The word diet gets thrown around so much that people usually get confused as to its true meaning. Diet is often seen as something negative, but this shouldn’t be the case. Diet needs to be associated with a person’s overall food intake and it should not just focus on restriction or “being on a diet”.
Nutrition differs from diet. People need to be aware of nutrition and how crucial it is to the improvement of their health. Diet and nutrition are two factors that your consumers need to know about and it’s important to recognize the difference between the two. As a food service provider, your business revolves around helping your customers achieve a good diet and proper nutrition.
The Definition of The Word “Diet”
When most people think of the word diet, it implies restrictions. Being on a diet means reducing or eliminating certain things from your daily life.
The best way to define diet is that it is the food that a person habitually eats. Looking at diet as a noun and not as a verb is a good way to redefine what diet is. Whether a person makes good or bad choices, these things make up their diet. The overall goal is to get people to choose the healthiest options that will improve their wellbeing.
Examples of specific diets that exist today:
- blood type diet
Each one includes certain foods that are consumed regularly. There may be variations here and there, but many staple foods are meant to make up that diet.
The Mediterranean diet is a very good example. By following this diet, a person can include specific foods such as olive oil, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fish, herbs, and certain plants. The Mediterranean diet is an example of a healthy, well-balanced diet.
A diet like this leads to improved health, enhanced vitality, and increased energy. It is also known to combat many diseases and health issues by lowering cholesterol. It also protects against type 2 diabetes and cognitive decline and prevents heart disease.
Alternatively, a person’s diet may consist of processed and manufactured foods. They may eat a lot of fast food and packaged food. These are inferior choices and it is the opposite of what a healthy diet should be. This manner can lead to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and many other harmful conditions.
What is Nutrition?
Good nutrition differs from diet, for it refers to the quality of the food itself. Nutrition is food that our bodies need to consume daily for our bodies to function optimally. This includes complex carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, and fibre. We need these foods in a balanced quantity and ideally, from the cleanest sources possible.
As a general guide, balanced nutrition for the day should comprise of:
- 30% protein
- 40% complex carbohydrates
- 30% essential healthy fats (ideally omega-3 fatty acids)
- 2-4 litres of water
Proper nutrition should also consist of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. A few ideal food choices include dark leafy greens, whole grains, sweet potatoes, raw nuts, seeds, salmon, berries, oats, and avocado. When it comes to good nutrition, these examples give consumers the best bang for their buck.
Balanced nutrition is critical at all stages of life. From a young age, nutrition is crucial for growth and development. As a person gets older, proper nutrition is required for energy, detoxification, and antiaging. Nutrition improves the immune system, helps build muscle, assists in weight loss, and enhances vitality.
Diet Vs. Nutrition
Consumers need to know how diet differs from nutrition. Informing them of what an ideal diet looks like will help steer them to a healthier lifestyle.
Consumers who practice inferior diets need to learn its dangerous effects. The first step is getting them to improve their overall diet by making healthier choices. If they consume junk and processed food, the solution to this is adding in real whole foods. Usually, when healthier foods are added in, junk is eventually eliminated.
Phasing out snacks and treats is not always possible, but by following the 80/20 rule, a more realistic goal can be put in place. If a person can eat healthy 80% of the time, they are well on their way to improved health and wellness. Whether they choose vegan, low carb, or Mediterranean, the goal is for them to be conscious of what they regularly put in their bodies.
Once a person has changed their diet, they can begin to look at improving their overall nutrition. This is when choosing organic options and locally grown foods help improve their nutrient intake. Being able to share the nutrient quality of your food products will go a long way with these types of consumers.
Customers looking to enhance their nutrition will seek products made of simple natural ingredients. They will want foods with minimal processing that contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Diet and nutrition need to work together for people to improve their health and their lives. The ideal foodservice provider will have choices that can enhance both diet and nutrition for the everyday consumer.
To gain the trust of the consumer and acquire new customers, using accurate nutrition analysis software is a must. MenuSano is the go-to online tool to help consumers achieve improved diet and nutrition. The MenuSano nutrition analysis software allows you to create healthy options for your health-conscious consumers.
You can input healthy ingredients into the software and use them to form optimal dishes. You then get an accurate nutrition label that can easily be accessed online. The entire process is effortless, affordable, and can be done in-house. Gone are the costly lab fees.
We also understand that the process of designing menus and products can be incredibly time-consuming. This is all compounded when dishes need to be sent to a lab, adjusted, and then sent back again. With MenuSano, we’ve eliminated all of these unnecessary steps.
MenuSano speeds up the whole process and elevates your operations. By being transparent with your nutrition info, it shows that you have a vested interest in the health of your customers.