Recommended daily intake of nuts is 40-45 grams for men and 30-40 grams for women

India has released new dietary guidelines that include nuts in the definition of a “healthy meal” and outline recommended daily nut intake levels for men, women and children. The guidelines also envisage a key role for nuts in meeting daily needs of fats and essential fatty acids.

Released on May 8 by India’s National Institute of Nutrition, the new guidelines represent the first update to India’s dietary recommendations in 13 years.

The document defines a healthy meal as follows: “A healthy meal (food) includes generous amounts of vegetables, adequate whole grains and pulses or beans, along with modest portions of nuts or seeds, complemented by a selection of fruits and plain fermented yogurt or curd. It is free of added sugars or contains very minimal amounts, and is seasoned with minimal oils/fats and salt for taste.”

For a balanced diet to meet daily nutrient requirements, the guidelines recommend a daily nut intake of 40 grams for sedentary men, 45 grams for moderately active men, 30 grams for sedentary women and 40 grams for moderately active women. Daily nut intake recommendations for children range from 7 grams to 50 grams, depending on age and gender.

The guidelines also set out a key role for nuts in meeting daily needs of fats and essential fatty acids. Guideline 7 states: “Use fats/oils in moderation; choose a variety of oil seeds, nuts, nutricereals, and legumes to meet daily needs of fats and essential fatty acids (EFA).” The document goes on to explain: “If one consumes adequate amounts of nuts, oilseeds, pulses and beans, the required amounts of 6.6g of n-6 PUFA and 2.2g of n-3 PUFA are easily met for all the essential functions in the body; and hence, there is no need for visible fats.”

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