National Nutrition Week is observed every year from 1st September to 7 September to raise awareness about the importance of making the right and informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
The human body requires a wide variety of nutrients to grow and develop properly. The food you eat plays a vital role in this. There are many nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that are needed by the body for proper functioning of the body. And to get these essential nutrients from diet and maximize the health benefits, there are few things you have to know. In this article, we’ll be shedding light on some simple tips and tricks to get the most from our diet.
Every person is different and so are the nutritional requirements. Here are some dietary guidelines that you should follow for a proper balanced diet.
1. Eat a Wide Variety of Foods to Ensure a Balanced Diet
Nutrition is a basic prerequisite to sustain life. Variety in the food that you eat forms the essence of nutrition and health. It is essential to have cereals, pulses, vegetables, fruits and milk-based foods along with meat to maintain good health. Vegetables and fruits provide vitamins and minerals which are much-needed entities in a balanced diet. So make sure your diet comprises of macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, as well as micronutrients such as sodium, potassium, calcium, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, etc.
2. Ensure Appropriate and Adequate Diets for Adolescents and Children
A nutritionally balanced diet is necessary for optimal development and growth both in when sick and healthy. Malnutrition can lead to low immunity which in turn can up the risk of infections. So lack of balanced diet in the long run can contribute significantly to child mortality and morbidity. Children, in particular, need to eat more during and after episodes of infection to maintain good nutritional status.
3. Eat Plenty Of Vegetables And Fruits
Green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits tick many boxes in the vitamins and minerals chart and hence protects you from diseases. Vegetables and fruits also provide fiber and phytonutrients which are vital to health. They are rich in micronutrients and helps prevent micronutrient malnutrition and a few chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and cataracts.
4. Moderate Use Of Edible Oils And Animal Foods And Less Use Of Ghee And Butter
Overuse of plant and animal-based fats results in elevation of blood lipids which in turn increases the risk of heart diseases and other illnesses. Oils and fats have high energy value and induce satiety. Fats promote absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, provides essential fatty acids and energy. Hence, it is important to include oils and fats in diet but moderation is the key. Anything in excess can up the risk of health problems right from obesity to heart disease.
5. Avoid Overeating To Prevent Obesity And Becoming Overweight
Obesity is the causative factor for several chronic non-communicable diseases including certain types of cancers, diabetes and heart disease. Around 30%-50% Indian adults are overweight or obese. If you want to lose weight, you must vote for a diet which is rich in protein and low in fats and carbohydrates. Eating less is not a healthy idea as you need to stay fit and strong to carry out your daily chores. Eat mindfully and ensure your diet contains all the essential nutrients.
6. Reduce Salt Intake To A Bare Minimum
Increased salt intake has been shown to lead to heart disease and hypertension. In the extracellular fluid, sodium is the main electrolyte. It also plays an important role in fluid balance and nerve conduction in the human body. Kidney function determines the maintenance of sodium balance. Given the key role of salt in the body and the health effects caused due to high salt intake it is wise to restrict your salt intake to no more than 5 gm per person per day.
Comment below to let us know what you do to make sure you eat a healthy diet and share your tips with us.
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)
1. [Internet]. Ninindia.org. 2018 [cited 25 August 2018].
2. Healthy Diet | National Health Portal Of India [Internet]. Nhp.gov.in. 2018 [cited 25 August 2018].