You Are What You Eat
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There are many reasons I believe that you are what you eat. When assessing an obese individual you would now that they have a nutritional problem. Likewise when you look at a frail underweight individual they may have a nutritional problem as well. Your health depends on what you eat. Weather an individual is obese, underweight, recovering from surgery or has a debilitating disease a balanced diet has a significant role in good health.
A well balanced diet according to Lutz & Przytulski includes six to eleven servings of grains, two to four servings of fruits and three to five servings of vegetables. Also included in a balanced diet are two to three servings of dairy and two to three servings of meats. Lutz & Prztulski also states that you should eat fats and sweets sparingly. These six food groups compile a balanced diet.
When an individual does not have a well balanced diet they often develop deficiencies. When a person lacks calcium in their diet they are at risk of developing osteoporosis. This is a wasting or deterioration of bone that often leads to a fracture of the bone. You can prevent osteoporosis by having a daily intake of two to three servings. The intake of dairy keeps you bones healthy. Calcium will keep them strong so they do not break or fracture. You may not be able to tell if an individual has a calcium deficiency.
On the other hand when doing an assessment you may be able to tell if someone has a folic acid deficiency. They would have signs of heartburn, diarrhea, red smooth swollen tongue, fatigue, fainting, confusion and even depression. When an individual has a deficiency in folic acid they lack intake of green leafy vegetables, kidney and lima beans, beets and vegetables of the cabbage family. People who are usually develop folic acid deficiencies are poorly nourished children and those that are poverty-stricken. You may need to assess a patient’s financial status to see if they can afford a properly balanced diet. Since most people developing folic acid deficiency are those who are poor. At risk are also those that are pregnant, infants and young children. Folic acid is needed in times of rapid growth.
You are what you eat is demonstrated when you assess an obese patient that is on a reduced fat diet. After several weeks of a properly balanced diet including meats, dairy, fruits, vegetables and grains the patient loses weight. With replacing all the fatty food with those that are healthy the patient is slimming down. Another example of that can be seen in a patient that has just had a major surgery. During the surgery the protein is used for blood clotting factors. Protein is also needs after surgery for timely and proper wound healing. If they were eating the improper amount of protein they patient would have trouble with blood clotting and scar tissue formation. If a patient were to have a poor intake of protein you would encourage the intake of legumes, peas, lentils and peanuts.
You are what you eat because your health reflects on your diet. If an individual eats poorly and has an unbalanced diet it will take a toll on their health. An unhealthy diet may not appear to be a problem for you today but it will catch up with you eventually. If your diet includes a lot of fatty foods, like many Americans, you may become overweight. Being overweight causes a variety of health problems such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and a decreased life expectancy. So keep mind that you are what you eat and that it may affect your medical status in the future.