A balanced diet is one that provides an adequate intake of energy and nutrients for maintenance of the body and therefore good health. A diet can easily be adequate for normal bodily functioning, yet may not be a balanced diet. An ideal human diet contains fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, water and fibre all in correct proportions. These proportions vary for each individual because everyone has different metabolic rates and levels of activity.
Malnutrition results from an unbalanced diet, this can be due to an excess of some dietary components and lack of other components, not just a complete lack of food. Too much of one component can be as much harm to the body as too little. Deficiency diseases occur when there is a lack of a specific nutrient, although some diet related disorders are a result of eating in excess. An adequate diet provides sufficient energy for the performance of the body to function.
Carbohydrates, fats and proteins provide energy. Proteins are a provider of energy in an emergency, but are primarily used as building blocks for growth and repair of many body tissues. We also need much smaller amounts of other nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. Despite the small quan
Vitamin D, or calciferol, is another fat-soluble steroid vitamin, which functions to stimulate calcium uptake from the gut and its deposition in bone. Proteins fulfil a wide variety of roles in the body; they are broken down in the stomach and intestines to amino acids, which are then absorbed. Over eating of one food group is considered to be a form of malnutrition because the diet is not balanced. The body can only form 8 amino acids to build proteins from, the diet must provide Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) Sources of protein include meat, fish, eggs and pulses. A lack of vitamin A results in dry, rough skin, inflammation of the eyes, a drying or scarring of the cornea - xerophthalmia, which occurs when the secretion of lubricating tears is stopped, the eyelids become swollen and sticky with pus. Foods such as eggs and oily fish are all rich in vitamin D. Conclusion As outlined earlier one can see that a balanced diet is imperative to maintain a healthy body. They are easily stored in the body and can form a layer beneath the skin of adipose tissue. The diet needs to provide 8 EAAs as the body is unable to synthesis proteins without these molecules. Water is needed, as it is lost constantly from our bodies in urine, sweat, and evaporation from lungs and in faeces. Carbohydrates Carbohydrates are a rapid source of energy; they are the body's fuel. It is a fat-soluble vitamin, which is involved, in the clotting process of blood. Fatty acids are needed for the formation of cell membrane phospholipids and also for the production of steroid hormones such as prostaglandins and thromboxin which have important roles in the renal, immune and circulatory systems as signalling chemicals. Starch, a major carbohydrate is converted to glucose which can be then synthesised into fat for storage, proteins are synthesised from amino acids, and phospholipids are made from glycerol and fatty acids. It is also known to be an antioxidant, which helps to remove toxins from the body and aids the immune system Vitamin B are found in most plant and animal tissues involved in metabolism, therefore foods such as liver, yeast and dairy products are all rich in B group vitamins.