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IMPORTANCE OF PROPER EATING HABITS AS A FACTOR IN MAINTAINING INDIVIDUAL SOLDIER’S HEALTH AND WELL-BEING.
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A healthy diet is a diet that helps to maintain or improve overall health. A healthy diet provides the body with essential nutrition: fluid, macronutrients, micronutrients, and adequate calories.
For people who are healthy, a healthy diet is not complicated and contains mostly fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and includes little to no processed food and sweetened beverages. The requirements for a healthy diet can be met from a variety of plant-based and animal-based foods, although a non-animal source of vitamin B12 is needed for those following a vegan diet. Various nutrition guides are published by medical and governmental institutions to educate individuals on what they should be eating to be healthy. Nutrition facts labels are also mandatory in some countries to allow consumers to choose between foods based on the components relevant to health.
A healthy lifestyle includes getting exercise every day along with eating a healthy diet. A healthy lifestyle may lower disease risks, such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension and cancer.
There are specialized healthy diets, called medical nutrition therapy, for people with various diseases or conditions. There are also prescientific ideas about such specialized diets, as in dietary therapy in traditional Chinese medicine…
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization (WHO) makes the following 5 recommendations with respect to both populations and individuals:
Maintain a healthy weight by eating roughly the same number of calories that your body is using.
Limit intake of fats. Not more than 30% of the total calories should come from fats. Prefer unsaturated fats to saturated fats. Avoid trans fats.
Eat at least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables per day (potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and other starchy roots do not count). A healthy diet also contains legumes (e.g. lentils, beans), whole grains and nuts.
Limit the intake of simple sugars to less than 10% of calorie (below 5% of calories or 25 grams may be even better).
Limit salt / sodium from all sources and ensure that salt is iodized. Less than 5 grams of salt per day can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
WHO stated that insufficient vegetables and fruit is the cause of 2.8% of deaths worldwide.
Other WHO recommendations include:
ensuring that the foods chosen have sufficient vitamins and certain minerals;
avoiding directly poisonous (e.g. heavy metals) and carcinogenic (e.g. benzene) substances;
avoiding foods contaminated by human pathogens (e.g. E. coli, tapeworm eggs);
and replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats in the diet, which can reduce the risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes.
United States Department of Agriculture
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends three healthy patterns of diet, summarized in the table below, for a 2000 kcal diet.
It emphasizes both health and environmental sustainability and a flexible approach. The committee that drafted it wrote: “The major findings regarding sustainable diets were that a diet higher in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and lower in calories and animal-based foods is more health promoting and is associated with less environmental impact than is the current U.S. diet. This pattern of eating can be achieved through a variety of dietary patterns, including the “Healthy U.S.-style Pattern”, the “Healthy Vegetarian Pattern” and the “Healthy Mediterranean-style Pattern”. Food group amounts are per day, unless noted per week…