Better Nutrition for better Health.. ..Importance of a balanced diet

National Nutrition Week creates awareness about the Nutrition and its Importance for the Human Body. Its prime focus is on creating Better Nutrition for better Health. The main objective of the National Nutrition Week is to enhance the nutritional practice awareness among people of the community through various campaigns, trying to create a healthy Nation in totality.

A healthy diet maintains and improves general health, provides energy and prevents various diseases. It contains, a balance of all nutrients including carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fibre and water in suitable proportion.

In hospitals a dietician asses an individuals diet as per daily requirements, and suggests modification as per age, activity levels and associated health condition. The dietician plays a vital role in planning and adjusting food requirements for those suffering from obesity, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, and metabolic disorders. A dietician will help to maintain the ideal body that is required for you. Diet alone, can improve many health disorders and a recommended diet can improve your health.

5 food groups which are vital and need to be included to give that balanced meal includes:

  • Starch or Carbohydrates: Energy group foods egs include: potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, grains, cereals and brown rice.
  • Milk and milk products is an essential part of the diet. Should be part of the daily meal plan. This food group provides the required calcium needed for healthy bones and teeth. It’s also a good source of protein
  • Protein rich foods like beans, pulses, fish, poultry, eggs and nuts, legumes is extremely important to be part of the diet.
  • Fruits and vegetables: at least 7 portions of vegetables and fruits should be consumed as antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties and reduces the risk pf various diseases. They have a required concentrate of vitamins and minerals .Apart from this it also includes a lot of fibre which helps in bowel movements
  • Fats and sugars – in restricted amount.
  • Fibre should be part of the diet and will improve digestion in the body. Found in fruits and vegetables

Certain restrictions are essential in the diet so as to reduce the risk factors in precipitating many diseases.

  • Salt restriction is one of the most important concerns as it can be detrimental in patients suffering from cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Better to avoid salt containing food items and restrict adding extra salt to prepared food.
  • Diet with high sugar content is found in aerated drinks, chocolates, ice creams etc. and can also be a precursor to weight gain and diabetes. Such items should be consumed in moderation.

It is also very important to determine the age group, gender and activity level of an individual when a diet is planned. A balanced diet is important in all respects, but depending on the age the need for certain food groups can be higher than others.

For instance in children protein are extremely important for growth and muscle build up. Emery rich food should also be consumed in even proportion due the activity levels; this can be different in boys and girls at various age groups. Athletes and those having physically demanding jobs require high amount of energy rich foods.

So, moderation and requirements differ as per these above considerations. The role of the dietician here is also important as she will take into respect all these facts to plan an appropriate and balanced diet program. Apart from diet, exercise, stress free life and habits that can unnecessarily become risk fa tors should also be considered when one wants to achieve a healthy life.

For any further queries regarding diet please visit our centres at Wockhardt Hospital.