Diet is an overarching term that encompasses many different topics including healthy eating, weight loss, supplementation, fat reduction, exercise and dietary restrictions. Because diet is so important to overall health and wellness, it is necessary to cover each of these topics in order to promote dietary healthfulness.

Healthy Eating

Eating healthily can be a challenge. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services , average healthy adults should consume 2 cups of fruits and vegetables daily for optimal vigor. In addition, they recommend 3 servings of both whole grains and no-fat dairy foods for a healthy diet. Consume a wide variety of fruits vegetables, lean meats, legumes, nuts, whole grains and non-fat dairy products for a healthy diet.

Weight Loss
Calorie consumption is an important part of diet.Current calorie recommendations for adults who are sedentary to active are currently 2000 to 2500 and 3000 to 3500 for men and women respectively. Since a pound of fat has 3500 calories, you must cut your daily calorie intake to lose weight. Healthy weight loss is about one to two pounds weekly. Keep track of your diet for a week and then average your daily intake. Cut 500 calories daily to lose one pound per week.

Supplementation
Many children and adults are not meeting their nutritional needs through food sources alone and may need supplementation in their diet to increase health and wellness. Pregnant women are often lacking in iron and folic acid, and women in general may be deficient in calcium. Older adults may lack vitamin B12 as well. Supplements may come in many forms such as vitamins, herbs, minerals and amino acids. Take a supplement is specifically formulated for your age and gender to best meet your nutritional needs.

Fat Reduction
Fats should make up about 5% to 10% of the diet, with the majority of this coming from polyunsaturated fat. Saturated fat is called bad fat and is responsible for causing deeper fat stores (visceral) that surround the heart and vital organs and can lead to diseases like diabetes or stroke. Subcutaneous fat often lies just under the skin, and although unattractive, is not as harmful as visceral fat. Eat foods such as sunflower oil, nuts, salmon and mackerel to increase polyunsaturated (healthy) fat. Limit processed foods like cakes, candies or anything that contains hydrogenated oil to eliminate saturated (unhealthy) fat.

Exercise
Getting at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise at least 3 times per week is important to any diet or weight loss plan. Exercise routines should include some cardiovascular fitness workouts like biking, swimming, walking, running, kickboxing or step aerobics. Find your optimal heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. This is where your heart needs to work for you to burn fat. Strength training 2 to 4 days per week is important as well. Increasing muscle will help to naturally balance or increase metabolism which will help you to maintain a healthy weight.

Dietary Restrictions
Certain conditions might require specific dietary restrictions. For instance, diabetics may need to reduce sugar intake to maintain health. Those with heart conditions or high blood pressure may need to eat certain foods to increase arterial flow. Whatever the condition, certain restrictions may require specific dietary recommendations.

As you can see, diet is a complex and wide subject that engulfs a variety of topics. Every area of diet is important in maintaining health and wellness. The more information you have concerning diet, the more prepared you are to continually meet you and your family's individual dietary needs, and ensure optimal continued physical and mental wellness.