Food for Thought: ICMR’s Blueprint for a Healthier India

Food for Thought: ICMR's Blueprint for a Healthier India

Food for Thought: ICMR's Blueprint for a Healthier India

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A startling revelation has emerged: unhealthy dietary practices are the root cause of 56 percent of health issues in India.

5 June 2024

By Payoshi Bisht 

In the bustling streets of India, where the aroma of spices mingles with the cacophony of life, a silent epidemic lurks in the shadows, stealthily infiltrating households and sowing the seeds of ill-health. Despite the burgeoning popularity of organic foods and the fervent crusade against junk, a startling revelation emerges: unhealthy dietary practices are the root cause of 56 percent of health issues in India.

Hope glimmers on the horizon in the form of a groundbreaking report unveiled by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR-NIN). Like a beacon of light piercing through the darkness, this report shines a spotlight on 17 pivotal guidelines aimed at reshaping food habits and practices, with the noble aim of combating diabetes, obesity and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The Journey to Wellness Begins: ICMR’s Dietary Guidelines for Indians (DGI)

In a digital age where information reigns supreme, the ICMR’s Dietary Guidelines for Indians (DGI) stand as a testament to the power of knowledge in transforming lives. With a click of a button, this enlightening manifesto has captured the attention of thousands, garnering over 7k views and counting.

Breaking Down the Blueprint for Health: Key Insights from the Guidelines

As we delve into the heart of these guidelines, a roadmap to optimal health begins to emerge. For a daily intake of 2000 kcal, the guidelines prescribe a balanced diet comprising 250 grams of cereals, 400 grams of vegetables, 100 grams of fruits, 85 grams of pulses/eggs/flesh foods, 35 grams of nuts and seeds and 27 grams of fat/oils.

Beyond the Basics: Unveiling the Nuances of Nutrition

But the guidelines extend far beyond mere caloric counts and food groups. They delve into the intricate dance of macronutrients and micronutrients, urging individuals to source their nutritional needs from a diverse array of foods. With a clarion call to reduce cereal intake to 45 percent of total energy, the guidelines highlight the dangers of micronutrient deficiencies resulting from over-reliance on grains.

Navigating the Dietary Landscape: Challenges and Solutions

For vegetarians, the journey to nutritional adequacy presents unique challenges. The guidelines advocate for the inclusion of n-3 PUFA-rich foods like flax seeds and chia seeds, offering a lifeline to those grappling with B12 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid deficiencies.

A Call to Action: Empowering Individuals to Make Informed Choices

But the journey to wellness is not a solitary one. It is a collective endeavour that requires the active participation of every individual. With a rallying cry to limit sugar intake to less than 5 percent of total energy and to eschew protein supplements in favour of whole foods, the guidelines empower individuals to take charge of their health destiny.