P3 Describe the requirements of a balanced diet
Describe what is meant by a balanced diet.
Describe how intake, needs, dietary reference values, energy balance, nutrient deficiencies and malnutrition affect the balance of a person’s diet.
There is not one single food or type of food that provides all the nutrients that the human body needs to function efficiently. A balanced diet will depend on the types of food eaten over a period of time and the nutritional needs of the particular individual. The wider the variety of foods eaten, the more nutrients will be provided by them. It is now known that some health problems are caused by dietary intake, such as too much fat causing heart disease and too much salt Contributing to strokes.
Dietary needs will vary for each individual. As you have seen from the information above, dietary needs will differ according to age, but other factors will come into play. Such factors include:
_ the level of exercise taken
_ the type of job a person does
_ religious or cultural decisions
_ likes and dislikes
_ a person’s health
_ availability of food.
The balance of good health is based on the government’s Eight Guidelines for a healthy diet. It forms the basis of the Food Standards Agency nutrition strategy. Although the main components of the diet should be healthy, people can still eat less healthy foods, but in smaller quantities. This is sometimes known as the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time people should eat healthily and they can then eat less healthily 20% of the time. It does not necessarily mean that people have to vary their diet daily – as long as they can achieve a good balance over a week or two-week period.
In 1991, the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy (COMA) Published Dietary Reference Values (DRVs), which were designed to provide guidelines by which doctors and...