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No sugar for infants, focus on veggies, fish, poultry, pulses: new dietary guidelines

Due to the limited availability and high cost of pulses and meat, a significant proportion of the Indian population relies heavily on cereals, resulting in poor intake of essential macronutrients (essential amino acids and essential fatty acids) and micronutrients.

News Arena Network - New Delhi - UPDATED: May 9, 2024, 07:51 PM - 3 mins read

No sugar for infants, focus on veggies, fish, poultry, pulses: new dietary guidelines

No sugar for infants, focus on veggies, fish, poultry, pulses: new dietary guidelines

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The Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR-NIN) has released new dietary guidelines after 13 years. The National Dietary Guidelines issued by the ICMR-NIN suggest no sugar for infants and toddlers until age two, only 5 per cent of daily calories from sugar, and at least 500 gm of fruits and vegetables in daily meals.

 

Moreover, the guidelines recommend avoiding protein supplements for building body mass, restricting salt intake, minimising sugar and ultra-processed foods, and reading information on food labels to make informed and healthy food choices.

 

The NIN has released revised 'Dietary Guidelines for Indians (DGIs)' with a view to fulfilling essential nutrient requirements and preventing non-communicable diseases (NCDs). 

 

A multidisciplinary committee of experts, led by Dr Hemalatha R, Director, ICMR-NIN, underwent several scientific reviews and drafted the DGIs. The guidelines consist of seventeen items.

 

The "My Plate for the Day" guidelines suggest that we should obtain macronutrients and micronutrients from at least eight different food groups. Of these food groups, vegetables, fruits, green leafy vegetables, roots, and tubers should make up half of the recommended daily food intake.

 

Cereals and millets make up the other major portion, followed by pulses, flesh foods, eggs, nuts, oil seeds, and milk or curd. 

 

Foods such as nuts, oilseeds, and fish are excellent sources of high-quality fats, proteins, vitamins, and other essential nutrients.

According to the guidelines, foods such as nuts, oilseeds, and fish are excellent sources of high-quality fats, proteins, vitamins, and other essential nutrients. Seeds such as fenugreek, amaranth, flax, chia, and basil can be consumed at least three to four times a week as they have health-promoting effects.

 

In the DGIs, the NIN stated that prolonged intake of large amounts of protein powders or consumption of high protein concentrate has been associated with potential dangers such as bone mineral loss and kidney damage.

 

It also stated that sugar should be less than 5 per cent of total energy intake and a balanced diet should provide not more than 45 per cent calories from cereals, and millets and up to 15 per cent of calories from pulses, beans and meat.

 

The guidelines said the rest of the calories should come from nuts, vegetables, fruits, and milk. Total fat intake should be less than or equal to 30 per cent energy.

 

It stated that due to the limited availability and high cost of pulses and meat, a significant proportion of the Indian population relies heavily on cereals, resulting in poor intake of essential macronutrients (essential amino acids and essential fatty acids) and micronutrients.

 

As per the NIN, 56.4 per cent of India’s total disease burden is due to unhealthy diets.




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