Importance of Dietary Guidelines

by Daniela Lo N/W 1 P4

What is meant by a health risk?

A health risk is a a disease precursor associated with a higher than average morbidity or mortality rate. Disease precursors include demographic variables,certain individual behaviors, familial and individual histories, and certain physiologic changes.
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What is a diet?

In nutrition, diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism. Dietary habits are the habitual decisions an individual or culture makes when choosing what foods to eat. The word diet often implies the use of specific intake of nutrition for health or weight-managements reasons (with the two often being related).
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4 Factors that determines a Calorie

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Activity Level
  • Metabolism

What are Nutrient-Dense Foods?

Nutrient-dense foods are foods that have a lot of nutrients but relatively few calories. Look for foods that contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats.

How can we maintain a healthy weight?

Here are five ways to make it happen:

  • Exercise. Regular physical activity burns calories and builds muscle — both of which help you look and feel good and keep weight off.

  • Reduce screen time.

  • Watch out for portion distortion.

  • Eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day.

  • Don't skip breakfast.

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What is a risk factor?

A risk factor is any attribute, characteristic or exposure of an individual that increases the likelihood of developing a disease or injury. Some examples of the more important risk factors are underweight, unsafe sex, high blood pressure, tobacco and alcohol consumption, and unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene.

Health Problems related to too much fat:

Every major system in your body feels the stress of excess weight. The heart is the most obvious victim -- as cholesterol builds, blood pressure rises, and arteries get clogged. Also, the blood loses its ability to clot which increases stroke risk.

Excess weight affects another hormone -- insulin -- which leads to diabetes. Having diabetes increases your heart disease risk. It's a vicious circle.

Health Risks for being underweight:

If you're underweight, you may be at risk for the following health issues:

  • Inhibited growth and development. This is especially true in children and teens, whose bodies need plenty of nutrients to grow and stay healthy.

  • Fragile Bones

  • Weakened Immune System

  • Anemia

  • Fertility Issues

  • Hair loss

Two Suggestions for Losing Weight

Add, Don't Subtract

Forget diet denial: Try adding foods to your diet instead of subtracting them.

Add in healthy goodies you really love, like deep-red cherries, juicy grapes, or crunchy snow peas. Slip those favorite fruits into your bag lunch and breakfast cereal; add the veggies into soups, stews, and sauces.

Lighten The Foods You Already Love

One of the easiest ways to cut back without feeling denied is to switch to lower-calorie versions of the foods you crave

Two Ways Active Living Helps You

Walk Whenever Possible

  • Walk instead of drive, whenever you can
  • Walk your children to school

Live Actively


  • Join an exercise group, and enroll your children in community sports teams or lessons
  • Do sit-ups in front of the TV. Have a sit-up competition with your kids

How Much Physical Activity Should A Teen Get?

Teenagers who regularly get exercise are more likely to maintain a healthy weight, less likely to develop certain diseases and more likely to feel good in mind and body, according to TeensHealth from Nemours. You probably already know that exercise is good for you, but what you may not know is how long or how frequently you should exercise to reap the greatest benefits. Most teenagers should aim for at least 60 minutes of exercise every day, most of which should come from moderate-intensity cardio exercises such as brisk walking or vigorous cardio exercises such as running, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Importance of Whole Grain Foods, Vegetables, Fruits and Milk

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Whole Grains

Whole grains include grains like wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, quinoa, sorghum, spelt, rye – when these foods are eaten in their "whole" form. Whole grains even include popcorn!

You may already be eating whole grains. When you munch popcorn in the theater, or give Toasty-O's to your toddler, or enjoy a bowl of hot oatmeal, you're probably focusing more on the delicious taste than on the fact that these foods are whole grains. Studies show that eating whole grains instead of refined grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases. While benefits are most pronounced for those consuming at least 3 servings daily, some studies show reduced risks from as little as one serving daily.

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Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables provide health benefits and are important for the prevention of illnesses. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal. Fruits and vegetables contain a variety of nutrients including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day can reduce the risk of chronic diseases.


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Got Milk?

