Nutrition

Difference between Diet and Nutrition

Diet is what you eat while nutrition is the fuel you need to function

Build a good diet by understanding which foods offer what nutrients

Consult a nutritionist for a customised diet plan

June 1st, 2021
3 mins read
nutrition vs diet

Since the words diet and nutrition are closely related to eating, they’re often used interchangeably. However, their meanings are distinct and different. For a deeper understanding of the difference between diet and nutrition, keep reading.

Diet and Nutrition: Key differences

The food that you eat regularly comprises your diet. There may be some variations, but in the Indian context, typically our diet comprises chapatis, sabzis, dal, rice and curries. Sure, you may eat pulao one day and steamed rice the next day, but broadly, your diet comprises the same elements.

Nutrition refers to the fuel that your body requires to function optimally and maintain good health. Good nutrition means providing your body with complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein, along with vitamins and minerals. You can get these nutrients by eating plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, beans and lentils, and whole grains such as buckwheat, whole wheat, brown rice and oats. 

While this is the norm for an average, healthy person, with medical conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis, or pregnancy, the body’s nutritional requirements differ slightly. You still require the same nutrients, but in different proportions. 

In a nutshell, knowing what your body needs by way of nutrients is step 1, and building a diet that offers your body the nutrition it needs is step 2. When there is a discord between diet and nutrition—that is when your diet is unhealthy or lacking in nutrients—it can culminate in illnesses such as obesity, heart disease, strokes and even some types of cancer. 

Also Read: Everything you need to know about Keto Diet

nutrition facts

Food Nutrition Chart for easy reference

A mix of fibre, carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants are necessary for good health, so refer to the following food nutrition chart

Nutrient  Foods to eat 
Healthy carbohydrates 

 

  • Oats 
  • Quinoa 
  • Bananas 
  • Buckwheat 
  • Blueberries 
  • Chickpeas 
  • Sweet potatoes 
  • Brown rice 

 

Proteins 
  • Eggs 
  • Milk 
  • Chicken breast 
  • Almonds 
  • Tuna 
  • Spirulina 
  • Peas 
  • Chickpeas 
  • Yogurt 
  • Soy 

 

Fibre 
  • Almonds 
  • Brown rice 
  • Berries  
  • Oats  
  • Broccoli 
  • Corn 
  • Carrots 
  • Kidney beans 
  • Chia seeds 
  • Dark chocolate 

 

Healthy fats 
  • Avocados  
  • Eggs (whole) 
  • Walnuts 
  • Olive oil 
  • Coconut oil 
  • Sardines 
  • Mackerel  
  • Olives 
  • Greek yogurt 
  • Flaxseed 
  • Tofu 
  • Pumpkin seeds 

 

Vitamin C 
  • Oranges 
  • Chillies 
  • Kiwis 
  • Strawberries 
  • Grapes 
  • Kale 
  • Lemons 
  • Pineapples 
  • Red bell peppers 
  • Guavas 

 

Iron  
  • Spinach 
  • Pumpkin seeds 
  • Edamame 
  • Kidney beans 
  • Shellfish 
  • Organ meats 
  • Quinoa 
  • Tofu 
  • Tuna 

 

Antioxidants 
  • Dark chocolate 
  • Blueberries 
  • Strawberries 
  • Pecans 
  • Kale 
  • Red cabbage 
  • Spinach 
  • Green tea 
  • Goji berries 

 

While these tips will serve you well if you’re in the pink of health, it is best that you consult a nutritionist for a diet plan should you have any pre-existing illnesses or if you are over- or under-weight. 

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