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Nutrition

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Health

Ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fueling brain-function. However, if there is little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, leads to a reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures. Almost half of children, and young people, with epilepsy who have tried some form of this diet saw the number of seizures drop by at least half, and the effect persists even after discontinuing the diet. There is some evidence that adults with epilepsy may benefit from the diet, and that a less strict regimen, such as a modified Atkins diet, is similarly effective. The most common adverse effect is constipation, affecting about 30% of patients—this was due to fluid restriction, which was once a feature of the diet, but this led to increased risk of kidney stones and is no longer considered beneficial.

 
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Food, Health

Veganism

Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals. A follower of the diet or the philosophy is known as a vegan. Distinctions may be made between several categories of veganism. Dietary vegans refrain from consuming animal products, not only meat but also eggs, dairy products and other animal-derived substances. The term ethical vegan is often applied to those who not only follow a vegan diet but extend the philosophy into other areas of their lives, and oppose the use of animals for any purpose. Another term is environmental veganism, which refers to the avoidance of animal products on the premise that the industrial farming of animals is environmentally damaging and unsustainable.

 
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Food, Health

Paleolithic diet

The Paleolithic diet, Paleo diet, caveman diet, or stone-age diet is a modern fad diet requiring the sole or predominant consumption of foods presumed to have been the only foods available to or consumed by humans during the Paleolithic era.

 
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Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF), or intermittent calorie restriction, is an umbrella term for various diets that cycle between a period of fasting and non-fasting during a defined period. Intermittent fasting may produce weight loss comparable to long-term calorie restriction.

 
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Spirulina (dietary supplement)

Spirulina represents a biomass of cyanobacteria that can be consumed by humans and other animals. The two species are Arthrospira platensis and A. maxima.

 
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Food, Health

Gluten-free diet

A gluten-free diet (GFD) is a diet that strictly excludes gluten, a mixture of proteins found in wheat and related grains, including barley, rye, oat, and all their species and hybrids. The inclusion of oats in a gluten-free diet remains controversial, and may depend on the oat cultivar and the frequent cross-contamination with other gluten-containing cereals.

 
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Vegetarianism

Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat, and may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter.

 
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Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding, also known as nursing, is the feeding of babies and young children with milk from a woman's breast. Health professionals recommend that breastfeeding begin within the first hour of a baby's life and continue as often and as much as the baby wants. During the first few weeks of life babies may nurse roughly every two to three hours and the duration of a feeding is usually ten to fifteen minutes on each breast. Older children feed less often. Mothers may pump milk so that it can be used later when breastfeeding is not possible. Breastfeeding has a number of benefits to both mother and baby, which infant formula lacks.

 
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Low-carbohydrate diet

Low-carbohydrate diets or low-carb diets are dietary programs that restrict carbohydrate consumption to one-quarter or less of total dietary calories. Foods high in easily digestible carbohydrates are limited or replaced with foods containing a higher percentage of fats and moderate protein and other foods low in carbohydrates, although other vegetables and fruits are often allowed. The amount of carbohydrate allowed varies with different low-carbohydrate diets.

 
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Dietary supplement

A dietary supplement is a manufactured product intended to supplement the diet when taken by mouth as a pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid. A supplement can provide nutrients either extracted from food sources or synthetic, individually or in combination, in order to increase the quantity of their consumption. The class of nutrient compounds includes vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids and amino acids. Dietary supplements can also contain substances that have not been confirmed as being essential to life, but are marketed as having a beneficial biological effect, such as plant pigments or polyphenols. Animals can also be a source of supplement ingredients, as for example collagen from chickens or fish. These are also sold individually and in combination, and may be combined with nutrient ingredients. In the United States and Canada, dietary supplements are considered a subset of foods, and are regulated accordingly. The European Commission has also established harmonized rules to help insure that food supplements are safe and properly labeled. Among other countries, the definition of dietary supplements may vary as drugs or other classes of ingredients used in supplement products.

 
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Food, Health

Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet is a diet inspired by the eating habits of Greece, Southern Italy, and Spain in the 1940s and 1950s. The principal aspects of this diet include proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables, moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products, moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of non-fish meat products.

 
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Diet (nutrition)

In nutrition, diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism. The word diet often implies the use of specific intake of nutrition for health or weight-management reasons. Although humans are omnivores, each culture and each person holds some food preferences or some food taboos. This may be due to personal tastes or ethical reasons. Individual dietary choices may be more or less healthy.

 
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Food, Health

DASH diet

The DASH diet is a dietary pattern promoted by the U.S.-based National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to prevent and control hypertension. The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods; includes meat, fish, poultry, nuts, and beans; and is limited in sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, red meat, and added fats. In addition to its effect on blood pressure, it is designed to be a well-balanced approach to eating for the general public. DASH is recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as one of its ideal eating plans for all Americans.

 
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Atkins diet

The Atkins diet, also known as the Atkins nutritional approach, is a commercial weight-loss program devised by Robert Atkins. The Atkins diet is classified as a low-carbohydrate fad diet. The diet is marketed with questionable claims that carbohydrate restriction is critical to weight loss. There is no good evidence of the diet's effectiveness in achieving durable weight loss and it may increase the risk of heart disease.

 
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Human nutrition

Human nutrition deals with the provision of essential nutrients in food that are necessary to support human life and health. Poor nutrition is a chronic problem often linked to poverty, food security or a poor understanding of nutrition and dietary practices. Malnutrition and its consequences are large contributors to deaths and disabilities worldwide. Good nutrition helps children grow physically, promotes human biological development and helps in the eradication of poverty.