To maintain body weight without loss or gain, this individual would have to consume food in amounts and kinds to yield 3,290 to 5,340 calories, depending on his activity. Since we have assumed this man to be a normal individual, without a disease state or glandular imbalance, if he consumed more, he would gain weight; if he consumed less, he would lose weight. This balancing of food intake against energy requirement is the only sound basis of weight control with the maintenance of a balanced diet that ensures adequate amounts of all the essential nutrients.
THE ADEQUATE DIET
The three specifications that an adequate diet must have are the following:
Protein for growth and maintenance of body cells.
Minerals, vitamins, and water for growth, maintenance, and regulation of body processes.
Fats and carbohydrates for energy.
No single food can be designated essential for life or health. Most food contains one or more nutrients, but no single one contains all the nutrients in the needed amounts. Therefore, choosing foods wisely means selecting foods that together supply nutrients in the needed amounts.
A food guide called the Four Food Groups has been devised to ensure an adequately balanced, daily diet. The following are the basic four food groups and some major nutrients included in each group:
Grain Groupthis group furnishes significant amounts of protein, iron, and many of the B vitamins. Also included are carbohydrates that not only provide a quickenergy source but also supply the body with roughage. Specific foods of this group are all breads and cereals that are wholegrained, restored, or enriched. Many of the cereal products furnish many vitamins and minerals. Additionally, foods such as rice, noodles, macaroni, cornmeal, and grits are also included in this group.
Meat Groupthis group provides a major source of protein, iron, and the B-complex vitamins. Included in the meat group are beef, veal, lamb, pork, and the organ nutrients such as liver and kidney. Fish, shellfish, poultry, and eggs are also included in the meat group. Foods such as beans, peas, and nuts are alternative sources of protein, which are categorized in the meat group; however, these nutrients are not as high in protein as are the other foods in the group.
Milk Groupthis group supplies the body with calcium, some high quality protein, and vitamins, especially A and riboflavin (B2). Foods included in this group are whole, evaporated, skim, and dry milk. Also included are butter, buttermilk, ice cream, and a wide variety of cheeses.
Vegetable/Fruit Groupthis group provides a major source of vitamins and minerals. Almost all the bodys vitamin C requirements and half of its vitamin D requirements are furnished by this group. Such foods as cantaloupe, grapefruit, oranges, strawberries, and green peppers are good sources of vitamin C. Apricots, peaches, asparagus, carrots, broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, and sweet potatoes are excellent sources of vitamin D. Each day the healthy adult requires 4 servings from the grain group, 2 from the meat group, 2 from the milk group, and 4 from the vegetable/fruit group for a nutritious healthful diet.
An important part of the total health care management of the patient is the dietary plan. Basically, a patients diet therapy consists of either a regular or special diet. The goals of both categories are to provide for either a normal life cycle, or special dietary requirements that are necessary for treating disease or injury and for rehabilitating the patient. Regular diets are planned in accordance with an individuals specific life style, such as found among pediatric, adult, maternal, or geriatric populations. Special diets, commonly called therapeutic diets, are planned or changed in one or a combination of the following methods:
Modification of total calories
Modification of consistency