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Balanced Diet

When the diet can meet all the needs of an individual and also it provides an extra allowance for minor stresses and strains, the individual is said to be in a state of optimum nutrition.

Optimum Nutrition:

Optimum Nutrition is also known as adequate nutrition or good nutrition.

Good Nutrition:

Good Nutrition thus provides all essential nutrients in correct balance which are further utilized to promote the highest level of physical and mental health. Such a state of nutrition can be attained through balanced diets.

Balanced Diet:

Balanced Diet can be defined as one which contains different types of foods (from all food group) in such quantities and proportions that needs for all the nutrients are adequately met and a small extra allowance is made as a margin of safety.

Safety Margin:

Safety Margin is taken into account due to individual variations, losses during cooking and processing and also minor illnesses.

Thus, a balanced diet along with the inclusion of various food groups focuses on the RDA for various nutrients.


RDA is defined as the estimate of the intake of nutrients which individuals in a population group need to consume to ensure that the physiological needs of all subjects in that population are met.

RDA varies with age, sex, physiological state, etc.

Factors affecting RDA

This nutritional requirement is influenced by:

• age

• growth

• gender

• pregnancy

• breastfeeding

• illness

• psychological and emotional stress

• activity level

• smoking

• drinking.

Importance of Balanced Diet

• It includes a variety of food items from all the food groups.

• It meets the RDA for all nutrients

• It provides safety allowances to withstand the short duration of illness.

• To maintain a state of positive health and optimal performance.

• Prevents deficiency diseases.

• Promotes and preserves health.

• Promotes optimum nutrition thus maintains acceptable body dimensions.

Digestion, Absorption, And Metabolism


Mechanical and chemical process in which food is broken down in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, releasing nutrients in forms the body can use


Process in which released nutrients are taken into the cells lining the GI tract


The sum of the body processes involved in converting food necessary for energy, tissue building, and metabolic controls

Digestion: Basic Principles

Principle of Change

• The body cannot use food as it is eaten

• Food must be changed into simpler substances to be absorbed and then used by cells to sustain life

Principle of Wholeness

• The parts of the digestive process comprise a continuous whole.

• Food components travel through the gastrointestinal (GI) system until they are delivered to cells or excreted

The Gastrointestinal System

• A long muscular tube that begins with the mouth and ends with the anus (also called the alimentary canal or digestive tract)

Food Groups

Three Food Group System:

• energy giving food,

• bodybuilding food,

• protective foods

Five Food Group System:

• cereals and grain products,

• pulses or legumes,

• milk, egg, and flesh

• fruits and vegetables

• fats and sugars


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