Guides available to help ensure a healthy diet

There are several guides that can help Filipinos achieve a healthy diet.

a. Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos (NGF). The 2012 NGF, which contains 10 messages and corresponding nutrition and health rationale, aims to improve the nutritional status, productivity and quality of life of the population, through adoption of desirable dietary practices and healthy lifestyle. The ten messages are as follows:

1) Eat a variety of foods every day to get the nutrients needed by the body.

2) Breastfeed infants exclusively from birth up to 6 months then give appropriate complementary foods while continuing breastfeeding for 2 years and beyond for optimum growth and development.

3) Eat more vegetables and fruits every day to get essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber for regulation of body processes.

4) Consume fish, lean meat, poultry, egg, dried beans or nuts daily for growth and repair of body tissues.

5) Consume milk, milk products and other calcium-rich foods every day for healthy bones and teeth.

6) Consume safe foods and water to prevent diarrhea and other food- and water-borne diseases.

7) Use iodized salt to prevent iodine deficiency disorders.

8) Limit intake of salty, fried, fatty and sugar-rich foods to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

9) Attain normal body weight through proper diet and moderate physical activity to maintain good health and help prevent obesity.

10) Be physically active, make healthy food choices, manage stress, avoid alcoholic beverage and do not smoke to help prevent lifestyle-related non-communicable diseases.

To popularize the NGF, the “10 Kumainments” was developed which consists of shorter and simpler messages in Filipino for better recall and understanding. The 10 Kumainments have been translated into several regional languages such as Ibanag, Cebuano and Ilocano to increase their appreciation and understanding by the public.

b. Pinggang Pinoy. Pinggang Pinoy is a visual tool developed by FNRI- DOST that serves as a guide for Filipinos in determining the right amount of food to be consumed per meal in order to help Filipinos acquire healthy eating habits needed to attain optimum nutrition. This food guide uses a food plate model and shows the recommended proportion by food group (Go, Grow and Glow) in every meal. \Pinggang Pinoy food guides for different population and physiologic groups were developed, including food guides for children, adolescents, adults, older persons, as well as for pregnant and lactating women.

Recommendations on how to fill up one’s plate with foods from the different food groups were made for the different population and physiologic groups.

The recommended amount, in household portions, of the different items in each food group for each population group can be found in Appendices A-E.

c. Nutritional Guide Pyramid. The Daily Nutritional Guide Pyramid for Filipinos is a pictorial guide educating consumers on the proper amounts of servings to be consumed per day, emphasizing on the principle of eating a variety of foods. This guide shows foods to be eaten the most up to the foods to be eaten the least, starting from the base of the pyramid to its peak. The peak of the pyramid includes fats, oils, sugar and sweets, which should be eaten least. The second layer includes sources of protein such as fish, meats, poultry milk and cheese. The third layer of the pyramid includes fruits and vegetables. The fourth layer comprises food to be consumed in bulk, including rice and other sources of carbohydrates such as corn and root crops. (Source: National Nutrition Council)