Diversified means including foods of diverse groups. We are advised to follow recommended dietary guidelines based on different conditions such as age, sex, physiological conditions, physical activity level (PAL), environmental conditions, etc. (1, 2,3,4,5,6)
Different direct and indirect factors affect our intentional and unintentional food and nutrient intake levels (7,8). Lack of available nutritional knowledge, an updated food composition table, contamination, adulterations of foods, domestic and industrial food processing, etc. affect the food supply chain as well as food and nutrient consumption. In addition, there are less or limited scopes for individuals to consider the following things regularly:
- Healthy and unhealthy foods,
- Food and food interaction,
- Food and nutrient interaction,
- Nutrient and nutrient interaction,
- prebiotic contents of foods,
- Probiotic contents of foods,
- medicinal or functional activity of foods due to the presence of different bioactive compounds such as phytochemicals, etc.
Let’s try some simple steps to increase both the availability and consumption of food and nutrients:
- Enjoy your food.
- Do not stress yourself always by thinking about healthy and unhealthy foods to avoid, restrict, or limit specific food(s).
- Engage yourself in different activities by allotting time slots instead of being involved in one job or one place.
- Share foods with family and friends to minimize cost and increase diversity.
- Promote digital device-free dining tables and family gatherings during mealtimes.
- Try to develop good relations with diverse groups of people.
- Diversified your exposure to different environments. Try to visit as many places as possible to increase the availability and accessibility of diverse food and nutrients (Looking for a new setup for taking food outside with or without family members occasionally, visiting friends, and family houses, developing eating habits at working places, enjoying foods and drinks at recreational and tourist spots, participating in diversified food and game festivals, etc.).
- Consume fresh, processed, cooked, uncooked, homemade, and commercial foods available locally and internationally.
- Increase naturally fermented foods such as yogurt, cheese, traditional foods, etc.
- Do not avoid any foods if you are not a diseased person. Use sugar, salt, fats, etc. sparingly.
- Less use of chemicals while preparing foods or processing foods to protect your health as well as protect healthy microflora in your gut and nutrients present in foods.
- Make your dish colorful or include diversified foods while preparing the menu or serving foods by including fresh fruits and vegetables along with other groups of foods.
- Consume plenty of liquid, especially pure water.
- Follow authentic sources of nutritional information from online or print media. If you are confused just follow multiple sources to protect yourself from misguiding and unhealthy food and nutrition practices.
- Consult with a dietician or nutritionist when required or regularly if affordable for you to consult or figure out missing nutrients or modify your diet.
- Take food or nutrient supplements (e.g., multivitamins and minerals) occasionally to boost food and nutrient intake.
*Featured image credit goes to https://www.pexels.com
- Preparation and use of food-based dietary guidelines (fao.org)
- Nutrient Recommendations and Databases (nih.gov)
- SUMMARY TABLE – Recommended Dietary Allowances – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)
- USDA MyPlate What Is MyPlate?
- Healthy Eating Plan (nih.gov)
- Healthy Eating Plate | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- Healthy diet (who.int)
- Household Dietary Diversity | Nutrition | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (fao.org)
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