PLAN YOUR MEAL
Diet has a powerful yet complex effect on health. A 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.
In addition a balanced diet should provide dietary fibre and anti-oxidants which have a positive health benefits.
A balanced diet should provide around 60% - 70% of total calories from carbohydrates, 10 % - 12 % from protein and 20% - 25% of total calories from fat.
A balanced diet
- Meets nutritional requirement
- Prevents degenerative diseases
- Improves longevity
- Prolongs productive life
- Improves immunity
- Increases endurance levels
- Helps in coping with stress
THE FIVE FOOD GROUP SYSTEM
Cereal, Grains & Products:
Rice, Wheat, Ragi, Bajra, Maise, Jowar, Barley, Rice flakes, Wheat flour.
Pulses & Legumes
Bengal gram, Black gram, Green gram, Red gram, Lentil (whole as well as dals), Cow peas, Peas, Rajma, Soyabean, Beans.
Milk & Meat Products
Milk, Curd, Skimmed Milk, Cheese, Chicken, Liver, Fish, Eggs, Meat.
Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits : Mango, Guava, Tomato, Papaya, Orange, Sweet lime, Water melon
Green Leafy Vegetables : Amaranth, Spinach, Gogu, Drumstick leaves, Coriander Leaves, Fenugreek Leaves.
Other Vegetables : Carrots, Brinjal, Ladies finger, Beans, Capsicum, Onion, Drumsticks, Cauliflower.
Fats & Sugar
Fats : Butter, Ghee, Hydrogenated Fat, Cooking oils like groundnut, mustard, coconut.
Sugar : Jaggery and Sugar
Energy, Protein, Fat, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Folic Acid, Iron, Fibre.
Energy, Protein, Fat, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Folic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Fibre.
Protein, Fat, Vitamin B2, Calcium
Carotenoids, Vitamin C, FIbre, Fat, Vitamin B2, Folic Acid, Iron.
Carotenoids, Vitamin B2, Folic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Fibre.
Carotenoids, Folic Acid, Calcium, Fibre.
Energy, Fat, Essential Fatty Acids.
POINTS TO BE CONSIDERED
WHILE PLANNING A DIET
- Ideally each meal should consist of all 5 food groups.
- For all nutrients, the minimum required daily allowance (RDA) must be met.
- Energy derived from cereals should not be more than 75%.
- It is better to include two cereals in one meal like rice and wheat OR millets and rice.
- Whole green cereals, parboiled grains or malted grains give higher nutritive value.
- Variety of foods should be used in the menu. No single food has all the nutrients.
- Flour should not be sieved for chapati as it reduces the bran content.
- Two to three servings of pulses should be taken everyday. Germinated pulses are more nutritious/
- One egg weights approximately 40g. This can be served along with cereal or pulses to improve the quality of protein. Instead, one serving of poultry / fish can also be included in the diet.
- A minimum quantity of 500 ml / day should be included. Two glasses of milk or curd should be a part of a balanced diet. Curd provides pro-biotics. Low fat milk should be preferred.
- Foods rich in fibre should be included.
- Every meal should contain atleast one medium size fruit. It is better to serve the fruit raw. Making juices causes loss of Vitamin C.
- Inclusion of salads or raita not only help in meeting the vitamin requirements but the meals would be attractive and have a high satiety value (filling) due to the fibre content.
- More than one serving of green leafy vegetables can be consumed.
- Five servings of colorful fruits and vegetables should be included in a day's diet to meet the anti-oxidant requirement.
- Energy derived from fats or oils is 15-20 % of total calories and 5% from sugar and jaggery.
- Minimise refined cereals like maida.
- Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol.
- Use salt and sugar in moderation.
- 1/3rd of nutritional requirement - atleast calories and protein should be met by lunch as well as dinner.
- Water should be consumed in adequate quantities.
- Use of processed and ready to eat foods should be minimum as they contain a variety of food additives.
Below is a sample menu plan
Here are the blank menu planning columns to help you get started!
Referring to the food values mentioned on know your calories page, you can start planning you own menus!
GOOD LUCK! n stay fit!