deficiency diseases:

    1. They are mostly concerned with eyesight, teeth, gums, skin, and growth. Other deficiency illnesses include scurvy, rickets, and Beriberi.

  1. Micronutrients:

    1. These are nutrients that the body need in little quantities to grow and thrive.

    2.  They play an important function in the metabolic processes of the organism.

    3.  These include vitamins and minerals.

  2. Macrominerals:

    1. These are required in higher amounts as compared to the trace minerals. 

    2. The important macrominerals and their functions include:

      1. Calcium- For the proper structure and function of bones.

      2. Phosphorus – Cell membrane structure

      3. Magnesium- Enzyme reactions

      4. Sodium- Fluid balance and maintenance of blood pressure

      5. Chloride- Maintains fluid balance and formation of digestive juices.

      6. Potassium- Nerve impulse transmission and muscle function.

      7. Sulphur- present in all the living tissues

  3. Trace Minerals:

    1. These are necessary in minute quantities yet serve a variety of critical roles in our bodies. 

    2. Iron, manganese, copper, zinc, iodine, fluoride, and selenium are among the essential trace elements needed by the organism.

 Commonly Asked Questions:

  1. What is “Balanced Diet”? Explain in detail.

  2. What are vitamins' names and give their main deficiency disorders.

  3. What do you mean by Macronutrients and Micronutrients? Give examples with deficiency disease associated with each of them.

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