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What is Healthy Diet?


Humans need many nutrients to live a healthy, active life. To provide these nutrients, a good or adequate diet in relation to the nutritional needs of the body is necessary. A complete and balanced diet, sun-light combined with regular exercise is the cornerstone of good health. Poor nutrition can lead to reduced immunity, increased disease, physical and mental development, and reduced productivity. A healthy diet consumed throughout life helps prevent malnutrition in all its forms and many non-communicable diseases (NCD) and conditions. But in the rapid urbanization/globalization, increasing consumption of processed foods and lifestyle changes have led to changes in eating habits. People eat foods that are high in energy, fat, sugar, or salt/sodium, and many don't eat fruits, vegetables, and fiber like whole grains. Therefore, all these factors contribute to poor nutrition. A healthy and balanced diet will vary depending on individual needs (eg age, gender, lifestyle, level of exercise), cultural background, regional cuisine and eating habits, but the basic principles of healthy eating still the same.

Infographics on helathy food by USFDA


What type of diet is really a balanced diet?

A balanced diet is one that has a variety of foods in the form and quantity that the need for all nutrients is sufficiently satisfied to maintain health, energy and general well-being and provides a small amount of food. for other nutrients to withstand short periods of tenderness. 

The main nutritional concern is inadequate/malnutrition of food/nutrition. Among the important public nutrition problems in India are underweight, protein-energy malnutrition in children, chronic malnutrition in adults, micronutrient malnutrition and non-nutritional diseases. 

Health and nutrition are key factors contributing to the development of human resources in the country.


When do healthy eating habits start?

Healthy eating habits start early in life. Recent evidence suggests that malnutrition in utero can accelerate nutrition-related chronic diseases later in life. 

Breastfeeding promotes healthy growth and improves cognitive development, and may have long-term health benefits, such as reducing the risk of being overweight or obese and developing NCDs later in life. 

Since a healthy diet consists of different types of food, the focus is on food preparation and food-based methods. 

Showing eatables for good health

Meals can be organized according to service like:

  •  Foods with high energy (carbohydrates and fats) 
  •  Corn, millet, vegetable oil, ghee, nuts and oil and sugar. Nutrients (protein) 
  •  Fruits, seeds and oil, milk and milk, meat, fish, poultry.
  •  Protective food (vitamins and minerals) 
  •  Green vegetables, other vegetables, fruits, eggs, milk and dairy products and animal products. Food at different stages of life


Food is important for everyone. However, this requirement is different for each person, whether it is a baby, a young child, a pregnant woman/nursing child and an elderly person. 

Diet varies from person to person based on various factors such as age, sex, physical activity, nutritional needs during different physiological processes of the body and other various factors. 

The weight and height of children reflect their growth and physical development, while the weight and height of adults represent measures taken for good health. 

What is proper and healthy baby food?

If you have a baby or children in your home, make sure they get enough nutrition during their growing years. Babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. Breastfeeding should start within one hour after birth and discard the first milk (colostrum), because it strengthens the baby's defenses and protects it from many diseases. 

Exclusive breastfeeding ensures good nutrition for the baby, thereby reducing the risk of infection and contributing to the overall development of the baby. 

Breast milk is the best and healthiest food for the growth and development of babies. 

Breastfed babies don't need extra water. 

After six months, you can give your baby complementary foods while continuing to breastfeed. Supplements should be nutritious. These nutritious foods can be prepared at home from common food items such as grains (wheat, rice, jowar, bajra, etc.); fruits (gram/dals), nuts and oil (groundnut, sesame, etc.), oil (groundnut oil, sesame oil, etc.), sugar and jaggery. 

You can give your baby different soft foods such as potatoes, porridge, cereal or even eggs.



Food for pregnant and lactating women

Motherhood is a testing time in every woman's life, whether physically, mentally or nutritionally. 

If you are pregnant or a member of your family is expecting a baby, make sure they are eating well. 

Extra nutrition and special attention are needed during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Other foods are needed to meet the nutritional needs of the baby in your womb. 

Supplements are needed to improve weight during pregnancy (usually 10-12 kg) and birth weight (about 2.5-3 kg). 

The nutritional needs of a pregnant woman change at different stages of pregnancy. In some cases, nutritional supplements (such as folic acid/iron tablets) are often required in large amounts to reduce the risk of weakness in the child and increase its birth weight and prevent anemia. 'pregnant women.


Additional calcium intake is important, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, for the proper formation of bones and teeth of the child, for the production of breast milk rich in calcium and to prevent osteoporosis in women. pregnancy and breastfeeding. Therefore, their diet should contain calcium-rich foods such as milk, yogurt, cheese, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains. Vitamin A is important during breastfeeding to improve the child's life. Apart from these, nutrients like vitamin B12 and C should also be taken by a breastfeeding mother.

Why good nutrition is important for pregnant women?

