Healthy Eating principles
Healthy eating principles are
essential guidelines which help bring about general growth,
maintenance, and development of the body. The basic principle of a
balanced meal is to ensure that all the food requirements of the
body are met in a regulated manner. A healthy meal plan avoids
excess consumption of refined sugars, and fats in general and
saturated fat in particular.
Cereals - Whole grains, cereals, (like wheat, rice, ragi, maize,
bajra,) and whole wheat bread should form the largest part of the
meal. They are healthier than processed and refined cereals like
white bread, biscuits, cakes, naan etc. Restrict foods made from
maida like white bread, naan, biscuit, cake etc.
Beans, legumes and pulses - All types of beans, legumes
are good, provided they are cooked with less oil or ghee.
Grams, peas, beans, whole and/or,
dehusked and split dals and gram flour (besan),
rajmah, soybeans are all
healthy choice. They are a good
source of protein for vegetarians.
Vegetables constitute the next important part of the meal. Most
vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, as well
as high in fibre.
Fruits – Fruits are
rich in vitamins, minerals and
anti-oxidants, as well as high in fibre.
Most fruits can be taken in moderate amounts (about 2-3 servings).
Milk or milk
products – Double toned or skimmed milk is preferable to whole
or buffalo milk, as the latter is
rich in fat. Milk products
such as cottage cheese,
cheese and curd prepared from skimmed or double toned milk
maybe taken in moderation.
Meat/Fish/Chicken - Fish, chicken, white of eggs are healthier
choices amongst the non-vegetarian foods. Red meat, sausage, bacon,
ham, liver, kidney, egg yolk, fish or chicken cooked in rich
gravies/curries like butter chicken, mutton kormas are not healthy
choices as they are rich in fat.
– Fats must be taken in restricted amounts only as it has a high
calorific value. Too much fat, especially saturated fat like butter
oil (ghee), butter, cream, hydrogenated fat (vanaspati) can be
harmful. Olive oil, rapeseed oil, mustard oil, gingelly oil, and
groundnut oil are the healthier oils, and are preferred as the