Dietary goals and guidelines
This topic covers the dietary goals and summary dietary guidelines for Indians.
- Maintenance of a state of positive health and optimal performance in populations at large by maintaining ideal body weight.
- Ensuring adequate nutritional status for pregnant women and lactating mothers.
- Improvement of birth weights and promotion of growth of infants, children and adolescents to achieve their full genetic potential.
- Achievement of adequacy in all nutrients and prevention of deficiency diseases.
- Prevention of chronic diet-related disorders.
- Maintenance of the health of the elderly and increasing the life expectancy.
Dietary Guidelines - A broad framework for action
Right nutritional behavior and dietary choices are needed to achieve dietary goals. The following 15 dietary guidelines provide a broad framework for appropriate action:
- Eat variety of foods to ensure a balanced diet.
- Ensure provision of extra food and healthcare to pregnant and lactating women.
- Promote exclusive breastfeeding for six months and encourage breastfeeding till two years or as long as one can.
- Feed home based semi solid foods to the infant after six months.
- Ensure adequate and appropriate diets for children and adolescents, both in health and sickness.
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits.
- Ensure moderate use of edible oils and animal foods and very less use of ghee/ butter/ vanaspati.
- Avoid overeating to prevent overweight and obesity.
- Exercise regularly and be physically active to maintain ideal body weight.
- Restrict salt intake to minimum.
- Ensure the use of safe and clean foods.
- Adopt right pre-cooking processes and appropriate cooking methods.
- Drink plenty of water and take beverages in moderation.
- Minimize the use of processed foods rich in salt, sugar and fats.
- Include micronutrient-rich foods in the diets of elderly people to enable them to be fit and active.