Medical Definition of Diet (entry 2)
In medical terms, diet is the total amount of food ingested by an individual or other living organism during a particular time. The human body requires various nutrients for normal functioning. It absorbs most of the calories we eat in our food and requires the rest for energy production. The rest of the vitamins and minerals are then metabolized by our liver to produce hormones, enzymes and vitamins. Our brain needs certain nutrients to function properly and without them, it would not be possible to think, understand and remember things. Food is also necessary to maintain good health and for our organs to function at their optimum level.
In our daily life, we can find two kinds of diets: A broad diet which covers all the foods available in the grocery store and a more narrow diet that focuses on one’s preference or interest in eating only certain foods. A broad diet is practical for most people. If you love fruits, you can eat them all the time. If you are fond of bread, you could simply keep reading. But if you have some particular dietary or health condition, you may need a more specific diet plan.
When you are thinking about losing weight, it may be tempting to go on a diet that will drastically cut down on your caloric intake or limit your intake of certain foods. In the English language however, there are two verbs that can help us express this meaning better: Reduce and detox. These two verbs do have a real science behind them. When we say reducing, it means reducing something in a specified proportion. For example, if we were to say that we are going to reduce our calorie intake by 200 calories per day, that would be called reducing.
On the other hand, detox means to eliminate. So, when we say to ourselves, “I am going to detox my body,” it means throwing out, remove or eradicate something unwanted. In other words, the diet that is recommended in the English language is usually called a fast. Fasting for a certain amount of time is often prescribed by prescribed rules sparingly.
A good way to get a clear picture of what I mean by sparingly is to understand the relationship between the word, e.g., reducing, and its derivatives. Reducing means reducing something to the bare minimum, whereas on the other hand, detoxification suggests elimination of toxins from the system. The word “diet” often has an added connotation of strictness, even when it does not actually indicate that a person is following a diet. For example, a person who is in a weight loss program may be referred to as “a fat burning furnace” since he or she may be taking steps to shed off excessive weight, yet still eat unhealthily.
When we talk about a prescribed diet, we are talking about a set of eating habits or regimens that are prescribed by a doctor, usually based on medical considerations. In most cases, these diets are accompanied by some sort of controlled exercise regimen in order to promote a healthier heart. Excess weight loss should be balanced by reduced consumption of calories, especially if the goal is a controlled weight loss, and it should never be done to the extent of causing nutritional deficiencies or a lack of energy. As with all matters related to the use of medication or controlled substances, you should always consult your physician before embarking on any diet plan or eating regimen.