Although milk from the cow is processed, it is not an engineered or fabricated food. It is about 87 percent water and 13 percent solids. The fat portion of the milk contains fat soluble vitamins. The solids other than fat include proteins, carbohydrates, water soluble vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients in milk help make it nature's most nearly perfect food. Milk products contain high quality proteins. The whey proteins constitute about 18 percent of the protein content of milk. Casein, a protein found only in milk, contains all of the essential amino acids. It accounts for 82 percent of the total proteins in milk and is used as a standard for evaluating protein of other foods. Protein is needed to build and repair body tissues and to form antibodies which circulate in the blood and help fight infection.

Limit Fats and Cholesterol

Two Types of Unhealthy Fat That Raises Cholesterol

Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) carry cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body. Cells latch onto these particles and extract fat and cholesterol from them. When there is too much LDL cholesterol in the blood, these particles can form deposits in the walls of the coronary arteries and other arteries throughout the body. Such deposits, called plaque, can narrow arteries and limit blood flow. When plaque breaks apart, it can cause a heart attack or stroke. Because of this, LDL cholesterol is often referred to as bad, or harmful, cholesterol.


High-density lipoproteins (HDL) scavenge cholesterol from the bloodstream, from LDL, and from artery walls and ferry it back to the liver for disposal. Think of HDL as the garbage trucks of the bloodstream. HDL cholesterol is often referred to as good, or protective, cholesterol. Several strategies can help you lower the amounts of total and harmful LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream, and thus your risk of heart disease.

Disease That Can Develop from A High Fat Diet

Research makes it clear that abnormal blood lipid (fat) levels have a strong correlation with the risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack and coronary death. In turn, abnormal blood lipids are related to what you eat. A diet high in saturated fats (e.g. cheese) and trans fats (often used in cakes, cookies and fast food) leads to high levels of cholesterol.

Saturated fats are found in animal products. Trans fats are oils that have been hydrogenated to turn them into semi-hard fats. Hydrogenated fat is found in processed food like shop-bought cakes, biscuits, stock cubes and a range of other products you buy every day. Saturated and trans fats raise cholesterol levels in the blood, which in turn can lead to atherosclerosis.

Be choosy about carbohydrates

Foods with Natural Sugar

Naturally occurring sugars are found naturally in foods such as fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose). Added sugars include any sugars or caloric sweeteners that are added to foods or beverages during processing or preparation (such as putting sugar in your coffee or adding sugar to your cereal.)

Foods with Added Sugar

Candy, Soft Drinks, Pies and Cobblers, Ice Cream and Fruit Drinks.

Why should you limit your sugar intake?

Obesity. Foods that are high in sugar are often calorie dense and nutrient poor. Therefore, eating too many of them can easily lead to weight gain.


Diabetes. Similar studies have also found that excess sugar consumption leads to an increased risk for diabetes. The Nurses’ Health Study found that women consuming one or more sugar-sweetened sodas per day had an 83 percent increased risk for type 2 diabetes compared with those who consumed less than one of these beverages per month.


Nutritional deficiency. When you consume too much sugar, you “crowd out” other foods that provide important nutrients, such as fruits and vegetables. This can be especially bad for children and teenagers who need nutrients for growth. For example, if a child chooses soda over milk she is missing out on vitamin D and calcium, both of which are essential for bone health.

Why reduce sodium and increase potassium?

How does sodium benefit the body?

Sodium is an extremely important electrolyte and an essential ion present in the extracellular fluid (ECF). One of the health benefits of sodium is the pivotal role it plays in enzyme operations and muscle contraction. It is very important for osmoregulation and fluid maintenance within the human body. Some other health benefits of sodium include improved heart performance, nervous system and glucose absorption.

Diseases linked to excess sodium

Although sodium is an essential nutrient in any balanced diet, it can also cause stomach cancer and hypertension. People suffering from kidney problems or edema should restrict their intake of sodium to protect against those health risks.

What is the function of potassium in the body?

It is also an electrolyte, a substance that conducts electricity in the body, along with sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Potassium is crucial to heart function and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, making it important for normal digestive and muscular function.
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Three Reasons Teens Should Avoid Alcohol

  1. alcohol could disrupt development at a time when they're making important decisions about their lives (school, careers, relationships)

  2. alcohol can also affect how the brain disseminates information into long-term memory, a crucial element in the process of learning

  3. alcohol can affect visual-spatial functioning -- the ability to read distance properly or follow directions on a map

Why is food safety an important part of the Dietary Guidelines?

It is important because knowing what you eat and what it contains affects your body a lot. You need many nutrients to stay healthy and to also know what you should limit and avoid eating and drinking.