Healthy diet averts early deaths – The New Indian Express

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GUNTUR: Healthy diets and physical activity can reduce a substantial proportion of coronary heart disease and hypertension and prevent up to 80 percent of type 2 diabetes, says top medical body ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research). It suggests the public to practise a healthy lifestyle, which helps in averting a significant proportion of premature deaths.

ICMR in association with NIN (National Institution of Nutrition) released a revised Dietary Guidelines for Indians (DGIs). The report includes 17 guidelines for people belonging to all walks of life. The suggestions include a list of a variety of foods to ensure a balanced diet, food and healthcare during pregnancy and lactation, appropriate food for infants, diets for children and adolescents both in health and sickness, nutrient rich food for elderly.

It also stressed on the importance of physical activity, exercises, salt intake, adaptation of proper pre-cooking and cooking methods, consumption of sugar, salt (HFSS) and ultra-processed foods (UPFs).

Encouraging reading information on food labels to make informed and healthy food choices, the report added that the upsurge in the consumption of highly processed foods laden with sugars and fats, coupled with reduced physical activity and limited access to diverse foods, aggravated micronutrient deficiencies and obesity.

The ICMR guidelines emphasise the importance of a balanced diet. It 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 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, the guidelines said.

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