New diet norms okay small peg

National Institute of Nutrition comes out with guidelines on what to eat


The new guidelines on “what to eat and what not” have recommended certain key changes—10 per cent cut on carbohydrate intake and slight increase in protein—from a ten-year-old diet chart prepared by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad. 

On alcohol, the 1998 NIN diet chart was explicit in its advice: “Alcohol intake should neither be encouraged nor recommended for non-users. Regular excessive intake of alcohol is harmful.  Till more data are available for Asian Indians, non-consumers of alcohol should not have alcohol. However, individuals consuming small quantity of alcohol should not be discouraged.”

“Those who consume alcohol regularly can take a small quality after consulting his physician if the person does not have any problem with liver and pancreas,” said Anoop Misra, director of the department of diabetes and metabolic disorder at Fortis Hospital, here and one of the doctors involved with the exercise.
“Scientific studies abroad have shown if somebody consumes a small quantity of alcohol like one peg of 30 ml, it has a beneficial effect on the heart. If they increase their alcohol consumption, then it becomes a problem,” NIN director B Sesikeran told Deccan Herald.

The fresh dietary guidelines were prepared from a national consultation organised by the department of science and technology in April involving doctors from private and public hospitals. The Diabetes Foundation of India coordinated the entire process.
With life-style diseases like diabetes and hypertension on the rise, a new dietary guideline is expected to aid the clinicians to rein in these disorders.
The two major new suggestions are: 10 per cent cut in the carbohydrate intake and a marginal increase in protein consumption.
“Moreover, it suggests using a combination of mustard oil with soya or canola oil as cooking medium as they contain certain beneficial fatty acids,” said Seema Gulati from the Diabetes Foundation of India.

“A revision on carbohydrate intake was required as people have become more sedentary in their lifestyle. As their energy expenditure has reduced, the carbohydrate budget should also be lowered,” Sesikeran said. The increase in protein content would help in muscle building, Gulati said.

 On how to choose healthy snack options, it says smaller portion sizes should be preferred over larger and aerated drinks and high calorie drinks should be avoided. Instead one should opt for butter milk, coconut water and, fresh lime with water.
Since total dietary fibre should be 25 to 40 gm per day, high fibre food articles which necessitated regular consumption of fruits like guava, amla, apple, pomegranate, peaches as well as whole wheat flour have been suggested.

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