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Indian food habits and Indian cooking styles are different from the western world, therefore international diet or menu plans meant for healthy adults and children as well as for people with diabetes, heart risks such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol etc. are often difficult for Indians to follow

The basic diet management principles and composition in terms of nutrients are the same for Indians, but customization in terms of commonly consumed Indian foods and ways of Indian cooking is needed for a diet plan to be easily acceptable for Indians. We, at FoodWise have done exactly that to bring to you the ‘FoodWise’ diets!

What are ‘FoodWise FHI ’ diets?

We have developed three different diet plans or simply ‘diets’ which are in line with the principles of healthy diet planning and we have based our ‘Ideal Diet Plan’ on these three diet plan options; you can choose to follow the one that is most agreeable to you!

All three ‘diets’ have some common features and differ from each other in some ways. These three diets are:

  1. Basic Indian Diet (as per NIN, India)
  2. Optimized Indian Diet ( as per USDA guidelines)
  3. Ideal diet for people with lifestyle risks (TLC/DASH like diet plan for Indians)

What are the common factors in all three FHI diets?

  • Macronutrients’ (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) contribution to total calories is within nationally and internationally recommended ranges
  • For nearly all micronutrients (minerals and vitamins), age and gender appropriate Indian RDAs (Recommended Daily Allowances) are met
  • Quantity of bad fats (Trans FA, SFA, cholesterol and bad carbs (added sugars and processed grain products) and salt are within the recommended upper limits
  • All diets are designed with low fat milk (toned or double toned milk)
  • All diets are designed with recommended cooking oil combinations, to ensure optimum intake of MUFA,PUFA and omega 3 and omega 6 Fatty Acids (FAs)
  • The standard portion sizes for each food group has been defined in Indian terms and is the same across all three diets
  • All diets have a calorie deficit built in, they provide nearly 5-10% less calories than calculated calorie requirement/day for an individual, which one can you for snacking
  • Similar deficit has been designed for SFA and cholesterol

What are the differences among the three ‘FoodWise’ Diets?

Basic Indian Diet

Optimized Indian Diet

Ideal Diet For People With Health Risks

Who is it for?

Good for beginners or people who want to make less radical changes to their eating habits Better than the ‘basic Indian diet’ for healthy people as well as those with health risks For people who want to lose weight

For people with

  • Diabetes/pre-diabetes
  • High BP
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Heart disease
  • Atherosclerosis

Best even for healthy adults and children

What you eat (Food groups)

  • Food stuff that we commonly eat anyway: dal, rice, roti, vegetables, milk, fruits etc.
  • Food diversification is limited  (no nuts, soy products)
  • More diversified diet
  • More of milk and non-milk protein foods
  • Less of roti, rice and other grain products
  • More vegetables, fruits and nuts
  • Less animal proteins including eggs and dairy product than ‘Optimized Indian Diet’
  • Lesser salt and oil

What you get (nutrients)

  • Macronutrients
  • Carbs: provide calories  within the recommended upper limit of 65%, but often are higher than 60% (for vegetarians) which is the optimum
  • Proteins: provides adequate protein needed for growth and maintenance , but has lowest contribution from proteins among all three diets
  • Fats: Has higher amount of ‘visible fats and oils’, but  lower amount of  invisible fats (because of no nuts, less animal protein and milk)
  • Carbs: provide calories in the optimum range: within 50-60% of total calories
  • Proteins: provides proteins in higher amount, so that contribution from carbs can be kept in optimum range
  • Fats: Has similar amount of ‘visible fats and oils’, but higher amount of  invisible fats than ‘Basic Indian Diet’, so overall fats are often more than in those in other two diets
  • Carbs: provide calories in the optimum range
  • Proteins: provides proteins in higher amount than ‘Basic Indian Diet’ but restricts amount of animal proteins since they also provide SFAs and cholesterol
  • Fats: Has least amount of ‘visible fats and oils’, for tight control of blood cholesterol, BP levels and heart risks
  • Micronutrients
Indian RDAs for nearly all nutrients are met More calcium, (international RDA is met) More potassium, magnesium, phytosterols and dietary fibre

Which guidelines are they influenced by?

NIN guidelines USDA guidelines TLC and DASH guidelines for heart risks  and MNT for diabetes


What are the TLC, DASH and MNT guidelines and how do they compare with NIN and USDA guidelines?

TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) diet for control of blood cholesterol:

TLC diet is one part of the three pronged TLC program which includes: weight management, diet changes and physical activity

This diet aims primarily to control high LDL cholesterol levels but it also has positive impact on weight loss, reduction of blood pressure, insulin resistance/blood sugar control, and blood lipid levels other than LDL (improved blood HDL and reduced TG levels)

DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet

DASH diet plans were designed to lower blood pressure and were found to effective for not only lowering BP, but also for better blood cholesterol, body weight and blood sugar levels

This diet plan agrees with TLC diet on macronutrients, but recommends tighter control of bad fats and more intake of heart-friendly nutrients such as potassium, magnesium and calcium

DASH diet has two variations: one that allows sodium up to 2300 mg/day (similar to normal population) and another that restricts sodium intake to

MNT (Medical Nutrition Therapy) for diabetes

MNT recommendations for diabetics are consistent with the ‘Optimized Indian Diet’. For people with heart risk factors, MNT also recommends TLC or DASH diets

Comparison of dietary goals in various guidelines
Carbohydrates 50-60%** 45-65% 55% 50-60%
Protein 10-20% 10-35% 18% 15-25%
Total fat 15-30% 20-35% 27% 25%-35%
Sat fat 8-10% <10% <6% <7%
Dietary cholesterol 300 mg 300 mg 150 mg
MUFA 15-20% 14-21% Up to 20%
PUFA 6-11% 5.6-11.2% Up to 10%

* % indicated are the % of total calories /day coming from particular nutrient (eg. carbohydrate)

** DASH diet trials had these % distributions of nutrients, the ranges are not specifically defined but are similar to TLC diet

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