Balanced Diet

Introduction

Balanced diet is one which contains different types of foods in such quantities and proportions so that the need for calories, proteins, minerals, vitamins and other nutrients is adequately met and a small provision is made for extra nutrients to withstand short duration of leanness.

 Calorific values of Nutrients:

Objectives of a Balanced Diet:

 ICMR Five Food Groups

 Five Food Group Systems

 

Food Group

Main Nutrients

 I. Cereals, Grains and Products :

 Rice, Wheat, Ragi, Bajra, Maize, Jowar, Barley, Rice flakes,  Wheat Flour.

Energy, protein, Invisible fat Vitamin B1, Vitamin – B2, Folic Acid, Iron, Fibre.

II. Pulses and Legumes :

 Bengal gram, Black gram, Green gram, Red gram, Lentil  (whole as well as dhals) Cowpea, Peas, Rajmah, Soyabeans,  Beans

Energy, Protein, Invisible fat, Vitamin –B1, Vitamin – B2, Folic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Fibre.

 III. Milk and Meat Products :

 Milk :
 Milk, Curd, Skimmed milk,Cheese 

 Meat :
 Chicken, Liver, Fish, Egg, Meat.

Protein, Fat, Vitamin –B12, Calcium. 

Protein, Fat, Vitamin –B2

  IV. Fruits and Vegetables :

 Fruits :

 Mango, Guava, Tomato Ripe, Papaya, Orange. Sweet Lime,  Watermelon.

 

Carotenoids, Vitamin –C, Fibre.

 Vegetables (Green Leafy) :

 Amaranth, Spinach, Drumstick leaves, coriander leaves,  Mustard leaves, fenugreek leaves

Invisible Fats, Carotenoids, Vitamin –
B2, Folic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Fibre.

 Other Vegetables :

 Carrots, Brinjal, Ladies fingers, Capsicum, Beans, Onion,  Drumstick, Cauliflower.

Carotenoids, Folic Acid, Calcium, Fibre

 V. Fats and Sugars :

 Fats :

 Butter, Ghee, Hydrogenated oils, Cooking oils like Groundnut,  Mustard, Coconut.

 

Energy, Fat, Essential Fatty Acids

 Sugars :

 Sugar, Jaggery

Energy

Significance of the Five-Food Group System

The five food group system can be used for the following purposes :

i. Planning wholesome balanced menus to achieve nutritional adequacy.

ii. Assessing nutritional status – a brief diet history of an individual can disclose inadequacies of food and nutrients from any of the five groups.

Based on the assessment, nutrition education can be imparted to the individual.

Benefits of a Balanced Diet 

Balanced Diets for Adults


Food item

Adult Man

Adult Woman

Sedentary work

Moderate work

Heavy work

Sedentary
work

Moderate work

Heavy
work

Cereals and millets

470

550

750

370

450

575

Pulses

40

60

60

40

45

50

Leafy vegetables

100

100

100

100

100

100

Other vegetables

60

70

80

40

40

50

Roots and tubers

50

60

80

50

50

60

Fruits

30

30

30

30

30

30

Milk

150

200

250

100

150

200

Fats and oils

30

40

45

20

25

30

Sugar / Jaggery

30

40

50

25

30

30

Balanced Diets for Children and Adolescents


Food Groups

Children
Age in years

Adolescents
Age in years

1-3

4-6

7-9

10-12

13-15

16-18

Boys

Girls

Boys

Girls

Boys

Girls

Cereals and millets

180

275

285

335

300

410

340

460

325

Pulses

25

35

60

60

60

60

60

60

50

Leafy vegetables

40

50

50

75

75

100

100

100

100

Other  vegetables

20

30

50

50

50

75

75

75

75

Roots and tubers

10

20

30

30

30

50

50

50

50

Fruits

50

50

50

50

50

50

50

50

50

Milk

300

250

200

200

200

200

200

200

200

Fats and oils

15

25

30

30

30

50

40

50

40

Sugar / Jaggery

30

40

50

40

40

40

40

50

50

(For non-vegetarians substitute one pulse portion with one portion (50 g) of egg / meat / chicken / fish.)

