Eating is a necessity, but eating intelligently is an art.” This is the simple yet evocative statement of Kendall Pilgrim Gatan, Nutrition Officer III of the NNC-Regional Office 1 (NNC-RO 1) during a discussion concerning the 2017 Nutrition Month Talking Points upholding the theme, “Healthy diet, gawing habit- FOR LIFE!”. The 43rd Nutrition Month celebration was launched last July 3, 2017 at La Union National High School.
Gatan points out the necessity of a call toward the reorientation of the people regarding eating and health. He stressed that basically, we eat because our physical body needs it. However, how can we maintain a healthy body if we don’t eat a healthy diet?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nutrition is the intake of food, considered in relation to the body’s dietary needs. On the other hand, nutrients are vital to everyone’s nourishment. Therefore, eating the right kind and proper amount of foods should be religiously followed.
The Nutritional Guide Pyramid, introduced by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), is a graphical representation of the various kinds of foods grouped into five layers specified for every life stage.
In the pyramid, the base layer consisting of water and beverages has the widest compartment. Water helps the body maintain the balance of body fluids, control calories, energizes muscles, and helps the kidneys transport body fluids waste in and out of cells.
The second layer, the next widest compartment, consists of rice and rice products such as whole grains, bread, cereal, rice and pastas. Studies reveal that eating whole grains in any form produced is very beneficial to our health as they contain nutrients such as Vitamin B-complex, Vitamin E, fiber and iron.
The third base is divided into two compartments, the fruits and vegetables. These groups of foods are very essential because they provide lesser number of calories but are nutrient-dense.
Fourth layer is composed of the meats and meat substitutes like fishes, shellfishes, eggs, dried beans and legumes; and milk and dairy products. Meats and meat substitutes are the best sources of protein which our body needs for tissue repair and build-up.
Lastly, the fifth layer which is the top most part of the pyramid consists of the sweets and sugars. This part of the pyramid shows the smallest compartment which means it is recommended that they be consumed the least.
As there is no single food that can provide all the essential nutrients, we should eat a variety of food to have a healthy body. We must also be guided by the Pinggang Pinoy and the 10 Kumainments, the popular version of the 10 Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos, for our healthy diet.
Gatan said that a healthy diet does not need to be expensive. It’s just a proper choice of food. Being picky on the foods we eat doesn’t mean we are choosy; it’s just called the art of eating.
With a healthy diet coupled with a regular exercise, we can achieve a healthy life style. We can make it a habit – FOR LIFE. (Source: NNC Facebook)