Types of Eating

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans define healthy eating patterns as a mix of foods from the 5 food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods and dairy. A mix of these five groups provides key nutrients that help reduce your risk for some health conditions, such as heart disease and cancer. Eating a variety of foods also helps keep your diet interesting and prevents boredom, which can lead to overeating.

Some animals eat both plants and meat, making them omnivores. These animals have a wide selection of foods to choose from and can find a variety of foods in different seasons. For example, a bear can eat berries growing on plants in the summer and hunt for meat during other times of the year. Animals that eat only plants are called herbivores. They have big front teeth for cutting, and their digestive systems are designed to break down and digest plant matter. Herbivores eat only the parts of plants that are tasty to them, like the seeds and fruit, ignoring the stems and leaves.

Fun eating is any food that you enjoy but doesn’t give you anything back in terms of nutrients. It’s okay to include a small amount of fun foods in your diet, but try to limit them to two or three meals a week.

Eating disorders are serious mental health conditions that involve severe problems with your thoughts about food and eating habits. They can cause you to eat too little or too much, which affects your body’s ability to get the nutrients you need. These disorders can have many different symptoms and affect people of all ages and body types.

Some types of eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, are life-threatening. Others, such as binge-eating disorder (BED), are less severe but can still interfere with your daily life.

There are many things that increase the risk for developing an eating disorder, such as a family history of eating disorders or being teased or bullied for your weight. Stress is another factor, which can lead to emotional overeating and binge-eating.

A primary care provider can diagnose an eating disorder by reviewing your symptoms and doing a physical examination. A health care professional may also order blood tests and a psychological evaluation. These providers use the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition to determine a diagnosis.

Symptoms of an eating disorder may include an unhealthy low body weight, a fear of gaining weight and an unrealistic view of your body shape and size. There are many different types of eating disorders, but each one involves an extreme focus on food and an obsession with weight that can seriously interfere with your health.



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