Reference Body Weights of Indians Employed for Computing RDA, 2010

Age Group                                         Reference Body Weight (Kg)

Adult man                             

18-29 y                                                            60.0

Adult woman (NPNL)

 18-29 y                                                           55.0

Infants                                                           

0 - 6 m                                                              5.4

6 – 12 m                                                            8.4

Children

1 – 3 y                                                             12.9

4 – 6 y                                                             18.0

7 – 9 y                                                             25.1

Boys                  

10 - 12 y                                                          34.3

13 – 15 y                                                         47.6

16 – 17 y                                                         55.4

Girls

10 – 12 y                                                         35.0

13 – 15 y                                                         46.6

16 – 17 y                                                         52.1

 

Fruits

Aim for 1-1/2 to 2 cups of fruit per day. Any fruit or 100 percent fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group. 1 cup of fruit or 100 percent fruit juice or 1/2 cup of dried fruit can be considered as 1 cup. It is better to serve the fruit raw without much cooking or taking juice out of it. Every diet should contain atleast 1 medium size fruit.

 Vegetables

Include 2-1/2 cups of vegetables in your daily diet. Experts recommend that you cover half of your plate with vegetables at mealtimes. The vegetable food group is deliciously varied, including dark leafy greens, beans and peas, starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, and many more. In general, 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice or 2 cups of raw leafy greens can be considered as 1 cup from the vegetable group. Green leafy vegetables can be taken more than one serving, if fruit is not included in the diet. Inclusion of salads or raita not only helps in meeting the vitamin requirements but the meals would be attractive and have high satiety value due to the fibre content.

 Grains

Set a goal of getting 5 to 6 ounces of grains per day. Grains are divided into two groups: whole grains and refined grains. Experts recommend that at least half your grains be whole. Whole grain cereals, parboiled grains, or malted grains give higher nutritive value. Refined grains, such as white-flour products, have been processed and have less nutritional value than whole grains. In general, one slice of bread, 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal or 1/2 cup of cooked rice, cooked pasta or cooked cereal can be considered as a 1-ounce equivalent. Energy derived from cereals should be not more than 75 %. It is better to include 2 cereals in one meal like rice and wheat or rice and millets.

 Protein foods

 Aim for 5 ounces of proteins each day. 2 to 3 servings of pulses should be taken every day. All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts and seeds are part of the protein food group. In general, 1 ounce of meat, poultry or fish; 1/4 cup cooked beans; one egg; 1 tablespoon of peanut butter; or 1/2 ounce of nuts or seeds is considered a 1-ounce equivalent. Choose lean cuts of meat and skinless poultry, as well as omega-3-rich fish, such as salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel. As you are planning your weekly meals, include at least 8 ounces of cooked seafood. Opt for raw or unsalted nuts and seeds (measure out your portions — they're easy to overeat). To improve the proteins quality minimum ratio of cereal protein to pulse protein should be 4:1. In terms of the grains it will be 8 parts of cereals and 1 part of pulses. One egg weighs around 40 gm. This can be served along with cereals or pulses to improve the quality of protein. Instead, one serving of poultry/ fish can also be included in the diet.

  Dairy

Consume 3 cups of dairy each day. All fluid milk products and many milk-based foods are considered part of this food group. In general, 1 cup of milk, yogurt or soymilk (soy beverage), 1-1/2 ounces of natural cheese or 2 ounces of processed cheese can be considered as a 1-cup equivalent. When buying dairy products, opt for low fat or fat-free items.

Oils 

Though oils are not considered a food group, they do provide nutrients essential for health. Derived primarily from plants, such as olive, vegetable, nut and avocado, oils can be used for cooking, baking and flavoring. Most oils are high in monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, which are favorable to heart health. Aim for 5 to 6 teaspoons of oils each day.

Solid fats such as butter and lard, which tend to be high in saturated fats. Saturated fats, of course, are linked to heart disease and should be avoided.

Energy derived from fats or oils is 15-20 % of total calories.

UseNon-stick cookwares while cooking to reduce oil.

WATER 

 Water is considered to be the source of life. It is important for animal life because of the following reasons:

 (i) Water is vital body fluid which is essential for regulating the processes such as , digestion , transport of nutrients and excretion. Water dissolves ionic and large number of polar organic compounds. Thus, it transports the products of digestion to the place of requirement of the body.

 (ii) Water regulates the body temperature by the process of sweating and evaporation.

 (iii) Water is a medium for all metabolic reactions in the body. All metabolic reactions in the body take place in solution phase.

 (iv) Water provides habitat for various animals in the form of ponds and rivers, sea, etc.

  How low levels of water affects our body:

 

 

 

 

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