The word diet is so widespread that people are generally confused as to its true meaning. Diet is often seen as negative, but it shouldn’t be. Diet should be associated with a person’s overall food intake and it should not focus solely on restriction or “dieting”.
Nutrition differs from diet. People need to be aware of nutrition and its importance for improving their health. Diet and nutrition are two factors your consumers should be aware of, and it’s important to recognize the difference between the two. As a food service provider, your business is all about helping your customers eat good food and get proper nutrition.
The definition of the word “diet”
When most people think of the word diet, it implies limitations. Dieting means reducing or eliminating certain things from your daily life.
The best way to define diet is that it is the food that a person usually eats. Thinking of diet as a noun and not as a verb is a good way to redefine what diet is. Whether a person makes good or bad choices, these elements make up their diet. The overall goal is to get people to choose the healthiest options that will improve their well-being.
Examples of specific regimes that exist today:
- gluten free
- blood group diet
Each includes certain foods that are eaten regularly. There can be variation here and there, but there are many staples that are supposed to make up this diet.
The Mediterranean diet is a very good example. By following this diet, a person can include specific foods such as fish, herbs, nuts, olive oil, seeds, whole grains, and certain plants. The Mediterranean diet is an example of a healthy and balanced diet.
A diet like this improves health, improves vitality and increases energy. It is also known to fight many diseases and health problems by lowering cholesterol. It also protects against cognitive decline and type 2 diabetes and prevents heart disease.
A person’s diet can also consist of processed and manufactured foods. They can eat a lot of fast food and packaged foods. These are inferior choices and the opposite of what healthy eating should be. This way can lead to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and many other harmful conditions.
What is nutrition?
Good nutrition differs from a diet because it refers to the quality of the food itself. Nutrition is the food that our body needs to consume on a daily basis in order for our body to function optimally. This includes complex carbohydrates, fiber, healthy fats, and protein. We need these foods in balanced amounts and ideally from the cleanest sources possible.
As a general rule of thumb, a balanced diet for the day should include:
- 30% protein
- 40% complex carbohydrates
- 30% essential healthy fats (ideally omega-3 fatty acids)
- 2-4 liters of water
Good nutrition should also include vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. Some ideal food choices include dark leafy green vegetables, whole grains, sweet potatoes, raw nuts, seeds, salmon, berries, oats, and avocado. When it comes to good nutrition, these examples give consumers the best value for their money.
A balanced diet is essential at all stages of life. From an early age, nutrition is crucial for growth and development. As a person ages, proper nutrition is needed for energy, detoxification, and anti aging. Nutrition improves the immune system, helps build muscle, helps with weight loss and increases vitality.
Diet Vs. Nutrition
Consumers should know how diet differs from nutrition. Educating them about what an ideal diet looks like will help them adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Consumers who eat inferior diets should be aware of the dangerous effects. The first step is to get them to improve their overall diet by making healthier choices. If they’re consuming junk food and processed foods, the solution is to add real whole foods. Usually, when healthier foods are added, the waste is eventually eliminated.
Phasing out snacks and treats isn’t always possible, but by following the 80/20 rule a more realistic goal can be set. If a person can eat healthy 80% of the time, they are on the right track to improving their health and well-being. Whether they choose vegan, low-carb, or Mediterranean, the goal is for them to be aware of what they’re putting into their bodies on a regular basis.
Once a person has changed their diet, they can start looking to improve their overall nutrition. Being able to share the nutritional quality of your food will go a long way with these types of consumers.
Customers looking to improve their nutrition will look for products made with simple natural ingredients. They will want foods with minimal processing that contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Food and nutrition must work together for people to improve their health and their lives. The ideal food service provider will have choices that can improve both the diet and the nutrition of the daily consumer.