Changing eating habits and mindset
Think nutrients, not food.
“Since consumers think of eating in terms of food and not of nutrients, recommendations of adequate levels of nutrients need to be translated into food,” said Food and Nutrition Research Institute science research specialist Carl Vincent Cabanilla.
This is why the FNRI recently released the 2015 Philippine Dietary Reference Intakes (PDRI), which aims to help people know how much nutrients they need for a day.
Presented on Aug. 25 by the FNRI during the Global Forum on Research Innovation for Health at the Philippine International Convention Center, the PDRI features multilevel reference values for energy and nutrient intakes, an update from the 2002 Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intake (Reni).
The PRDI aims to be “the starting point for other dietary recommendations and tools,” Cabanilla said.
Aside from including the Reni, which focuses primarily on preventing nutrient deficiencies, the PDRI added three other reference values:
- Estimated average requirement (EAR), the recommended reference for assessing and planning diets of groups and individuals, which can be used to assess and plan someone’s diet.
- Adequate intake, used in the absence of EAR, is taken from the average intake of a nutrient among a group of “apparently healthy” individuals.
- Tolerance upper intake level, or upper limit, which shows the limit to how much of a nutrient can one take in. In other words it sets the maximum amount of a nutrient that is safe to consume.
FNRI director Dr. Mario V. Capanzana said the PDRI can be the first step in informing the public on the proper amount of nutrients to be taken in, and in encouraging them to follow a proper diet.
The PDRI is one of the FNRI’s response to the rising cases of obesity, malnutrition and noncommunicable diseases such as hypertension among Filipinos, following last year’s launch, in cooperation with the Department of Health, of “Pinggang Pinoy,” a visual guide on how to fill-up one’s plate with the right amount and quality of food. Pinggang Pinoy supplements the whole-day food intake recommendation Food Guide Pyramid, which advised Filipinos to eat more of the food at the lowest parts of the pyramid (vegetables and whole grains) and less of those featured at the higher levels (red meat, sugar, fats, and oils).