Have you ever wondered if you are getting adequate nutrients from the food you eat? It is a common misconception that malnutrition means not getting enough food. This is, however, incorrect! People who take in insufficient food can be malnourished, but also those who consume too much face the same risks.
Malnutrition is defined as “An abnormal physiological condition caused by inadequate, unbalanced or excessive consumption of macronutrients and/or micronutrients. Malnutrition includes undernutrition and overnutrition as well as micronutrient deficiencies.” In other words, malnutrition, in fact, occurs when a person’s diet contains too few or too many nutrients. Any of us could suffer from malnutrition and not know it!
In order to have a healthy and balanced diet it is important to make the right choices, but often these choices are based on other factors than just nutrition: the availability and the cost of food; the taste and appearance; personal likes and dislikes; cultural practices and traditions.
There is no “ideal” diet that is right for everyone. Nutritional needs are specific to each individual, but everyone needs a diet that is balanced and includes a variety of foods that supply the different kinds and amounts of nutrients we need for good health.
While individual nutritional and dietary needs vary with age, sex, health, status and activity levels, most general dietary advice for adults recommends:
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