Well, it is important for the pregnant mother to take care of the fetus as well as her own health, providing energy is necessary during labor and for proper lactation. Make sure that the next meal during pregnancy is light, nutritious, easy to digest and rich in all the necessary nutrients. 


How important is iron for lactating women?

Iron is important for the synthesis of hemoglobin and immunity against disease. Iron deficiency leads to anemia. Iron deficiency is common, especially in women of childbearing age and children. Iron deficiency during pregnancy increases maternal mortality and low birth weight. Iron can be obtained from sources such as meat, fish and poultry products. 

Eat fruits rich in vitamin C such as gooseberries (amla), guava, oranges, and citrus fruits for better iron absorption in your diet. 

Iodine deficiency during pregnancy leads to stillbirth, miscarriage and cretinism. Therefore, use iodized salt in your diet. Plant foods such as green leafy vegetables, legumes, and dried fruits contain iron.


What are the key points to remember on healthy diet for lactating mothers / women?

 Eat something during pregnancy, both in size and quantity.

Green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and liver are good sources of folic acid.

Do not use alcohol and tobacco. It harms the health of the mother as well as the child.

 Eat more whole grains, sprouted grams and processed foods. Eat lots of fruits and green vegetables.

 Take medication only with a prescription. Take iron, folate and calcium regularly as prescribed by your doctor. 

What WHO says about baby diet?

 Babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life.

 Babies are always breastfed until they are 2 years old and older. From 6 months, milk should be added to a variety of complete, safe and nutritious foods.


Diet chart for kids

Children cannot eat a large amount of food at one time, so they should be fed in small amounts at regular intervals (3-4 times a day). Also, food should have a firm consistency so that babies can swallow it easily. Proper nutrition is the key to protecting your child from malnutrition. 

Malnutrition is defined as "a state of poor nutrition caused by insufficient or improper nutrition." 

What are the key healthy food points to remember for babies?

  • Avoid Junk Food 
  • Start breastfeeding within an hour of giving birth and do not discard the colostrum.
  •  Breastfeed exclusively (even water) for 6 months. 

  •  Protein-energy malnutrition most commonly affects children aged six months to five years. 
    • Continue breastfeeding in addition to well-fortified complementary foods for up to 2 years.
    •  Breast milk alone is not enough for babies older than six months. 
    • Complementary foods should be given after 6 months, in addition to breastfeeding.
    •  Eat cheap homemade supplements that are high in calories and nutrients. 
    • Carefully read the nutrition labels of children's foods, as children are often sick. 
    • Follow good hygiene practices when preparing and giving complementary foods to babies.

    What is Healthy Food for a growing child?

    Children who eat the right foods lay the foundation for a healthy and active lifestyle, which reduces the risk of long-term health problems. Childhood is the most important time for growth and for mental development and fighting disease. Therefore, it is important for children to get enough energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. 

    It is very important to follow hygiene procedures when preparing and feeding the baby complementary foods; otherwise, it can cause diarrhea.

    What type of diet is important for children and adolescent growth?

    A well-balanced diet is important for children and adolescents to achieve good growth and boost their immunity. 

    Proper nutrition, outdoor sports, exercise of the child is essential for a healthy body structure and to reduce the risk of chronic diseases related to food later in life and prevent any type of vitamin deficiency. 

    Adolescence is associated with various other factors: rapid growth in height and weight, hormonal changes and changes in mood.

    The development of bones continues at this time, so the inclusion of dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt) and vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and celery that are rich in calcium is important. 

    How important are carbohydrates for children?

    Children need a lot of carbohydrates and fat for energy. Therefore, it is very important to give them energy-dense foods every day such as grains (wheat, brown rice), nuts, vegetable oils, vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, fruits such as bananas. 

    How important is protein for children?

    In the case of children, protein is important for building muscle, repairing and growing, and building immunity. So give them a diet that contains meat, eggs, fish and dairy products. 

    How important is vitamin for children?

    A child needs vitamins for his body to function properly and to strengthen the immune system. 

    A variety of fruits and vegetables should be added to children's diets. Vitamin A is important for vision and vitamin A deficiency can lead to night blindness (difficulty seeing at night). Dark green vegetables, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits (such as carrots, papaya, mango) are good sources of vitamin A. 

    A healthy food plate for children

    What is the need of vitamin for teenage girls?

    Teenage girls experience more physical changes and emotional stress than boys due to the onset of menopause (the beginning of a woman's period). Therefore, teenage girls should eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals to prevent anemia. 

    Vitamin D contributes to the growth and development of bones and is important for the absorption of calcium. 

    Where can children get vitamin D from?

    Children get most of their vitamin D from sunlight and a small amount from certain foods such as (fish oil, fatty fish, eggs, cheese and egg yolks).

    As a parent, keep making frequent changes to their menu so that you don't get tired of eating the same food every day. 

