Study Reveals North Indian Diet May Not Provide Optimal Nutrition, Suggests Measures

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In a recent study conducted by researchers at The George Institute for Global Health India, in collaboration with the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh, some revelations have been made regarding the dietary habits of adults in north India. Published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, the study sheds light on the alarming trends in salt consumption, potassium intake, and protein consumption, all of which play pivotal roles in the onset of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and chronic kidney disease.

Lead author Prof. Vivekanand Jha emphasized the importance of understanding dietary habits, stating, “A poor nutritious diet is a major risk element for non-communicable diseases (NCD), which are of considerable public health concern. In India, people eat different foods, so it is important to know exactly what nutrients they are getting to help prevent and manage these diseases.”
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The findings of the study, which analysed 400 adults, including both healthy individuals and those with early-stage chronic kidney disease, revealed some concerning patterns.

Here are the key findings reported by the study:

  • Men were found to have higher nutrient intake compared to women, yet the overall dietary habits raised significant red flags.
  • The research uncovered excessive salt consumption, surpassing recommended levels, which poses a grave risk for hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and chronic kidney disease.
  • Furthermore, inadequate potassium intake further exacerbated these risks.
  • The study highlighted a worrisome trend of protein consumption falling below the recommended dietary allowance.
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Potassium is an important nutrient for our body. Image Credit: iStock

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To address these nutritional imbalances and mitigate the risks associated with NCDs, the researchers proposed several measures:

Measures to be Taken For Optimal Nutrition In India Diet:

  1. Personalized Dietary Changes: Individuals should tailor their diets to reduce the risks of common NCDs.
  2. Improved Food Labeling: Providing better information on food labels can empower consumers to make healthier choices.
  3. Reducing Salt in Processed Foods: Efforts should be made to reduce salt content in processed foods, a significant contributor to excessive salt intake.
  4. Promotion of Potassium-Rich Foods: Encouraging people to incorporate more fruits and vegetables rich in potassium can help address inadequate potassium intake. Click here for some protein-rich foods (not a part of the study).

Prof. Vivekanand Jha stressed the urgency of developing interventions targeted at individuals and society as a whole. By implementing these measures, we can work towards curbing the rising prevalence of NCDs in the country and promoting overall health and well-being.

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