According to Bharat Bhise, most people confuse the terms ‘diet’ and ‘nutrition’ and often use them interchangeably. Unfortunately, although there is a strong relationship between diet and nutrition, the two concepts are not the same.
Let’s look at how diet and nutrition are related to each other:
- What is a diet – Usually, when people hear the word diet, they associate it with some kind of food restriction. However, a diet is simply defined by the food that a person consumes habitually. When somebody eats unhealthy foods, it can be said that they are on a bad diet and vice-versa.
Thus, specific diets such as paleo, Mediterranean, gluten-free, vegetarian, ketogenic, vegan, and more simply refer to the combination of food choices that a person eats in order to fulfill a specific goal.
For instance, you can be on a specific diet that limits your consumption of trans fats, sugar, and sodium. Similarly, you can be on a diet to lose weight, gain more muscle mass, or stay healthy and fit in a general sense.
- What is nutrition – Now, nutrition refers to the biochemical and physiological process that helps you to convert the food (nutrients) you consume daily to allow you to stay healthy and perform other bodily functions. It involves various processes such as ingestion, biosynthesis, absorption, catabolism, assimilation, and excretion.
In order to receive proper nutrition, you need to consume food with the proper nutrients. Typically, your daily intake of food should consist of about 30% protein, 40% complex carbohydrates, 30% essential healthy fats (ideally omega-3 fatty acids), and about 2-4 liters of water.
The macronutrients consist of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. These are called so since your body requires them in the largest quantities to function properly, create energy, and more. Micronutrients consist of vitamins and dietary minerals that support your metabolism. These are required in much lower quantities.
Receiving proper nutrition is essential to staying healthy, preventing illnesses, fighting off diseases, maintaining optimum energy levels, and lengthening your lifespan.
- The relationship between diet and nutrition – The type of nutrition your body receives is dependent on the type of diet you are on. In general, it is important to be on a balanced diet that consists of a large variety of foods from different sources so that you can ensure that you are providing your body with all the essential nutrients.
However, your fitness goals and lifestyle will determine the type of food you consume and affect your sources of nutrients as well as the type of nutrients you receive and in what proportion. Thus, if you habitually consume unhealthy food such as fast foods, processed foods, and more, you will provide your body with bad nutrition.
On the other hand, if you are on a type of diet that includes dark leafy vegetables, unprocessed food, fruits, probiotics, unprocessed carbohydrates, whole grains, and more, you will provide your body with good nutrition.
Bharat Bhise suggests you consult a professional nutritionist to create a good diet plan according to your needs. It will ensure you only consume healthy foods and receive the proper nutrition to stay healthy.