Diet and Nutrition
A person’s diet is made up of the food they eat. Nutrition is how the food people eat nourishes their bodies.
Good nutrition means your body is getting all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs. Eating a healthy diet is your main way to get good nutrition.
A balance of good nutrition and physical activity can help you get to and maintain a healthy weight. But the benefits of good nutrition go beyond weight. Good nutrition can:
- Improve cardiovascular and other body system functions, mental well-being, school/cognitive performance, and your immune system.
- Reduce the risk for diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, some cancers, and osteoporosis.
- Increase energy and the body’s ability to fight off illness.
No—A number of factors impact a person’s nutritional and dietary needs.
Different age groups have different nutritional needs, and people’s diets should meet those specific needs. For example, an infant needs a different diet and nutrition than a teenager. Likewise, the nutritional needs and diet of a pregnant woman are different than those of an elderly man.
In addition, factors such as a person’s height and current weight, current health status, and activity level also affect what kinds of nutrients they need and how much they need.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables – Eat fruit that is fresh, frozen, canned, or dried rather than fruit juice for most of your fruit choices. Eat dark green vegetables, orange vegetables, and beans and peas.
- Get 3 cups of low-fat or fat-free milk, or other dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese.
- Eat at least 3 ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta every day.
- Go lean with protein. Choose lean meats and poultry. And vary your protein choices with more fish, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds.
- Look for foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. Saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol tend to raise “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels in the blood, which in turn increases the risk for heart disease.
A healthy diet includes these actions:
- Make smart choices from every food group.
- Find your balance between food and physical activity.
- Eat a variety of different foods.
- Read the nutritional label.
See our Delta Recipes section for tasty healthy meals!!!