Diet (nutrition)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Dietary habits)
A selection of magnesium-containing food consumed by humans. The human diet can vary widely.

In nutrition, diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism.[1] The word diet often implies the use of specific intake of nutrition for health or weight-management reasons (with the two often being related). 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.

Complete nutrition requires ingestion and absorption of vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids from protein and essential fatty acids from fat-containing food, also food energy in the form of carbohydrate, protein, and fat. Dietary habits and choices play a significant role in the quality of life, health and longevity.


A healthy diet can improve and maintain health, which can include aspects of mental and physical health.[2] Specific diets, such as the DASH diet, can be used in treatment and management of chronic conditions.[2]

Dietary recommendations exist for many different countries, and they usually emphasise a balanced diet which is culturally appropriate. These recommendation are different from dietary reference values which provide information about the prevention of nutrient deficiencies.

Dietary choices[edit]

Raw food tacos prepared with guacamole, non-fried beans and sour cream.
Raw food tacos prepared with guacamole, non-fried beans and sour cream. Raw foodism promotes the consumption of food which has not been cooked.

Exclusionary diets are diets with certain groups or specific types of food avoided, either due to health considerations or by choice.[2] Many do not eat food from animal sources to varying degrees (e.g. flexitarianism, pescetarianism, vegetarianism, and veganism) for health reasons, issues surrounding morality, or to reduce their personal impact on the environment[3] (e.g. environmental vegetarianism). People on a balanced vegetarian or vegan diet can obtain adequate nutrition, but may need to specifically focus on consuming specific nutrients, such as protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B12.[4][2][5] Raw foodism and intuitive eating are other approaches to dietary choices. Education, income, local availability, and mental health are all major factors for dietary choices.[2]

Weight management[edit]

A particular diet may be chosen to promote weight loss or weight gain. Changing a person's dietary intake, or "going on a diet", can change the energy balance, and increase or decrease the amount of fat stored by the body.[2] The terms "healthy diet" and "diet for weight management" (dieting) are often related, as the two promote healthy weight management.[6][7] If a person is overweight or obese, changing to a diet and lifestyle that allows them to burn more calories than they consume may improve their overall health,[2] possibly preventing diseases that are attributed in part to weight, including heart disease and diabetes.[8] Within the past 10 years, obesity rates have increased by almost 10%.[9] Conversely, if a person is underweight due to illness or malnutrition, they may change their diet to promote weight gain. Intentional changes in weight, though often beneficial, can be potentially harmful to the body if they occur too rapidly. Unintentional rapid weight change can be caused by the body's reaction to some medications, or may be a sign of major medical problems including thyroid issues and cancer among other diseases.[10]

Eating disorders[edit]

An eating disorder is a mental disorder that interferes with normal food consumption. It is defined by abnormal eating habits, and thoughts about food that may involve eating much more or much less than needed.[11] Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.[12] Eating disorders affect people of every gender, age, socioeconomic status, and body size.[12]

Environmental dietary choices[edit]

Agriculture is a driver of environmental degradation, such as biodiversity loss, climate change, desertification, soil degradation and pollution. The food system as a whole – including refrigeration, food processing, packaging, and transport – accounts for around one-quarter of greenhouse gas emissions.[13] More sustainable dietary choices can be made to reduce the impact of the food system on the environment. These choices may involve reducing consumption of meat and dairy products and instead eating more plant-based foods, and eating foods grown through sustainable farming practices.[14]

Religious and cultural dietary choices[edit]

Some cultures and religions have restrictions concerning what foods are acceptable in their diet. For example, only Kosher foods are permitted in Judaism, and Halal foods in Islam. Although Buddhists are generally vegetarians, the practice varies and meat-eating may be permitted depending on the sects.[15] In Hinduism, vegetarianism is the ideal. Jains are strictly vegetarian and in addition to that the consumption of any roots (ex: potatoes, carrots) is not permitted.

