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Nutrition means consuming all the available nutrients in a balanced way
Tuesday, 15 September, 2020, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Dr Akanksha Mishra
On this occasion of National Nutrition month also known as PoshanMaah, let’s talk about nutrition for everyone.

Nutrition for the human body means consuming all the available nutrients in a balanced way - Carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water are those nutrients. Eating food which is a combination of these nutrients in a healthy manner can help children get the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. For adults, a healthy diet can help your body to function properly and protect against a number of serious and costly chronic diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and obesity.
Nutritional deficiency and how to treat via food options
A 2018 study in the Indian Journal of Medical Research underlines the fact that despite advances in meeting nutritional requirements since 1947, especially where micronutrients like iodine and vitamin A are concerned, iron-deficiency anaemia affects 50-60% of the Indian population. Another study in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care in 2018 shows that 80-90% of the Indian population of all age groups and high-risk groups alike are vitamin D- deficient, which is simply alarming.

In such a situation, if you want to check the nutritional status of your body or whether you are moving on the right track one can get a blood test, urine test, stool test, BMI, Waist circumference, waist-hip ratio done which are the real marker of anyone’s heath. You should also get a basic health check-up done every once in a year to check the current situation of your body.

How to get optimal nutrition
Healthy and balanced nutrition should be started from childhood. Once your child is 12 months old or older, they’ll be eating more of the foods that and adult eats. Eating a healthy diet sets a good example for your children. It’s important for children and adults alike to limit foods that are high in sodium, unhealthy fats and added sugars.

When you are planning to cook the meal for the whole family, try to add all type of food groups in your food plate, such as carbohydrate, whole wheat or mixed grain chapatti or hand-pounded rice; for protein and calcium add milk, curd, paneer, pulses, legumes, egg, chicken, fish; for healthy fats add olive oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, almond, walnut, pine nuts and so on. For vitamins, minerals and antioxidants add colourful fruits and vegetables. Do not forget to take a good amount of water in your daily diet. This type of diet can fulfil all the nutritional requirements of your body without any supplementation.

Work on habits which gives you over nutrition (a type of malnutrition)
Food which is high in calories, simple carbohydrates, unhealthy fats and high levels of sodium can give you obesity and other health-related issues. Try to cut them from your daily diet.
•    Try to avoid table salt. Replace it with lemon or herbs.
•    Avoid packaged and processed food and snack such as chips, namkeen, biscuits, rusk, burger, pizza. Try to take home-cooked snack such as homemade khakhra, roasted chana, roasted foxnut.
•    Avoid Coke, Pepsi, Limca or any other carbonated drink and replace it with homemade nimbupani, jaljeera, salted buttermilk.

Take home message
Always consume home cooked balanced meals to fulfil your nutritional requirements. Avoid complication or deficiencies and do a regular health checkup.

(The author is a nutritionist with over seven years of experience)
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