Healthy foodsHealthy foods

Foods are needed to survive. It provides us with different nutritive and nonnutritive components. Inadequate intake (less or excess) of nutrients, which is the primary cause of malnutrition, may cause malnutrition. Now as days, we are familiar with a few terms of malnutrition such as double burden, triple burden, hidden hunger, etc.

Nutrition is a process. So, ingested foods go through different processes of metabolism (anabolism and catabolism). Usually, foods of different origins may supply different amounts of nutrients. Their bioavailability and utilization vary based on the conditions of the existing food matrix, food-food interaction, nutrient-nutrient interaction, etc. In addition, different secondary causes of malnutrition such as indigestion, malabsorption, less utilization, excess excretion, excess demand, etc. may also help to develop malnutrition.

It is noticed, especially in affluent families in Bangladesh, many people are suffering from bone diseases such as osteoporosis though they usually take in enough foods that are supposed to be adequate for providing enough calories, proteins, and other essential nutrients. They are food secure, which reflects their economic condition. Unfortunately, they are suffering from bone diseases.


So, we need to know the causes of it-Basic, immediate, and underlying.

At the same time, a few relevant questions come to mind as follows:

  1. Are they food secure?
  2. Are they nutritionally secure?
  3. Do they have any diseases that inhibit utilization or induce excretion?
  4. Is their diet imbalanced?

Let’s talk about some points that need to be considered for making our diet balanced, not only for the entire day but also for every meal if possible. Here are some points that may make your bone nutritionally vulnerable.

  1. Excess intake of protein may cause imbalanced calcium homeostasis and bone demineralization (References: A52, 53,54).
  2. Food matrix or composition (The food matrix: implications in processing, nutrition and health – PubMed (, Interrelations Between Food Form, Texture, and Matrix Influence Energy Intake and Metabolic Responses – PMC (
  3. Availability of different buffering food items in a composite or balanced diet to regulate the PH of the food matrix (Food buffering capacity: quantification methods and its importance in digestion and health – PubMed (, Buffering capacity of protein-based model food systems in the context of gastric digestion – PubMed (,
  4. Sources of protein (animal or plant) taken.
  5. Types of protein processing methods used.
  6. The amounts of protein taken separately or along with other food items.
  7. …(continued)

It is stated that long-term intake of a diet that is too high in animal protein (more than 2 gm/kg body weight) such as red meat with or without saturated fats is not good for health. It may help to develop a higher risk of bone, renal, liver disorders, kidney stones, heart disease, colon cancer, etc. while a plant-based high-protein diet is safe (References: A50, 51)

It is not easy or possible to have or buy food as per your demand or need or recommendation. So, it is better to include diversified food regularly. Avoid monotony of foods. So, it would be beneficial to consume less protein instead of excess in any meal. For this, one may spread healthy protein consumption in different meals throughout the day (References: A50).

It is wise not to consume more than 2 g of protein per kg body weight per day. So, try to consume healthy proteins both from animals and plants following the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of protein intake to avoid the risk of developing diseases (References: A50, 53).

RDA of protein 2

RDA of protein 1

(Source: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025, Pages 131, 134)

If you are interested to learn more, please visit the following links:

Protein | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


A50. When it comes to protein, how much is too much? – Harvard Health.

A51. Adverse Effects Associated with Protein Intake above the Recommended Dietary Allowance for Adults – PMC (

A52. Protein intake, calcium balance and health consequences | European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (

A53. Protein intake and bone health – PubMed (

A54. Protein – British Nutrition Foundation


*Codes are used to make a common list of references to be published in the future.

*Featured image credit goes to

By Md. Khurshidul Zahid, Ph.D.

Md. Khurshidul Zahid Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Nutrition and Food Science (INFS) of The University of Dhaka (DU) of Bangladesh. He has completed his Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Texas Tech University (TTU), USA. He was a finalist in the Emerging Leaders in Nutrition Science Competition organized by the American Society of Nutrition (ASN), Experimental Biology (EB) meeting held in Boston in 2015. He was also awarded a gold medal by “Professor Dr. Quazi Salamatullah trust foundation” of INFS, DU in 2005.

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