Understanding the Indian Food Pyramid
Updated On Jan 02, 2021
At first, 'the ‘Asian Food Pyramid' was the only applicable pyramid for the Indians. However, our diet is drastically different from most of the Far East that led to the pyramid's customization /evolution. Thus, the Food Pyramid that suits the Indian unique eating habits and indigenous foods were adapted.
The Five Layers of the Indian Food Pyramid
The healthy eating pyramid is divided into layers of differing sizes representing the five common food groups, from the base upwards
- Vegetables and Fruits
- Starchy foods, such as cereals, potatoes, and bread.
- Proteins such as fish, lean meat, eggs, legumes, nuts, beans, and fish.
- Dairy foods (cheese, yogurt) and milk.
- Sugars and Healthy Fats (including meat, pork, etc).
Based on the above food pyramid we divide our diet choices as daily, weekly, and monthly to maintain a balanced diet
- Daily Choices: The bottom sections include food options that include cereal products such as chapati, potatoes, etc. The least processed, the better your health will be. For everyday consumption, even vegetables, berries, legumes, and nuts are contained in vast amounts. For certain foods, you can use vegetable oils. Even mild vegetable beverages are approved. The optional section in this section allows you to use milk or seafood goods for your everyday dishes. You would also want to have everyday exercise in your schedule so that the Diet Pyramid is completely compliant. It is advised that you and your family consume a minimum of eight glasses of water every day. Because of India’s location on the globe, the temperature continues to increase over our summers and it's absolutely important to remain hydrated.
2. Weekly Choices: The upper segments of the pyramid identify the type of food that can be included once a week. You may opt to have poultry such as eggs and chicken. Once a week, you can indulge in sweets but, you should not overindulge. However, sweets and alcohol must be stopped if you want to lose weight or are suffering from diabetes,
3. Monthly Choices: Here we opt for healthy fats since we need them to support our heart health and brain function. We must choose foods that contain healthy fats, unsaturated instead of foods comprising saturated fats and trans fat. As there are many non-vegetarians in India too, our variant of the food pyramid provides once a month red meat (unsaturated fats) and pork. This surely is not a prerequisite, and certain people may wish to add it within the weekly section unless it is a religious issue.
Salient Features of the Food Pyramid
There are certain salient features that form the basic structure of this pyramid.
- Eat more vegetables, fruits by including whole fruits, and salads into your diet.
- Ensure your diet is not monotonous
- Try to consume all the food groups into your meal plans.
- Always maintain a balanced diet instead of any restricted diet plan.
- Exercise must form a part of your food habit, therefore, exercises must be an everyday routine
- Always drink enough water throughout the day. Keep the amount of oil and fat in your diet very low.
Importance of the Food Pyramid
The following are the importance of a food pyramid
- The importance of a food pyramid is, by a basic graphic representation, it gives you a fundamental idea of your daily nutrient requirements.
- There are many food classes included in a food pyramid. It is a healthy and balanced diet with the necessary proportions that allows a person to maintain optimum health
- Based on various variables including climate, culture, and available food, there may be variations in food pyramids.
- The principal goal of a pyramid of foods is to demonstrate a balanced diet, which contains all food groups needed for our diet.
The food pyramid is built to promote nutritious food. It indicates numerous food groups and how much we need for a balanced diet. Eating the right amount from each food group is referred to as a balanced diet. Eating well is vital for all of us.
Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.