    Adolescence is the easiest stage for developing unhealthy eating habits and bad habits such as smoking, chewing tobacco or drinking alcohol. These should be avoided. 

    In addition to eating a nutritious and balanced diet, appropriate lifestyle habits and participation in outdoor activities such as sports/sports should be encouraged in children and adolescents. 

    Regular exercise increases strength and endurance, and is essential for health and well-being.

    Children often have junk food these days, but encouraging your teen to eat nutritious foods is very important. 

    Many children are malnourished, which can lead to a variety of long-term health problems, such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis.


    What are the Key points on Children's health?

    1. Avoid eating too much at one meal. Eat on time.
    2.  Pay attention to feeding babies and include soft cooked vegetables and seasonal fruits.
    3.  Give children and teenagers milk and milk products, because calcium is important for growth and bone formation. Encourage your child to do outdoor activities and promote proper lifestyle habits like washing hands before meals, brushing teeth twice a day, good hygiene habits to name a few.
    4.  Sun exposure helps maintain vitamin D which helps in calcium absorption.
    5. A child should eat more during and after an illness to maintain good nutrition.
    6. Use oral rehydration solution (ORS) with zinc tablets to prevent and control dehydration during diarrhea.
    7.  Drink 2-2.5 liters of water to keep the body clean. Better to have water/milk/yogurt shakes/juice/coconut water than pop and other packaged drinks.
    8. Don't starve a child. Eat a diet of grains and vegetables with milk and mixed vegetables. Give plenty of fluids during illness.


    Diagram showing an ideal healthy eating plate


    Diet for adults:


    Adults should use salt in moderation, because consuming too much salt can lead to high blood pressure.

    As an adult man and woman, you need to take care of your diet. Adults often complain about lack of time, and by living a normal life, it becomes more difficult to follow a strict diet.

    Adult women should eat foods that contain calcium (milk and milk products) and iron (green vegetables - spinach, broccoli, etc.) avoid the use of saturated fat and trans fat such as ghee, butter, cheese, vanaspati-ghee and adding fibrous food in the diet in the form of grains, vegetables and fruits. Canned foods like pickles/papads and canned foods should be avoided as they contribute to high salt intake.


    According to the WHO, a healthy diet for adults includes:


     Industrial trans fats (found in processed foods, fast foods, snacks, fried foods, frozen pizzas, pies, cookies, margarine and spreads) are not part of a healthy diet. Less than 5g of salt (about 1 teaspoon) per day and use iodized salt.

    Potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and other starchy roots are not classified as fruits or vegetables. Unsaturated fats (for example, found in fish, avocados, nuts, sunflower, canola and olive oils) are better than saturated fats (for example, found in fatty meats, butter, palm and coconut, cream, cheese, ghee and lard).


    Fruits, vegetables, legumes (eg, lentils, beans), coconut, and whole grains (eg, unrefined corn, millet, corn, wheat, brown rice). 

    Eat at least 400 grams (5 servings) of fruits and vegetables per day.


    Feeding the elderly:

    People aged 60 and over are elderly. Seniors need additional vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and active. Seniors' diets should include foods that are rich in nutrients to keep them healthy and active.

    The elderly need more calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin A and antioxidants to prevent age-related diseases and improve health. The risk of degenerative diseases is greatly reduced by regular exercise.

    Elderly people should reduce the consumption of saturated fat, sweets, fatty foods, salt and sugar. To ghee, oil, butter should be completely avoided. Also, avoid eating spicy foods.

    It is very important for the elderly to exercise because it helps balance the body and joint flexibility.

     The composition changes with age and all these changes affect the nutritional needs of the elderly. The elderly or the elderly need fewer calories because their health is weaker and their physical activity decreases as they age. 

    Seniors should be given soft foods, including fruits and vegetables in their diet. It is important to maintain your health at the beginning of the aging process and this increases longevity. 

    Elderly people often complain of lack of appetite or sometimes it is difficult for them to chew. Foods containing calcium such as dairy products (low fat), milk (toned) and green vegetables should be in the daily diet to support bone health, to prevent osteoporosis and bone loss. Take beans, tonic milk, egg whites, etc. because they are rich in protein. 

    Food for the elderly should be well cooked, soft and with little salt and pepper. Make sure you eat small meals at frequent intervals and drink water at all times to avoid dehydration and constipation. Consult a physician for individual nutrition based on the health status of people with chronic diseases and bedridden patients. 

    What are the key points to remember on men and women health?

    • Combine diet and exercise.
    •  Eat a variety of foods that are rich in nutrients.
    • Avoid fried food, salt and pepper.
    •  Drink enough water to avoid dehydration. Exercise regularly or go for a walk.
    •  Avoid smoking, chewing tobacco and tobacco products (Khaini, Zarda, Paan masala) and drinking alcohol.
    • Go for regular checkups.
    • Check blood sugar, lipids and blood pressure regularly. Avoid self-medication.
    •  Adopt stress management techniques (Yoga and meditation).


