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Diet and Metabolic Rate
A healthy diet consists of the following food groups in the right amounts:
Carbohydrates for energy
Fats for insulation and a source of energy when food is scarce
Protein for cell growth, replacement and repair
Fibre for a smooth digestive system
Vitamins and Minerals for general health
The amounts of energy different people require is different because of who they are. For example, a
footballer would need more energy in comparison to an office worker because the footballer would
use all the energy provided. If you take in more energy than you use, you will become overweight. If
you take in too little energy compared to how much you use, you will become underweight.
If your diet is badly out of balance, you are said to be malnourished. Most people associate the word
malnourished to underweight, but being malnourished can be overweight too.
Being overweight can lead to various diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and it's also a
risk factor for some types of cancer.
Being underweight can result in an individual having a weakened immune system, suffering from
deficiency diseases, slow growth and irregular periods.
Your metabolism is basically all the chemical reactions in your body. The speed at which they occur is called
the metabolic rate. Various factors affect the metabolic rate of an individual:
- Genetic factors if it is in your genes that you have a slower metabolic rate, then that's the way it is
- Gender males tend to have a faster metabolic rate compared to women because they have a higher
muscle to fat ratio
- Amount of muscle muscle requires more energy to sit there doing nothing compared to fatty tissue,
so people with more muscle compared to fat will have a higher metabolic rate
- Regular exercise this can boost your resting metabolic rate because it builds muscle