Points to be considered in planning a diet

Normal and Therapeutic Nutrition 3(2+1)
Lesson 3:Meal planning

Points to be considered in planning a diet

  • Variety of foods should be used in each menu.
  • Minimum RDA must be met for all nutrients. For energy, total calories can be as per RDA.
  • Energy derived from cereals should not be more than 75 per cent
  • Whole grain cereals, parboiled rice, malted grains have higher nutritive value.
  • Use two cereals in one meal

  • Ex: Rice + wheat

    Wheat + millets

    Rice + millets etc.

  • Wheat flour should not be sieved, it reduces bran content.
    • To improve cereal and pulse protein quality minimum ratio of
    • Cereal protein: pulse protein of 4:1 is to be maintained
    • In terms of grains Cereal protein : pulse protein the ratio should be 8:1
  • 2 – 3 servings of pulses should be taken every day.
  • More than 1 serving green leafy vegetables can be taken, if fruits are not included. Include Fruits and vegetables of different colors to make it colorful.
  • Fruits rich in fiber should be included.
  • It is better to serve the fruit raw without much cooking or taking juice out of it.
  • Every day diet should contain at least 1 medium sized fruit.
  • Minimum 100 ml of milk/day should be consumed. Minimum of 1-2 glasses of milk/curd per day is recommended.
  • Energy derived from foods per day from
    • Fats and oils should be 15-20% of total calories
    • Jaggery/ sugars should be 5% of total calories
  • One egg weighs around 40 gm. It can be served along with cereal/ pulse to improve quality of protein (or) one serving of poultry/ fish can be included.
    • Inclusion of salad or raita helps to
    • Meet vitamin requirements
    • Make meal attractive
    • High satiety value due to fiber
  • For a low calorie diet, fried foods cannot be planned.
  • 1/3rd of day’s nutritional requirement atleast calories/ proteins should be met in lunch or dinner.
  • Meal planning should be done at a time for several days.
  • Usually number of meals should be 4 times. For children and patients number of meals can be more.
  • Ideally, each meal should have all 5 food groups.
  • For quick calculations food exchange lists can be used.
  • Five servings of fruits and vegetables per day should be included to meet antioxidant requirement.
  • Choose a diet low in fat; saturated fats and cholesterol.
  • Combination of oils can balance n-3 and n-6 fatty acids.
  • Use moderate amount of salt.
  • Processed foods contain food additives. They may not be nutritionally balanced unless fortified.
Last modified: Saturday, 22 October 2011, 10:35 AM