In Christianity there is no restriction on the kinds of animals that can be eaten,[16][17] though various groups within Christianity have practiced specific dietary restrictions for various reasons.[18] The most common diets used by Christians are Mediterranean and vegetarianism.[19][20][21][22]

Diet classification table[edit]

Food type Omnivorous Carnivorous Pescetarian Pollotarian Semi-vegetarian Vegetarian Vegan Fruitarian Paleo Ketogenic Jewish Islamic Hindu Jain
Alcoholic drinks Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Maybe Maybe No Maybe No
Fruit Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Maybe
Berries Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Maybe Yes Yes Yes Yes
Vegetables Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No[a] Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Greens Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Maybe
Legumes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Maybe No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Nuts Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Maybe Yes Maybe Yes Yes Yes Maybe
Tubers Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Maybe[b] No Yes Yes Yes Maybe
Grains Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Maybe No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Honey Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
Dairy Yes Maybe[c] Maybe Maybe Maybe Maybe[d] No No No Maybe Yes[e] Yes Yes Yes
Eggs Yes Yes Maybe Yes Maybe Maybe[f] No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Maybe No
Insects Yes Yes No No Sometimes No No No Yes Yes No[g] No[g] Maybe No
Shellfish Yes Yes Yes No Sometimes No No No Yes Yes No Maybe[h] Maybe No
Fish Yes Yes Yes No Sometimes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Maybe No
Poultry Yes Yes No Yes Sometimes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Maybe No
Mutton Yes Yes No No Sometimes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Maybe No
Venison Yes Yes No No Sometimes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Maybe No
Pork Yes Yes No No Sometimes No No No Yes Yes No No Maybe No
Beef Yes Yes No No Sometimes No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Maybe No


