Important points to be considered while planning a diet:

Planning a diet:

  • Making a menu :

The food that are listed in step to are converted into actual recipes and distributed in different meals like breakfast, lunch, evening tea and dinner For planning many of the following points should be considered.

  • Variety of food should be used in the menu. No single food will have all the nutrients.
  • For all the nutrients minimum RDA should be met. For energy the total calories can be RDA + 50 (or) RDA – 50.
  • Energy derived from cereals should not be more than 75%.
  • Whole grain cereals, parboiled grains (or) malted grains give higher nutritive value.
  • It is better to include two cereals in one meal like rice and wheat (or) millets and rice.
  • Flour should not be saved for chapatis as it reduces the Bran.
  • To improve the cereals and pulse protein, minimum ratio of cereal to pulse protein is 4 : 1.
  • 2 to 3 serving of pulses should be taken everyday.
  • Green leafy vegetables can be taken more than one serving, if fruits are not included in the diet include colorful fruits and vegetables.
  • Food rich in fiber should be included in the diet.
  • It is better to serve the fruit raw without much cooking and taking juice  out of it. Every diet should contain at least one medium sized fruit.
  • There should be a minimum amount of milk that is 100 ml/day or curd should be included in the balanced diet.
  • Energy derived from fats in oils is 15 to 20% of the total calories and 5% from sugars and jaggery.
  • One egg weighs around 50 grams. This can be served along with cereal and pulses to improve the protein quality. Instead of egg even one serving of poultry or fish can be included in the diet.
  • Inclusion of salads and Raita not only helps in meeting vitamins requirement but the meals would be attractive and have Satiety values due to the fiber content.
  •  Fixed food cannot be planned, if oil allowance is less or in low calorie diet.
  • 1/3 of the nutritional requirement at least calories and proteins should be met by lunch and dinner.
  • Use salt in moderation.
  • Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.
  • Five servings of fruits and vegetables should be included. Usually the number of meals can be more than four for every young children patients.

Steps involved in planning a diet :

There are three steps involved in planning a diet.

  • Recommended dietary allowances RDA :

To calculate a balanced diet as the first step there is a need to know RDA for different age groups prescribed by nutrition expert committee of ICMR.

  • Food list :

Food list can be prepared either by using ICMR table or food exchange list.

  1. Using ICMR Table:

As a second step while planning a daily diet, the foods arechosen from all five food groups first top to make menu planning more convenient ICMR has suggested the portion size and balanced diet for adults and for different  age groups.

2. Using exchange list

The exchange list are basis of meal planning. Food exchange list are groups of measured foods of the same calorific value and similar proteins, fat and carbohydrates. All the food of exchange let’s make a specific contribution to a good diet, the diet can also be prescribed in terms of exchange list each exchange provides 100 kilocalories. Recipes from exchange list are selected from all groups and energy and protein values are calculated in accordance with the RDA.

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