Humans would like a large vary of nutrients to guide a healthy and active life. For providing these nutrients, smart nutrition or correct intake of food in reference to the body’s dietary wants is needed. Associate adequate, well diet combined with regular physical activity may be a cornerstone of excellent health. Poor nutrition will cause reduced immunity, hyperbolic condition to illness, impaired physical and mental development, and reduced productivity. A healthy diet consumed throughout the life-course helps in preventing deficiency disease altogether its forms in addition as big selection of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and conditions. However fast urbanization/globalization, hyperbolic consumption of processed foods and dynamic lifestyles has semiconductor diode to a shift in dietary patterns.
People area unit overwhelming additional foods high in energy, fats, free sugars or salt/sodium, and plenty of don’t eat enough fruits, vegetables and dietary fibres like whole grains. So, these all factors area unit tributary to associate degree unbalanced consumption. A balanced and healthy diet can vary looking on the individual desires (e.g. age, gender, lifestyle, degree of physical activity), cultural context, domestically obtainable foods and dietary customs however the essential principles of what represent a healthy diet stay an equivalent. The major food problems with concern area unit insufficient/ unbalanced intake of foods/nutrients. One among the foremost common nutritionary issues of public health importance in India area unit low birth weight, macromolecule energy deficiency disease in youngsters, chronic energy deficiency in adults, substance deficiency disease and diet connected non-communicable diseases.
Since a healthy diet consists of different kinds of foods, the emphasis has been shifted from nutrient orientation to the food based approach. Foods can be categorized according to the function as-
- Energy rich foods (Carbohydrates and fats)-whole grain cereals, millets, vegetable oils, ghee, nuts and oilseeds and sugars.
- Body building foods (Proteins)- Pulses, nuts and oilseeds, milk and milk products, meat, fish, poultry.
- Protective foods (Vitamins and minerals) – Green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, fruits, eggs, milk and milk products and flesh foods.
- Prefer homemade foods against fast food.
- Eat raw fruits and vegetables whenever possible. It is even preferable to have fruits and raw vegetables instead of munching on snacks.
- Keep your salt intake to less than 5 grams per day as it helps to prevent hypertension, and reduces the risk of heart disease. Prefer iodized salt.
- Serve yourself small portions of high calorie foods and large portions of healthy foods like vegetables, salads and soups.
- Good nutrition need not always be expensive. You can get all the nutrients from low cost foods items as well like beans and lentils, eggs, jaggery, seasonal fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables.
- Eat raw vegetables whenever possible. If you need to cook them, use as little water as possible because many nutrients are destroyed by heat or boiled water.
- Eat fruits and vegetables with skins (apart from carrots, which can absorb toxins from the soil). Wash them thoroughly first.