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Nutrition in the adult years emphasizes the importance of diet in maintaining wellness and preventing diseases. One of the largest causes of death and disability is diet related Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) , like Obesity, Cardiovascular diseases, Diabetes, Hypertension, Stroke, and Cancer . Nutrition in the adult years focuses on maintaining health by using foods, especially plant based foods and their nutrients (phytonutrients), to optimize the functions of the digestive system, detoxify the liver and other organ systems of the body including the immune system. With a nutrition program based on consumption of food based on variety, balance and moderation of the different food groups.

The energy demands of males and females are very varied in this group and it depends on the physiological condition and activity pattern. The energy demands are classified in the Recommended Dietary Allowance based on the kind of work the individual is doing is it sedentary, moderate and heavy. Executives, Teachers, Retired personnel’s, Peons, Housewives and IT professionals are people performing sedentary work. These individuals must add extra exercise to prevent Non Communicable diseases.
Nutritional Guidelines
Energy: Appropriate energy consumption depending on weather the individual is a male or female, their Energy Expenditure and physiologic condition that is if the body has increased or decreased demands depending on one’s condition. For example if an adult has fever the energy demands are higher but if the adult id overweight or obese the energy supply should be lower than the recommended levels. The source of energy is also a very vital component of diet. The energy should predominantly come from carbohydrates and proteins and only a small percentage should come from fats.

Protein: Protein is an essential component of the diet. It should constitute 15 – 25% of the diet depending on requirement of the body.

Carbohydrates: 50 – 65% of the energy comes from carbohydrates. Choosing the right kind of carbohydrate is one of the most important parts of diet planning. It is essential that majority of carbohydrates taken in are complex carbohydrates like whole grains, pulses, legumes, whole fruits and vegetables. Simple carbohydrates like sugar, aerated drinks, candies etc should be avoided as far as possible. Refined and processed foods are low in fibre and have a high Glycemic Index and leave the body prone to many diseases.

Fibre: Fibre is important in the diet as it helps bring satiety hence cut the excess calories going in. it also helps control blood sugars and cholesterol levels thus helps prevent many metabolic aberrations like diabetes, high cholesterol levels and heart disease. It also helps prevent constipation.

Fats: Fats are very high sources of energy, so should be consumed with caution. The source of fat is also important. Fats are of three types which are saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and they should be consumed in equal proportions in normal conditions. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are good for the heart they not only keep the bad cholesterol (LDL) in check but also help increase the good cholesterol (HDL). If an individual is obese or with heart disease or high cholesterol levels the amount of fats especially saturated fats should be restricted.

Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins and minerals should be consumed in adequate quantities as per the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) to help maintain the body in good shape. Intake of Antioxidant vitamins like A, C and E helps reduce and retard oxidation of cells that slows the aging process, prevent heart disease and cancer . If the individual is hypertensive then the amount of sodium intake should be restricted.

Fluids: Fluid intake per day should be 1.5 to 2 liters. The consumption of tea and coffee should be restricted to restrict the sugar intake in diet.

Alcohol: Alcohol should be avoided. If it is taken it should be done in moderation (Males: 30 – 60 ml and Females: 30 ml). Red wine is one form of alcohol which is beneficial but that too should be taken in moderation. Alcohol not only causes oxidative stress but is also high in calories. The food that is consumed with alcohol is fried like chips, bhajjiyas, fried peanuts is high in fat and salt. This would also increase the risk of developing diseases.
Dietary Guidelines
  • Eat small and frequent meals.
  • The Glycemic Index and the Glycemic Load of the food should be low.
  • Do not skip meals, especially breakfast.
  • All meals should be taken in moderation; that is all nutrients should be taken in appropriate quantity. So Plan your meal carefully.
  • Food should essentially contain all Food Groups to make the meals well balanced.
  • Try to consume home food as far as possible if eating out, then choose wisely.
  • Do not consume more than 6g of salt per day.
  • Drink adequate amount of water.
  • Meals should be taken as per schedule.
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