What is a Nutrition Program?

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What is a Nutrition Program?
What is a Nutrition Program? (Image: Scott Liddell, www.morguefile.com)

A nutrition program is any type of dietary program intended to help you reach a goal or control a condition or disease. The program often provides examples of the types of foods you should eat regularly and those you should eat in moderation or avoid. A nutrition program can be strict or flexible depending on its main purpose.

Types

Nutrition programs come in many forms. Some programs are designed to help you lose weight and provide guidance on how to eat nutritious foods and reduce caloric intake. Other programs are medically focused and may be used in hospitals or nursing homes for individuals with high cholesterol or high blood pressure who need to control their salt or fat intake. Nutrition programs are also used together with fitness programs to aid in the achievement of sports related goals.

Features

A nutrition program tells you what type of foods you should eat and how much of them you can eat. These programs are focused on nutrients and providing adequate nutrition, so that you may reach a goal or control a disease. Nutrition programs typically list foods that you should avoid which may have access calories, fat, sugar or sodium. Some nutrition programs instruct on how to prepare foods and others may come with pre-made meals and snacks.

Benefits

Many factors influence what we eat. Stress may cause us to overeat, while busy schedules may cause us to skip meals or rely on unhealthy foods to satisfy hunger. A nutrition program offers guidance on healthy eating. If you want to lose weight, improve exercise performance or gain control of a medical condition, such as high cholesterol, sticking to a healthy nutrition program can help you to reach your goals.

Considerations

Different nutrition programs work for different people. Personal likes and dislikes regarding food determine if a nutrition program is right for you. Research the program well before committing to it. Make sure it is something that will work with your lifestyle and personal preferences. It may be necessary to review and test several nutrition programs before finding the one that works for you and helps you achieve your personal objectives.

Warning

Any nutrition program you adopt should be focused on health and balance. Avoid programs that make unrealistic claims or that focus on few food groups. Some programs are too restrictive and could lead to health complications. Talk with a trusted health professional before starting a nutrition program to ensure that it will be safe and effective for you considering your personal health status.

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