Why is DIET more important than FOOD?
Posted on: March 15, 2021.

Food merely isn’t as important as what is eaten, how much is eaten, why it is eaten, and when it is eaten, for the present generation of young Indian adults having almost completely withdrawn from domestic cooking.

A brief background of the issue needs to be known, before ‘getting into the meat of the problem’—pun indented. Food is best when cooked for oneself with ingredients that are locally produced and delivered.

Like many other critical yet unwittingly ignored personal lifestyle hazards in India, miserable diet and food gets a person to hospital more often than not, medicines every day of life, or a medically complicated death.

Harsh though it might sound, such is reality. India is a country where luxuries are given more importance than necessities—a catch-22 situation, a vicious cycle of consumerism, industrialization, and innovation.

For more than three decades now, the country is evidently suffering from food supply that is contaminated, adulterated, rationed, and worse, deficient—both in quantity and nutrient levels.

Furthermore, food ingredients, or finished edible products themselves, are procured from lands and markets hundreds or even thousands of kilometers away from the place where it is consumed.

To make situations even worser, economic and industrial circumstances are leading to the import of food from foreign lands for domestic distribution, while agricultural lands are being commercially exploited.

The practice is, by itself, detrimental to health as the produce is harvested in a land and using water that is not compatible to the digestive physiology of the geographically and ethnically separated food consumer.

There is a high degree of critically involved here because food is the most sensitive input received by the body, and decides every level of function of both body and mind—”You are what you eat”, it is said.

Food is biologically subjected to two sub-processes together called “metabolism”—anabolism, the “building up” process, and catabolism, the “breaking down” process—and later also to “biological magnification”.

Food is a chemical entity as perceived and acted upon by the human body’s digestive and endocrine—hormones and enzymes—systems. Thereafter, food assimilated in blood influences all physiological systems.

And it doesn’t stop just there. Food undergoes digestion, nutrient absorption by blood, and reabsorption by tissues and bones—chemical reactions, all of which influence the emotions and psychology of the person.

This chemical makeup—the chemical profile of the body and brain—gets translated to thought, word, deed, appearance, health, fitness, gait, temperament, behavior, conduct, character, values, beliefs, and attitude.

Which is why diet is more important than food because diet decides everything about the pattern in which a person eats and drinks, which, in the long run, becomes that particular person’s eating and drinking habits.

Diet is not about only quantity, calorie, or quality—it is much more about meal-time schedule, eating and drinking posture, mastication effectiveness, and even the ethnic and traditional relatedness of the food.

Food without diet is like a knife without a handle—highly ineffective and injurious too. Each person’s body type, metabolism, health and fitness levels, and capacity of food intake, is distinctly different overall.

Therefore, the levels of health and fitness that a person has or must have is completely governed and influenced by diet designed particularly for that person considering his physical and mental parameters.

The personal, professional, social, moral, and, if one must say, even spiritual success of an individual is essentially, if not entirely, associated with his/her diet.

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