Friday, 22 July 2011

Official Indian Diet

It's a manual that has an exercise-cum-diet plan for the average Indian as per Indian Council of Medical Research norms. The new norms call for exclusive breastfeeding of babies for more than six months (revised from the earlier four), and for those with a sedentary lifestyle, an increase in vegetable and fruit intake from the present 150 gm a day to 300 gm, increase in minimum fat percentage in terms of total calorie intake from 15 gm a day to 20 gm a day, cutting daily salt intake to 6 gm, reduced usage of processed foods and drinking lots of water. Health and food experts have their say on the new food pattern....

Chef's take 
Chef Jaydeep Mukherjee says the official Indian diet looks good but he'd add more choices to it. "From a chef's perspective, the diet could become monotonous," he says, "There's plenty more that could be added to the diet to increase its appeal. The average urban Indian today is adventurous when it comes to food and I think other regional and international cuisines have a lot to offer to healthy diets."

Nutritionist Naini Setalvad finds the food plan to be good but also high in quantity, especially grains. "There are too few fruits and the vegetable portions are less. Also, there should only be one cup low-fat cow's milk throughout the entire day, including tea. For lunch, either have roti or rice and choose between dal and dahi. Fruit is not had at dinner but is an apt snack in the evening so women and men can have even three fruits then," she says.

Fitness enthusiast 
Trainer Deanne Panday says the diet works but can be tough to maintain and offers tips to make it work. "For instance, if you are having a dosa, try and make it with just one teaspoon oil or if you're having a curry or vegetable, see that it's not overdone, or its goodness will be lost. Adding a steamed fish for lunch or some fruit for breakfast to it might be a good idea. You can also add a cucumber or carrot salad and at night, if you're eating rice, drain the water from it so that so as to get rid of its starch quotient." 

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