    Role of different types of food in health

    (1) Sugar

    Free sugar increases the risk of tooth decay (decay) and can lead to weight gain and obesity. Free sugar is all sugar added to food or drink during cooking or by the manufacturer or supplier, as well as sugar in honey, syrups, fruit juices and concentrated fruit juice. Free sugar intake should be less than 10% of total energy intake. 


    Sugar intake can be reduced by:

     reduce consumption of foods and drinks with high sugar content (for example, alcoholic beverages, sweet snacks, and candies); and

     eat fresh fruits and raw vegetables as snacks instead of sweet snacks. (e) Full fruit-

    Whole grain contains all the edible parts of the grain, including the bran, germ, and endosperm. A diet of whole grains also improves gut health by helping to maintain regular bowel movements and promoting the growth of good bacteria in the gut.

    Foods rich in grains (such as whole wheat, brown rice, oats, whole grains, millet) reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some types of cancer. 


    (2) Water and Beverages:


    Water makes up about 70 percent of the weight of the human body. Water is lost from the body through sweat, urine and feces. You should drink enough safe water to meet your daily water needs.



    Milk is a nutritious food and drink for people of all ages.


    Milk Protein

    Milk protein is a valuable addition to many vegetarian diets. Milk is a source of calcium (a poor source of iron) which helps build strong bones. Therefore, milk is a good source of protein, fat, sugars, vitamins (except vitamin C) and minerals. Milk is full of saturated fat, so people on a low-fat diet can consume low-fat milk.


    Milk tonic

    Milk tonic is a mixture of milk and artificial milk. It consists of one part water, one part natural milk and 1/8 milk powder. Since milk fat is the saturated form, low-fat dieters can consume skimmed milk.


    Plant Milk

    Milk prepared from certain plant foods (peanut, soybean) is called plant milk. It can be used as a substitute for milk.


    (3) Non-alcoholic beverages:

     These can be:

    Natural carbonated drinks (natural fruit juices) 

    Natural carbonated drinks (natural fruit juices) which provide, in addition to energy, some vitamins (beta-carotene, vitamin C) and minerals (potassium, calcium). Since natural fruit juices are rich in potassium, they are good drinks for people suffering from high blood pressure. 

    Artificial or synthetic soft drinks 

    Artificial or synthetic soft drinks with preservatives, colors and flavors are usually carbonated (contains phosphoric acid which can affect tooth enamel).


    (4) Vegetables and fruits and food:

    Vegetables and fruits are a source of micronutrients (iron, calcium, vitamin C, folic acid, carotenoids and phytochemicals) and macronutrients (carbohydrates / complex fiber).


    Some vegetables and fruits provide few calories, while others provide high calories because they contain a lot of starch (such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, fruits such as bananas). Therefore, vegetables and fruits can be used to increase or decrease calories in food.


    At least 400 grams (five servings) of fruits and vegetables per day should be consumed in the human diet. Fruit and vegetable consumption can be improved by

     Always include vegetables and fruits in the diet

     Eat fresh, locally sourced vegetables and fruits.

     Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables ("the rainbow of beautiful foods") at meals because different fruits and vegetables contain different nutrients (phytochemicals). Eat fresh fruits and vegetables raw as snacks.


    (5) Different types of fats/oils:


    Fat/Oil is the main source of energy. The sources of fat are classified as:


    Animal Fat 

    The main sources of animal fat are ghee, butter, milk, cheese, eggs, and meat and fish oils. They contain cholesterol and a large amount of fatty acids and trans fatty acids. Vegetable oils - The seeds of certain plants are a source of vegetable oils such as peanut, mustard, sesame, coconut, canola, olive and soybean.


    Plant foods are low in fat and saturated fat, but they are a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Visible and invisible fat-


    Visible fats are those separated from their sources such as ghee/butter and milk, cooking oil and nuts. It is easy to monitor their consumption. Invisible fats are found in almost all foods such as grains, legumes, nuts, milk and eggs and are difficult to predict.


    It is recommended that between 15-30% of total food calories are provided as fat (visible + invisible). Babies and children's diets should include enough fat to meet their higher energy needs than adults.


    Too much fat in the diet increases the risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke and cancer. The risk of developing these diseases can be reduced by reducing saturated fat to less than 10% of total energy intake and trans fat to less than 1% of total energy, and replacing both with monounsaturated fat (MUFA + PUFA).


    6. Vanaspati Ghee

    Vanaspati ghee is commonly used in fried foods, sweets and snacks. When vegetable oils are hydrogenated, it turns them into a solid or solid form called vanaspati or vegetable ghee. During the hydrogenation process, fatty acids are converted into fatty acids and trans fatty acids. Since saturated fat and trans fat are a risk factor for the development of non-communicable diseases (heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, obesity), the use of vanaspati ghee should be limited and elders. 