  1. ^ Some plants traditionally considered to be vegetables—such as tomatoes, eggplants, capsicums, and zucchinis—are permitted.
  2. ^ Typically, potatoes are not permitted but cassava, yams, and sweet potatoes are.
  3. ^ Some variants of the diet are paleolithic-oriented and exclude dairy while other variants may include dairy products provided that they are ketogenic. Less strict approaches allow all animal sourced foods.
  4. ^ Lacto vegetarians, ovo-lacto vegetarians, and Jain vegetarians permit dairy.
  5. ^ Dairy is permitted but is not to be cooked or consumed with any meats. Dairy may be prepared and eaten alongside pareve foods.
  6. ^ Both ovo vegetarians and ovo-lacto vegetarians permit eggs.
  7. ^ a b Locusts are sometimes permitted, depending on the religious denomination.
  8. ^ Mollusks and crustaceans like crab are prohibited according to the Shi'a branch of Islam. The acceptability of shrimp/prawn is debated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ noun, def 1 Archived 2010-01-07 at the Wayback Machine –
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Johnson, Veronica R.; Washington, Tiffani Bell; Chhabria, Shradha; Wang, Emily Hsu-Chi; Czepiel, Kathryn; Reyes, Karen J. Campoverde; Stanford, Fatima Cody (2022-05-01). "Food as Medicine for Obesity Treatment and Management". Clinical Therapeutics. 44 (5): 671–681. doi:10.1016/j.clinthera.2022.05.001. ISSN 0149-2918. PMC 9908371. PMID 35618570. S2CID 249022627. Archived from the original on 2023-07-02. Retrieved 2022-09-26.
  3. ^ United Nations. "Food and Climate Change: Healthy diets for a healthier planet". United Nations. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  4. ^ Melina, Vesanto; Craig, Winston; Levin, Susan (December 2016). "Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Vegetarian Diets". Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 116 (12): 1970–1980. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2016.09.025. ISSN 2212-2672. PMID 27886704. S2CID 4984228.
  5. ^ "Vegetarian diet: How to get the best nutrition". Mayo Clinic. 2020-08-20. Archived from the original on 2021-04-10. Retrieved 2022-12-12.
  6. ^ "Healthy Eating: How do you get started on healthy eating?". 2009-10-12. Archived from the original on 2018-03-01. Retrieved 2011-12-11.
  7. ^ Aphramor, Lucy (2010-07-20). "Validity of claims made in weight management research: a narrative review of dietetic articles". Nutrition Journal. 9 (1): 30. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-30. ISSN 1475-2891. PMC 2916886. PMID 20646282.
  8. ^ "Diets". Archived from the original on 2021-06-13. Retrieved 2021-05-28.
  9. ^ Long, Zichong; Huang, Lili; Lyu, Jiajun; Xia, Yuanqing; Chen, Yiting; Li, Rong; Wang, Yanlin; Li, Shenghui (2022-01-12). "Trends of central obesity and associations with nutrients intake and daily behaviors among women of childbearing age in China". BMC Women's Health. 22 (1): 12. doi:10.1186/s12905-022-01600-9. ISSN 1472-6874. PMC 8753840. PMID 35016648.
  10. ^ "Body Weight". MedlinePlus. Archived from the original on June 2, 2020. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  11. ^ "Eating Disorders". Archived from the original on 2020-04-10. Retrieved 2020-04-10.
  12. ^ a b "NIMH » Eating Disorders". Archived from the original on 2015-05-23. Retrieved 2020-04-10.
  13. ^ Ritchie, Hannah; Roser, Max; Rosado, Pablo (2020-05-11). "CO₂ and Greenhouse Gas Emissions". Our World in Data.
  14. ^ Nations, United. "Food and Climate Change: Healthy diets for a healthier planet". United Nations. Retrieved 2023-07-13.
  15. ^ Keown, Damien (26 August 2004). A Dictionary of Buddhism. Oxford University Press. p. 77. ISBN 9780191579172. Archived from the original on 14 January 2023. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  16. ^ Marcos 7:14 Archived 2021-11-04 at the Wayback Machine-23 Archived 2021-11-04 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Mateo 15:10 Archived 2021-11-05 at the Wayback Machine-20 Archived 2021-11-04 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Code of Canon Law". Archived from the original on November 29, 2020. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  19. ^ James Tabor, The Jesus Dynasty p. 134 and footnotes p. 335, p. 134 – "The Greek New Testament gospels says John's diet consisted of "locusts and wild honey" but an ancient Hebrew version of Matthew insists that "locusts" is a mistake in Greek for a related Hebrew word that means a cake of some type, made from a desert plant, similar to the "manna" that the ancient Israelites ate in the desert on the days of Moses.(ref 9) Jesus describes John as "neither eating nor drinking," or "neither eating bread nor drinking wine." Such phrases indicate the lifestyle of one who is strictly vegetarian, avoids even bread since it has to be processed from grain, and shuns all alcohol.(ref 10) The idea is that one would eat only what grows naturally.(ref 11) It was a way of avoiding all refinements of civilization."
  20. ^ Bart D. Ehrman (2003). Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Oxford University Press. pp. 102, 103. ISBN 978-0-19-514183-2. p. 102 – "Probably the most interesting of the changes from the familiar New Testament accounts of Jesus comes in the Gospel of the Ebionites description of John the Baptist, who, evidently, like his successor Jesus, maintained a strictly vegetarian cuisine."
  21. ^ James A. Kelhoffer, The Diet of John the Baptist Archived 2023-04-06 at the Wayback Machine, ISBN 978-3-16-148460-5, pp. 19–21
  22. ^ G.R.S. Mead (2007). Gnostic John the Baptizer: Selections from the Mandæan John-Book. Forgotten Books. p. 104. ISBN 978-1-60506-210-5. Archived from the original on 2020-03-13. Retrieved 2021-11-01. p. 104 – "And when he had been brought to Archelaus and the doctors of the Law had assembled, they asked him who he is and where he has been until then. And to this he made answer and spake: I am pure; [for] the Spirit of God hath led me on, and [I live on] cane and roots and tree-food."

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of diet at Wiktionary