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Nutrition(Meaning)

By treasure2021 • 7 days ago • 387 views • 131 comments
Nutrition(Meaning)

Nutrition is a critical part of health and development. Better nutrition is related to improved infant, child and maternal health, stronger immune systems, safer pregnancy and childbirth, lower risk of non-communicable diseases (such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease), and longevity.

Healthy children learn better. People with adequate nutrition are more productive and can create opportunities to gradually break the cycles of poverty and hunger.

Malnutrition, in every form, presents significant threats to human health. Today the world faces a double burden of malnutrition that includes both undernutrition and overweight, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

A healthy diet helps to protect against malnutrition in all its forms, as well as noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity are leading global risks to health. Healthy dietary practices start early in life – breastfeeding fosters healthy growth and improves cognitive development, and may have longer term health benefits such as reducing the risk of becoming overweight or obese and developing NCDs later in life.

Energy intake (calories) should be in balance with energy expenditure. To avoid unhealthy weight gain, total fat should not exceed 30% of total energy intake. Intake of saturated fats should be less than 10% of total energy intake, and intake of trans-fats less than 1% of total energy intake, with a shift in fat consumption away from saturated fats and trans-fats to unsaturated fats and towards the goal of eliminating industrially -produced trans -fats. Consuming a healthy diet throughout the life-course helps to prevent malnutrition in all its forms as well as a range of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and conditions. However, increased production of processed foods, rapid urbanization and changing lifestyles have led to a shift in dietary patterns. People are now consuming more foods high in energy, fats, free sugars and salt/sodium, and many people do not eat enough fruit, vegetables and other dietary fibre such as whole grains.

For adults

A healthy diet includes the following: Fruit, vegetables, legumes (e.g. lentils and beans), nuts and whole grains (e.g. unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat and brown rice). At least 400 g (i.e. five portions) of fruit and vegetables per day, excluding potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and other starchy roots. Less than 10% of total energy intake from free sugars, which is equivalent to 50 g (or about 12 level teaspoons) for a person of healthy body weight consuming about 2000 calories per day, but ideally is less than 5% of total energy intake for additional health benefits. Free sugars are all sugars added to foods or drinks by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, as well as sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates. Less than 30% of total energy intake from fats. Unsaturated fats (found in fish, avocado and nuts, and in sunflower, soybean, canola and olive oils) are preferable to saturated fats (found in fatty meat, butter, palm and coconut oil, cream, cheese, ghee and lard) and trans-fats of all kinds, including both industrially-produced trans-fats (found in baked and fried foods, and pre-packaged snacks and foods, such as frozen pizza, pies, cookies, biscuits, wafers, and cooking oils and spreads) and ruminant trans-fats (found in meat and dairy foods from ruminant animals, such as cows, sheep, goats and camels). It is suggested that the intake of saturated fats be reduced to less than 10% of total energy intake and trans-fats to less than 1% of total energy intake. 

For infants and young children

In the first 2 years of a child’s life, optimal nutrition fosters healthy growth and improves cognitive development. It also reduces the risk of becoming overweight or obese and developing NCDs later in life. Advice on a healthy diet for infants and children is similar to that for adults, but the following elements are also important:

Infants should be breastfed exclusively during the first 6 months of life. Infants should be breastfed continuously until 2 years of age and beyond. From 6 months of age, breast milk should be complemented with a variety of adequate, safe and nutrient-dense foods. Salt and sugars should not be added to complementary foods.

Practical advice on maintaining a healthy diet

Fruit and vegetables

Eating at least 400 g, or five portions, of fruit and vegetables per day reduces the risk of NCDs and helps to ensure an adequate daily intake of dietary fibre. Fruit and vegetable intake can be improved by: always including vegetables in meals; eating fresh fruit and raw vegetables as snacks; eating fresh fruit and vegetables that are in season; and eating a variety of fruit and vegetables.

Governments have a central role in creating a healthy food environment that enables people to adopt and maintain healthy dietary practices. Effective actions by policy-makers to create a healthy food environment include the following:

Creating coherence in national policies and investment plans – including trade, food and agricultural policies – to promote a healthy diet and protect public health.

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