    Fat intake can be reduced by:

    Changing the way food is cooked, such as using vegetable oil (not animal fat); remove the fat part of the body; and boiling, steaming or baking instead of frying;

     Avoid processed foods with trans fats (eg. preparation prepared from vanaspati ghee;

     Limit eating foods high in saturated fat (eg, cheese, ice cream, fatty meats, nuts and coconut oil, ghee, lard). Unsaturated fats (for example, found in fish, avocados, walnuts, sunflower, canola and olive oil) are better than saturated fats (for example, found in fatty meats, butter, palm and coconut, cream, cheese, ghee and lard)


    (7) Dietary salt (sodium and potassium)  

    Salt is an important ingredient in food. Many people do not know how much salt they eat. A diet high in salt and not enough potassium (less than 3.5 g) causes high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends taking less than five grams of salt per day.


    Salt intake can be reduced by:

     Limit the addition of salt during meals. No salt on the table.

     Do not add salt to the prepared dish. Limit eating salty, processed foods (such as papad, pickles, sauces, ketchup, crackers, chips, cheese and salty fish).

     Increasing potassium intake by eating fresh fruits and vegetables as potassium reduces the negative effects of sodium (salt). Choose products that are low in salt (sodium).

     Use only iodized salt for consumption and it should be stored in an airtight container.


    8. Drinks like milk, lassi, fruit juice, and coconut water are better choices for drinks than synthetic drinks

    Tea and Coffee

    These are used for their flavor or stimulating effect. Drinking tea and coffee in moderation is recommended. The tannins in tea and coffee prevent iron absorption, so they should be avoided one hour before and after meals. Teas, especially green and black, are good sources of flavonoids (these substances are believed to have harmful properties). Tea can be preferred over coffee. 

    Sports drinks 

    Regular sports drinks contain energy-boosting carbohydrates and electrolytes including sodium, potassium, and chloride to provide energy and maintain fluid and electrolyte balance.


    Energy drinks

    Energy drinks provide carbohydrates and caffeine (70-85 mg caffeine per eight minutes) and some drinks contain B-complex vitamins, amino acids, and herbal extracts such as gingko. Soft coconut water 

    It is a nutritious drink that can be used as an oral rehydration method, but in patients with hyperkalemia such as renal failure, severe adrenal insufficiency, and patients with low urine output, it must be avoided him.



    Excessive alcohol consumption reduces the strength of the heart (cardiomyopathy) and damages the liver (cirrhosis), brain and nerves. It increases serum triglycerides.


     Avoid alcohol and those who choose to drink should limit their intake. 

    (9) Processed and ready-to-eat foods:


    Processed food

    Food processing processes include washing, canning, cooking, drying and pasteurizing products. These foods undergo technological changes either for storage or for turning into products for use / consumption, removing the strict family structure, are called "processed food". 

    Food processing is used to preserve perishable products such as milk, meat, fish, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Food processing also makes food available for long-distance travel. During processing, things like salt, sugar, and fat are sometimes added to make them better, change the structure of the food, and extend their life. They may lack dietary fiber and micronutrients. Therefore, knowing about their consumption should be there, when processed foods are the main part of the diet.


    (10) Instant food, fast food, street food, junk food:


    Instant food

    This food receives a special preparation to be ready to serve when dissolved or dispersed in a liquid with a short time of food such as noodles, corn flakes, soup powder.


    Fast food

    Food that is prepared quickly and served quickly in the form of a package to take away. These are high calorie foods (burgers, pizzas, fries, burgers, patties, nuggets, Indian food like pakora, samosa, namkeen, etc.). Safety, control and contamination are key concerns for these foods.

    Unhealthy food or junk food

    These are solid foods with a lot of sugar / fat / and low nutritional value in terms of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, such as salt, chocolate, ice cream, soft drinks, hamburgers, pizzas etc.


    Street Food

    Ready-to-eat food and beverages sold by street vendors or vendors and sold on the street or in public places others, like chaat, golgappe, samosa, tikki, noodles, chowmein, burgers, etc. Food hygiene is important in street food (prevention of food contamination).


     Food, that is good and clean


    What are the best practices for storage of food?

    Improper food storage allows bacteria to grow and thrive, causing food to spoil which leads to food waste and possible food poisoning.

    With the right storage devices, one can store many different types of food indefinitely. Learning how to store food is easy to understand and very useful. 

    Consider the following when storing food:

     Agricultural products should be washed thoroughly and protected from water in a secure container (eg. a box with a suitable lid) to prevent mold damage.

     Make sure all food is covered and placed in appropriate food containers. Before storing any food, clean containers with soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly. Make sure the lid (cup) of the container is airtight and non-porous. Label the bag with the packaging date and expiration date.

     Store in a dark place, where the temperature, humidity and sunlight do not change. Keep the storage area clean, clutter-free and bug-free.

