Diet ingredients – beware of overdoing

Diet ingredients – beware of overdoing

by Sanjay B

“There are no special diets – only special people.” – MADGEL L. MGNS

Normal diets must consist of combination of all body building and maintaining ingredients in proportions.

Many persons suffer from a confused state of mind as to what to eat for better health? Half statements and a partial view misguide and generate many health complaints rather than solve them. Food combinations without an expert’s advice and supervision may give birth to some deficiency disease!

It is well-known that deficiency or inadequacy cause problems. It is also well said that “too much of any thing is too bad.” It is equally true that “your food is your medicine.” A balance has to be aimed at just as an over dose of any medicine is poisonous, overeating of one kind of food may cause an ailment. One must ponder seriously over the following facts that have come to light as a result of research in the past;1. Excessive intake of cabbage may cause goiter (enlargement of thyroid gland) because it contains goitrogenic substances.

2. Excessive intake of grape juice may increase sugar levels in blood.

3. Intake of plenty of carrot juice alone may cause weight loss and weakness.

4. Diet rich in fat and sugar may aggravate the formation of stones in the gall bladder.

5. Taking tomato juice, spinach juice, cabbage juice and milk out of proportion may cause the formation of renal stones.

6. High proteins, high carbohydrates, Purine diet and food with high calorific value may raise the level of uric acid in the blood and thereby pre-dispose persons to gout.

7. The belief of some people that milk is a “complete food” is wrong. Even a four month old baby needs supplements to mother’s milk for a healthy growth. Because, mother’s milk does not contain important minerals like iron, copper, etc elements which are important for growth of the child, lack of which may make it anaemic.

8. For vegetarian adults, milk is the only source of vitamins B12 and for complete ammo-acids. The inadequate intake thereof may cause pernicious or macrocytic anaemia in them.

9. The excessive or inadequate intake of some particular vitamins may generate riddles. For example, deficiency of vitamin A may cause night blindness (NYCTLOPIA), Xeropthalmia (Redness, abnormally dry and luster less conditions of the eye ball), etc. Excess intake of vitamins is known as Hypervitammosis. For instance, excess intake of Vit. A causes loss of weight, atrophy of the skin, loss of hair, ulceration of the eyes, spontaneous fractures and lowering of plasma prothrombin.

Thus one must never-expect in abnormal situations, and under the expert supervision of a proven practitioner-experiment by taking only one kind of food. Normal diets must consist of combination of all body building and maintaining ingredients in proportions.

For the maintenance of “good” health one needs a balanced diet in the natural form. Each individual irrespective of the age bracket in which one falls must in all circumstances must take the following 6 basic elements in a balanced manner in their food to live a fuller and healthier life.

1. Proteins.
2. Carbohydrates.
3. Fats.
4. Vitamins.
5. Minerals.
6. Water.

Proteins :

a. Sources : Cereals, milk, cheese, peas, beans, soybeans, sunflower seeds, pulses etc.

b. Function: Growth, maintenance and repair of body tissue, energy supply.

c. Daily requirement : 0.8 grams proteins a day per kg. body weight for an adult. In pregnancy 1.5 to 2.5 grams a day per kg. body weight. For infants and growing children 3 to 4 grams per day per kg. body weight. For lactating women 2 to 3 grams a day per kg. body weight.


a. Sources: Sugar, honey, rice, dry corn, wheat flour, brown bread.

b. Functions: Sources of energy, starting material for the synthesis of other types of compounds in the body such as fatty acids and certain ammo acids. It plays a role in the structure of many biological important compounds like glyco-lipids, glyco-proteins, heparin and nucleic acid.

c. Daily requirements: An adult requires 100 to 200 grams/day. A hard working labourer requires 250 to 350 grams/day. A pregnant women requires 150 to 200 grams/day.


a. Sources: Milk, butter, cooking oils etc.

b. Functions: Supply essential fatty acids as well as fat soluble vitamins such as Vit. A, D, E, K and it is required in diet for absorption of essential substances. Being a poor conductor of heat, the subcutaneous fat helps in heat regulation. The depot fats act mechanically in protecting the vital organs and also acts as cushions and packing for tissues. They are principle sources of energy.

c. Daily Requirements: 40 grams/day for an adult, 60 to 70 grams/day for a hard working labourer. Infants should get 50% of energy from fats only.


Vitamins are potent organic compounds that are a must in all human bodies. They are found in variable and minute quantities in different products. A regular intake is necessary so that specific physiological functioning, may go on normally.

Vitamins are divided into two types:

1 Fat soluble such as A, D, E, K.

2. Water soluble such as Vitamins B complex group and Vit-C. A good mixed diet containing milk, fruits, vegetables and wheat items will usually provide all essential vitamins.

Minerals :

To maintain normal physiological functions of the body one has to take mineral salts. Salt starvation causes death much earlier than food starvation. The important minerals one should have in ones diet are iron, copper, manganese, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, chromium, iodine, bromine, zinc etc. To get all these minerals one should take a balanced diet which contains leafy and other vegetables, milk, fruits, common salts and brown bread.

It is our most-needed nutrient, more important than vitamins and minerals. It constitutes more than half of the entire human body. Not a cell in the body can function without it and it gently removes wastes continuously. The total water requirement of an adult, under ordinary conditions, is about 2500 to 3000 ml per day. Half of this quantity, say 1500ml, should be taken as free drinks. In brief, one must fix up a daily and weekly cycle of balanced and regular intake of all ingredients stated above as per the individual constitution.

General norms should be considered as indicative only. Also adequate exertion through work-movements and exercises should be undertaken regularly, without over straining.

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