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ICMR issues dietary guidelines for Indians, says ‘avoid’ protein supplements | Mint – Mint

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The Hyderabad-based National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), which is part of the Indian Council of Medical Research, has called for avoiding protein supplements for building body mass, reported news agency PTI.

The ICMR body on Wednesday released a revised Dietary Guidelines for Indians (DGIs), which mentions the guidelines required to meet essential nutrients and prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

It is also recommended that salt intake be restricted, sugar and ultra-processed foods be minimised, and information on food labels be read to make informed and healthy food choices.

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Drafted by a multidisciplinary committee of experts led by Dr Hemalatha R, Director, ICMR-NIN, the DGIs have undergone several scientific reviews and include 17 guidelines.

The NIN mentioned that prolonged intake of large amounts of protein powders or consumption of high protein concentrate has been associated with potential dangers such as bone mineral loss and kidney damage.

According to guidelines, 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 millet. Adding more, it said sugar should be 15 per cent of calories from pulses, beans and meat.

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The guidelines also stated that the rest of the calories should come from nuts, vegetables, fruits, and milk, while total fat intake should be less than or equal to 30 per cent energy.

Citing the limited availability and high cost of pulses and meat, the ICMR-NIN said that a significant proportion of the Indian population relies heavily on cereals, resulting in poor intake of essential macronutrients and micronutrients.

Cautioning the side effects, the body said that low intake of essential nutrients may disrupt metabolism and raise the risk of insulin resistance and associated disorders from a young age.

As per the central health monitoring body, around 56.4 per cent of the total disease burden in India is due to unhealthy diets.

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The guidelines said that physical activity and healthy diets may help reduce a substantial proportion of coronary heart disease (CHD) and hypertension (HTN) and prevent up to 80 per cent of type 2 diabetes.

“A significant proportion of premature deaths can be averted by following a healthy lifestyle,” it said.

With agency inputs.

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Published: 09 May 2024, 09:27 PM IST

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