     Storage areas for food and packaging should be away from toilets, dust, smoke, bad smells and other pollutants. Store food or supplies on the floor and away from walls.

     Store fresh fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, lettuce, herbs and mushrooms in a clean refrigerator at 40ºF or colder. Add all purchased ingredients before cutting.

     Certain household practices like adding edible oil to grains, keeping dried neem leaves in the pantry, etc., are known to prevent disease. 

     If possible, store raw and cooked/ready-to-eat (RTE) foods in separate refrigerators or freezers. Practice personal hygiene during safety.

    Hop to Handle of perishable food?

    To ensure that the food you eat is fresh and healthy, here are some simple tips:


    General plan

     Buy only the best foods if you plan to store them for a long time.

     Fresh and salted meat, fish and shellfish, dairy products and ready-to-eat food can only be purchased from the refrigerated display. Cross contamination can be avoided by storing cooked and raw foods separately.

     Refrigerated cooked foods should be reheated before eating. Frequent heating should be avoided.

     Hard foods, such as seafood and some cheeses, should be wrapped. The best before date is the best way to preserve a perishable food item.

     Proper storage protects your food from harmful bacteria,


    Dairy products

     Fresh milk, cream and some soft cheeses only have a short shelf life and spoil quickly if exposed to high temperatures during storage. These should be kept in the refrigerator.


    Fresh fruits and vegetables

     Fruits and vegetables should be handled with care to avoid bruising and tearing the skin. Such damage will lead to promotion and sales.

     Most fresh fruit should be stored in the best part of the house when space is not available. Some fruits such as pineapples and bananas are sensitive to cold and should not be stored in the refrigerator.

     To reduce drying or wilting due to lack of water, store vegetables and roots, such as silver beets, broccoli, carrots and parsnips, in sealed plastic bags, preferably in the refrigerator. 

    By removing the leaves from carrots, parsnips, turnips and beets, their shelf life can be extended for several weeks or even months in the refrigerator.

     Keep potatoes in a cool, dark, warm place to prevent green leaves and sprouts; remove from plastic bag and place in strong paper bag, box, or wire or plastic wrap. Potatoes should not be stored in the refrigerator.

     Store nectarines, peaches, and plums in the refrigerator unless you want to cut them. Tomatoes should be ripened at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. When perfect, especially in hot weather, they can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. To reduce mold burden on onions, whole pumpkins, zucchini and squash, stored at room temperature in dry conditions, in a net or loose.



     Eggs, contrary to popular belief, should be stored in the refrigerator. This will continue to fabric quality and download to extend the shelf life. They should be stored in their cartons to minimize moisture from the shell.

    How to handle Non-vegetarian food?


    Raw meat, poultry and seafood

     Meat should be stored in the coldest part of your refrigerator. These foods should be stored in the refrigerator, preferably at a temperature of 10 C or less, which delays the multiplication of microorganisms. Before storing refrigerated chicken for a few days, it is advisable to remove the plastic wrap, wash the chicken thoroughly, dry it with a paper towel, and store as above.

     Fresh fish should be thoroughly washed and rinsed if used more than 24 hours. Cooked meat, poultry and seafood


     Meat, poultry and whole foods should be refrigerated as soon as possible after cooking.

     To avoid condensation, do not cover hot meat before putting it in the refrigerator. Store cooked products over any pork, poultry or seafood to avoid cross contamination.


    What about personal hygiene? Food handlers must maintain personal hygiene to ensure food safety. They should be free from obvious signs of disease, injury and sores. The use of spoons and ladles should be encouraged to avoid contamination. Protect cooked food from touching hands during preparation, serving and eating. Hands should be washed thoroughly before starting food preparation and after every break.

     Pets such as cats and dogs often carry dangerous viral infections. They should be kept in a place where food is cooked, stored or served.


    How to reduce the impact of pesticides on food?

    Different ways to remove pesticide waste from food products through different methods  

    Most pesticide residues can be removed using four residue removal methods. These methods should be quickly adopted at the household level to eliminate residual pesticide contamination. These methods are washing, bleaching, bleaching and cooking. 


     The first step in removing pesticide residues from food products is washing. Washing with 2% salt water will remove most of the pesticide residues that often appear on the surface of vegetables and fruits. About 75-80% of the toxic chemicals are reduced with cold water.

     Pesticides on grapes, apples, guavas, plums, mangoes, peaches, pears, etc., fruiting vegetables like tomatoes, brinjal and okra require 2-3 washes. Green vegetables should be washed thoroughly. Pesticide residues from green vegetables are effectively removed by proper processing such as washing, rinsing and cooking.


    A small amount of hot water or steam is added to most vegetables. Some pesticide residues can be effectively removed by bleaching. But before cleaning, it is very important to wash vegetables and fruits, etc.



