Malaysian Dietary Guidelines

Yes, there is such thing after all and according to the guidelines:

* you should enjoy a variety of foods.
Different foods provide different combinations of energy (calories) and nutrients (like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and fibre). Eating a variety of foods is the best way to meet your energy and nutrient requirements in order to grow, develop, move, work, play, think and learn.

* you have to maintain a healthy body weight by balancing food intake with regular physical activity.
Maintaining healthy body weight helps you prevent health problems and gives you a better body image. On the other hand, being too thin or too fat increases the risk of health problems

* you are advised to eat more rice and other cereal products, legumes, fruit and vegetables.
These foods are emphasised because they provide complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fibre and other components that are important for good health.

* you should minimise fat in food preparation and choose foods that are low in fat and cholesterol.
Dietary fat is important to your health because it supplies energy, a variety of fatty acids (particularly those known as essential fatty acids or EFA), as well as fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Dietary fat also makes food more palatable.

* you can only use a small amount of salt and choose foods low in salt.
Sodium is vital for your body to function properly. However, only a very small amount of sodium is needed. Excessive sodium intake is associated with the incidence of high blood pressure.

* you have to reduce sugar intake and choose foods low in sugar.
Sugar is a useful and popular food item. However, other than simple carbohydrate (which provides energy), sugar is devoid of other nutrients. The World Health Organisation recommends that not more than 10% of energy should come from sugar.

* you have to drink plenty of water daily.
Water is essential for your body’s functions including digestion, nutrient absorption and transportation, excretion of waste products, regulation of body temperature and lubrication of
moving parts.

* you (read women) are advised to practise and promote breast-feeding.
Breastmilk provides all the nutrients that your baby needs for growth and development, including brain development. It also protects your baby from infection. Breastfed babies have less diarrhoea and infections, compared with bottle-fed babies. Breastfeeding is also beneficial to mother and promotes bonding with baby.

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