We live in the era of personalized nutrition, where each person can have unique needs. Nevertheless, eating a balanced diet is the solid foundation of proper nutrition despite individual differences. That means a person needs to eat nutrient-dense foods from all the major food groups. Besides, one also needs to replace some things, such as added sugar and salt, with healthier options.
Inarguably, the conversation around proper nutrition has been on the rise recently, especially in the wake of lifestyle diseases. Consequently, there have been some critical recommendations on proper nutrition. One of them being, following a healthy eating pattern throughout life since proper nutrition is essential across all ages. Other recommendations include selecting healthier beverage choices and treading with caution when consuming foods with ingredients detrimental to one’s health.
Important Aspects of Nutrition
Ideally, proper nutrition is achieved when a person selects from six different food groups. These food groups are vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, protein, and oils. But the big question remains – what amount is ideal? So many factors go into determining how many calories or how much food a person should take in. Some of these factors include one’s body size, their desired body weight status, and age. Age is essential since it goes a long way in impacting one’s metabolism.
Once a person has understood the various food groups, grasping the color code becomes essential, especially with fruits and vegetables. The color speaks volumes about the beneficial nutrients and compounds present in the said food item. For instance, dark green leafy vegetables are rich in iron. Therefore, for a person to reap the whole spectrum of benefits, they need to eat a variety of foods each day.
Notably, some people have specific dietary restrictions. For instance, some people can't tolerate eating gluten. This is the main protein in wheat and very common. Others cannot tolerate lactose, which is present in dairy products. Such people can look for alternatives. There is a wide range of gluten-free alternatives for those who cannot tolerate gluten, such as gluten-free pasta and desserts. However, such a person needs to be keen on portions. Similarly, lactose-intolerant people are in luck since a wide range of dairy products are treated to break down lactose.
Getting Help from a Nutritionist
As more people continue to embrace the importance of proper nutrition, the role of nutritionists continues to be amplified in the care team. It is worth noting that one does not have to wait until their health has taken a nosedive to seek the help of a nutritionist. However, there are some other convincing reasons to get help from a nutritionist.
For instance, athletes rely heavily on proper nutrition to keep up with excellent performance. Therefore, they need to work hand in hand with sports nutritionists to come up with practical diet plans. Similarly, people with metabolic conditions, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, need to get help from a nutritionist since these conditions increase the risk of obesity and heart conditions.
Another essential stage that calls for the help of a nutritionist is pregnancy. During this stage, what the mother eats, the baby does too. Therefore, expectant mothers could use the help of a nutritionist to choose the right foods for both of them. Beyond pregnancy, a nutritionist can help the new mom shed the baby weight without compromising the milk supply.
Besides helping a person come up with a meal plan to suit their needs, a nutritionist also helps with valuable food habits education. They teach things like weighing the food before consumption, refraining from late-night snacks, incorporating foods you love with foods you need, and so much more. These insights go a long way in shaping one’s attitude towards proper nutrition for the rest of their life.