Before understanding about malnutrition let’s first have a look at what an ideal Nutritional Pyramid should be like.
A Food Pyramid is a visual tool that is used as a guide in designing a healthy diet. It helps to provide a framework for the types and amounts of food that can be eaten in combination for a healthy diet.
The Indian adaptation of the Food Pyramid is divided into four levels of foods according to recommended consumption:
* Cereals, legumes/beans, at the base --should be eaten in sufficient quantity. eg muesli, wheat flour, besan, rajma, chole etc;
* Vegetables and fruits on the second level should be eaten liberally. eg. cucumber, beetroot, carrot, banana, guava, watermelon, apple etc;
* Animal source foods and oils at the third level are to be eaten moderately. eg. chicken, fish, meat, pork etc.;
* At the apex, highly processed foods that are high in sugar and fat are to be eaten sparingly. eg. potato chips, bakery items, cold drinks, soda etc.
Now that you know about an ideal Food Pyramid , it will be easy for you to understand about balanced diet. This read is for you to better understand about malnutrition .
A balanced diet should be based on eating a variety of different foods, and eating foods that have not been processed. This means trying natural unprocessed foods.
People should look to eat 5 Portions or more of fruits and vegetables a day, reduce the amount of processed food they eat, and ensure they drink at least 2 litres of water a day, strike a balance between the amount of carbs, fats and proteins consumed, reduce the amount of table salt intake (below 6g) and reduce the amount of sugar in their diet, upto 2 tsp/day.
What is malnutrition? Signs of malnutrition?
Malnutrition refers to deficiencies, excesses, or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients.
The term malnutrition addresses 3 broad groups of conditions:
Undernutrition, which includes wasting (low weight-for-height), stunting (low height-for-age) and underweight (low weight-for-age)
Micronutrient-related malnutrition includes micronutrient deficiencies (a lack of important vitamins and minerals) or micronutrient excess
Overweight, obesity -- another kind of malnutrition which leads to diet-related non-communicable diseases (such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers)
Some of the signs of malnutrition include unintentional weight loss, lack of appetite, being sick, injured or having an underlying health issue.
Symptoms can include tiredness, lack of energy or strength and more.
If you find these symptoms are chronic , please do connect with a health professional for guidance and treatment.
Q&A Courtesy Bipasha Das, a certified health coach and nutritionist. She runs a diet and wellness clinic ‘Sugati’. She has been awarded Most Recommended Nutritionist of the Year 2018-19 by Brands Impact. She has worked with top hospitals, and is a life member of the Indian Dietetic Association and on the panels of renowned corporate houses like Ericsson, GE Power. Bipasha is working with Municipal Corporation of Delhi - Public Health Department( South Zone) as a consultant, and creating awareness programmes on Women and Children Health, Health for Public Health Workers, Office Sedentary Workers etc.
*Answers are based on general queries. Please contact a professional for any personal treatment.
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