    Pesticides that appear on the surface of fruits and vegetables can be removed by peeling. Restaurant


    Animal products 

    Animals are the main source of pesticide waste contamination in human food since animals eat food, which is sprayed with pesticides. Pressure cooking, frying and baking will remove pesticide residues from fatty meats. 

    Dairy products

    Washing milk at high temperatures will destroy long-lasting pesticide residues.


    Edible oil

    Refined oil will contain less pesticide residue. Heat the oil at home to a hot spot to remove pesticide residue.


    What are adulterers? 

    Food can be recycled with non-food items or low-quality products. Spoiled, expired or unhealthy foods are made attractive and fresh by adding dyes or other harmful chemicals. 

    The most frequently collected food items are milk and milk products, grains, legumes and their derivatives, edible oils and spices. 

    Various adulterous classes include illegal colors such as:

    •  Yellow, non-edible oils such as castor oil, cheap agricultural products such as various starches and milk powder,
    •  Foreign materials such as husks, sand and sawdust
    • Harmful substances such as aluminum or iron

    Eating spoiled food can lead to outbreaks of disease. 

    Buying from a reliable and reputable source, inspecting food carefully before buying, and insisting on approved brands will reduce the risk of food adulteration. You may refer the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) ( to know more about home testing, which can easily be done in your home.


    What are good cooking habits?

    Food, in their natural state, has different nutrients in different forms. Cooking improves the digestion of many foods. Raw food is soft after cooking and is easy to chew. Good cooking methods make good food. The diet also helps to eliminate the harmful substances that destroy the digestive system. 

    The right food concept and cooking habits are the basis of good health by improving appearance, taste, taste and texture, thus improving tolerance. Cooking is a common thing in our home, but it is good if we follow good cooking methods. 

    Cooking methods can be divided into three categories such as:

    1.  Preparation before cooking
    2.  Washing and cutting raw food
    3.  Cooking methods

    Preparation before cooking

    Depending on the food preparation, each cooking process may include washing, baking, chopping, kneading, sprouting, and baking. In Indian cuisine, fermentation (the process used to make idli, dosa, dhokla) and puo (cooking) are common. These methods improve digestion and increase nutrients such as vitamin B-complex and vitamin C.


    Washing and chopping raw food

    Raw food can contain pesticide residues, parasites and other foreign substances. To clean them, food should be washed thoroughly before cooking and eating to remove these substances. 

    Vegetables and fruits should be washed in clean water before cutting. Cutting vegetables into small pieces exposes more of the food to the atmosphere, exposing the vitamin to oxidation. Therefore, vegetables should be cut into large pieces. Chopped vegetables should never be soaked in water as water-soluble minerals and vitamins are washed away. However, some precautions should be taken when washing and brushing to reduce nutritional deficiencies. 

    Avoid frequent washing of grains such as rice and beans, as this can lead to the loss of certain minerals and vitamins.


    Cooking method 

    There are many methods of cooking such as boiling, steaming, pressure cooking, frying, baking and baking. 

    Cooking is a common cooking method, but due to this process, some heat and water soluble vitamins such as vitamin B and C compounds are lost. 

    Frequent heating of oils, especially oils high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), leads to the creation of peroxides and free radicals. Therefore, the use of only essential oils should be avoided. Similarly, reheated oil should not be mixed with fresh oil but should be used for processes such as cooking.

    Boiling rice in too much water can cause it to lose its nutritional value, so use only enough water to absorb it well. To avoid losing vitamins, it is necessary to use soda to speed up the cooking of grains. 


    Some common Indian food beliefs, fads and taboos:

    A food endorsement encourages or discourages eating a particular type of food. Eating habits are formed during childhood, passed on by family elders, and continue to develop. There can be neutral, harmless or harmful behavior. Unfortunately, many foods are associated with prejudices (taboos) and women and children, who often suffer from malnutrition. 

    Exaggerated claims, useful or harmful, in relation to certain foods, without scientific basis, is a nutritional system. In addition to that, the beliefs that produce hot and cold foods are everywhere. 

    Here are some examples:

    • Jaggery, sugar, peanuts, fried food, mango, bajra, jowar, corn, eggs and meat are taken. Butter milk, curd, milk, green gram dhal, green leafy vegetables, ragi, barley flour and apple are taken as winter food.
    •  Since vitamin B12 is only found in foods of animal origin, vegetarians should ensure adequate milk consumption. 
    • During certain diseases such as fever and diarrhea, food restrictions are practiced. 
    • Papaya is strongly suspected of causing abortion, although there is no scientific basis. 
    • Vegetarianism is practiced in India for religious purposes. 

    Diet and weight management

    • A healthy diet gives your body the nutrients it needs every day. It should have enough calories to be healthy, but not enough to make you fat.
    •   Following a healthy diet will reduce the risk of obesity/overweight, heart disease and other related conditions.
    • A healthy diet is one that is low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium (salt) and added sugar.

