Malnutrition is caused mainly by not consuming “the right balance of nutrients from major food groups”. These include:
- Fruit and vegetables
- Dairy – vegans are able to find abundant nutrients from non-animal sources (see: The Vegan Diet)
The average human should drink at least 1.2 liters of fluid per day.
Certain diseases also contribute to malnutrition; they will have to be attended to to prevent malnutrition.
- Ulcerative colitis - a fairly common chronic (long-term) disease that causes inflammation of the colon (the large intestine). It is a form of inflammatory bowel disease. When inflammation is only in the rectum the disease is called ulcerative proctitis. The inflammation may extend into the upper parts of the colon. Universal colitis or pancolitis is when the whole colon is involved.
- Patients with ulcerative colitis commonly lose weight because their body is unable to absorb nutrients properly. Consuming plenty of fluids, and eating regularly (five or six small meals daily), as well as taking food supplements may help to prevent ulcerative colitis.
- Crohn’s disease - an ongoing condition that causes inflammation of the digestive tract, or the GI (gastrointestinal) tract (the gut). Crohn’s disease may also be called ileitis or enteritis. Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the gut, from the mouth all the way down to the anus. In the majority of cases the lower part of the small intestine – the ileum – is affected.
- Celiac disease (UK: Coeliac disease) - also known as gluten intolerance. If you suffer from Celiac disease you have a genetic disorder that makes you intolerant to gluten. It is caused by a reaction to gliadin (a gluten protein found in wheat). It can affect all types of people.
- Alcohol abuse - people who are addicted to alcohol and abuse alcohol may sometimes suffer from malnutrition. The only effective way to address this is to treat the alcoholism.