So, you’re ready to start eating healthily? Great! The first step to a healthy lifestyle is finding out what your current eating habits are. We’ve created a tool that can help you assess the safety of your diet by giving you an instant risk score.
What is a diet?
A diet is a combination of foods and beverages that you eat regularly. It’s also your lifestyle choice for how you nourish yourself. A good diet will sustain life, manage health, and manage weight.
A healthy eating plan includes all of the following:
- Variety—a wide range of foods from each food group (grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy products)
- Balance—choosing low-fat or fat-free options whenever possible; limiting added sugars to 5 percent or fewer calories per day
- Moderation—limiting portion sizes so meals are satisfying without being overly large; choosing lean meats like chicken breast rather than fatty cuts such as pork chops
Everyone eats a different diet, based on their nutritional needs, cultural background, and personal preferences. Some diets are healthy and some are not so healthy. The diet risk score calculator will help you to check whether your eating habits are safe and balanced or if they might put you at risk of getting a disease.
The WHO has developed an algorithm to calculate your diet risk score from the information provided by you in this app. This algorithm is based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) diet risk score model which was developed as part of its program for monitoring chronic diseases and conditions called Preventing Overweight and Obesity (POO).
High-fat diet risks
A high-fat diet is one of the factors that can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This includes:
- High cholesterol, may lead to heart disease and strokes
- Heart disease and stroke (cerebrovascular diseases)
- Saturated fat in red meat, processed meats, and foods containing animal fats such as butter, cheese, cream, and egg yolk
The US Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting saturated fat intake to less than 10% of total calories per day. Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) — found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts — are slightly better for you because they help lower LDL cholesterol (LDL-C), but are not as good as polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs): omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish (eg salmon), flaxseed oil; or plant sources such as walnuts; or omega 6 fatty acids from safflower oil
Overeating foods high in saturated fats can lead to high cholesterol levels. High cholesterol may lead to heart disease and strokes, which are two of the leading causes of death in the world. Saturated fat is found mainly in animal products such as meat, butter, cheese, and cream and also in processed foods such as cakes and biscuits.
Monounsaturated fat is usually found in olive oil and when used instead of saturated fats can reduce bad cholesterol levels. Polyunsaturated fats (like omega-3 fats) are mostly found in fatty fish (like salmon), nuts, sunflower oil, and seeds. While both types of polyunsaturated fats can decrease bad cholesterol levels, omega-3 has even more health benefits that include protecting against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
A diet risk score over 50 indicates that you have a higher risk of developing diseases like diabetes or cancer due to your unhealthy lifestyle choices like eating too much red meat or processed meats like sausages; having too many sugary drinks; consuming too many carbohydrates (bread for example), not exercising enough, smoking cigarettes, etc.
How to use the diet risk score calculator
The diet risk score calculator is interested in how much of each food type you consume on a weekly basis. So you, you will need to tell it how many times a week you eat the following types of food:
- Fast food
- Bread, rolls
- Chips, salty snacks, pretzels
- Hot dogs, sausages
- Sweet drinks
- Peanuts, seeds, nut butter
- Fish, shellfish
Once you input that into the calculator, it will give you your diet risk score.
How can I improve my diet?
There are many healthy and delicious foods that can be eaten on a balanced diet. A healthy diet should include plenty of fruit and vegetables, wholegrain starchy foods like brown rice or wholemeal pasta, some dairy products (or alternatives), protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, or pulses, and some fats. A balanced diet with little sugar is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. This will help to reduce the risk of developing major health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity later in life.
A diet is a combination of foods and beverages that you consume regularly.
It depends from individual to individual, as well as the goal someone is trying to achieve (for example lose weight or gain weight). You’re best off doing your own research as well as consulting a professional.
The human body is very complex and it requires many different nutrients in different doses to function properly.