    A healthy diet includes:

     Fat-free and low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt, cheese and low-fat milk.

     Protein foods, such as lean meat, fish, lean poultry, beans and peas. Whole grain foods, such as whole wheat bread, oatmeal, and brown rice. Other grain foods include pasta, cereal, bagels, bread, tortillas, couscous, and crackers. Fresh, canned, frozen or dried fruit.

     Fresh, canned (without salt), frozen or dried vegetables. 

    Canola and olive oils, as well as soft margarine made from these oils, are good for the heart. However, you should use them in small amounts because they contain a lot of calories. 

    You can also include unsalted nuts, such as walnuts and almonds, in your diet as long as you limit your intake (nuts also contain calories). 

    Foods that are full of trans fats and cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease. diseases, so they must be limited.

    Trans fat is commonly found in which food?

    Trans fats are commonly found in foods that contain hydrogenated oils, such as many solid margarines and shortenings, baked goods and snacks, fried foods and hydrogenated shortenings.

    Saturated fat is commonly found in which food?

    Saturated fat is found primarily in fatty meats, such as fried meats, sausages, and cured meats (eg, bologna, hot dogs, and steaks), poultry with skin, high-fat dairy products such as full-fat, whole-milk cheese. milk, cream, butter and ice cream, lard, coconut and palm oil, which are found in many processed foods. 

    Cholesetrol is commonly found in which food?

    Cholesterol is commonly found in egg yolks, lean meats, such as liver, oysters, whole milk or whole milk products, such as butter, cream and cheese. 

    It is important to limit foods and drinks that contain added sugar, such as high fructose corn syrup. 

    Added sugar will give you extra calories without nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Added sugar is found in many desserts, canned fruit in syrup, fruit juices, and soft drinks. 

    Check the ingredient list on food packages for added sugars such as high fructose corn syrup. 

    Alcoholic drinks will add calories, so it is better to limit the consumption of alcohol.


    Have eating habits among people changed?

    Eating habits have changed not only among the urban population, but also among the rural population. With the use of machines, most of the rural people who used to exercise a lot have now become active. The amount of food consumed remains the same or increases. Fast food habits with little physical activity are the main causes of health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure even among the rural population. This can be seen when someone has eaten at a restaurant recently. In fact, over the past 40 years, the proportion has increased dramatically. 

    Losing weight is a great way to eat fewer calories and balance your energy intake. Research has shown that we all eat certain foods. Knowing this, you can lose weight if you eat a low calorie and low fat diet for a healthy weight. For example, replacing high-fat food products with low-fat products that weigh the same weight helps you reduce calories. 

    Another beneficial practice is to eat foods rich in water, such as vegetables, fruits and soups. 

    Exercising and eating fewer calories will help you lose weight and keep it off over time. The weight should be reduced gradually.

    What are some tips to lose weight?

    Some tips to lose weight are:

    1.  Eat at regular intervals
    2.  Do not use drugs for weight loss, it can be dangerous
    3.  Your weight loss diet should be high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fat
    4.  Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables
    5.  Choose low-fat milk / tonic milk. 
    6. Include exercise in your daily routine such as aerobics, walking, yoga, etc.
    7. Reduce consumption of sugar, salt, fatty foods, refined foods, soft drinks and fast food.


    Health Advice

    1.  Do not cut, wash, or soak fruits and vegetables until you are ready to eat them. Avoid replacing meals with snacks.
    2.  Choose home-cooked meals over fast food. Avoid junk food as they are the main cause of obesity.
    3.  Eat raw fruits and vegetables as much as possible. It is better to have raw fruits and vegetables instead of eating and snacking.
    4.  Limit consumption of sugar and unhealthy processed foods. Limit salt intake to less than five grams per day, because it helps prevent high blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease. Iodized salt is preferred. 
    5. Avoid trans fats found in processed foods, fast foods, snacks, fried foods, frozen pizzas and cookies.
    6.  Serve small portions of high-calorie foods and large portions of healthy foods such as vegetables, salads, and soups. Good nutrition is not always expensive. 
    7. You can get all the nutrients from cheap foods plus beans and lentils, eggs, jaggery, fresh seasonal fruits, and green vegetables. 
    8. Don't be obsessed with the food you eat. It may spoil your taste, but it will lead to unhealthy diet. Eat fresh foods with little processing.
    9.  Eat fruits and vegetables with skin (except carrots, which can absorb toxins from the soil). Wash them thoroughly first.
    10.  Eat raw vegetables as much as possible. If you must cook them, use as little water as possible because heat or boiling water destroys most of the food.

    May also refer:

    Quality of Eggs you Eat

    Technically / medically reviewed by:

    Name: Ramona Khan

    Education: Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics

    Experience: 11 Years of experience as a nutritionist / dietician

    [ S H A R E in public interest > > 


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