Understanding Good Nutrition For Filipino Adults

10:47 AM
THE NUTRITIONAL NEEDS OF ADULTS change with every decade of life: to stay healthy for a lifetime, we need to change the way we eat as we move from our teens to our 20s; from our 30s to 40s and so on. 
We need to do this if we want to give our best performance at work, in sports, in our hobbies and during activities with our family and friends.
The FNRI recommends that young to middle-aged adults should consume more fruits and vegetables per meal. Carbohydrate foods like rice or pasta may also be eaten but in lesser quantities. They may drink six to eight glasses of various healthy beverages, including fruit juices, water and others

To get complete nutrition for a lifetime, we need to know the proper diet that is appropriate for our age group and take multivitamins and mineral supplements as needed.

According Rommel Tinio, M.D., a biochemist and medical doctor who specializes in nutritional medicine, adults need to restrict their calorie intake as they get older. They also need to change the portions they eat from different food groups.

Dr. Tinio operates his own clinic, Health Asia Medical Clinic in Makati, where he treats patients using nutrition therapies. He also coaches them on how a proper diet can help them stay in good health.

 “Our energy requirements decrease when we get older so, in general, we need less amounts of energy-giving foods like rice. This more true if, as adults, we live sedentary lifestyles. We should eat less carbohydrates in every meal.

“”For example, if we used to eat a cup of rice when we were in our 20s, we need to eat half a cup of rice in every meal in our 30s and 40s. Those who are overweight or obese need to take even less than that,” he explained.

On the other hand, adults would need to take more nutrient-rich foods as they get older. This means adults should eat more vegetables in every meal—as much as two fistfuls of vegetables in each meal, if a person is able to do so.

“A general rule of thumb would the ‘1-1-3’ food portioning guide. On our plate, at every meal, let’s imagine that we have a pizza with five slices. One slice would be our protein food, which is ideally fish instead of meat. Another slice is our carbohydrate food, which is our rice, for example. Then, the three other slices would be our vegetables,” he explained.

Dr. Tinio added that the “1-1-3” food portioning guide can be adjusted to a person’s individual appetite, as some people eat less than others. He also said that while fruits are also rich in vitamins and minerals, they should be counted as carbohydrates as well.

“Fruits are sources of carbohydrates as they have sugar in them. So, if we are eating fruits along with our meal, we count them as our carbohydrate portion and so we need to lessen the amount of rice on our plate.

“As much as possible, we should also eat vegetables raw. Cooking destroys vitamins and minerals. To get the full nutrition from vegetables, it’s best to eat them raw,” he said.

FNRI Food Guides

The Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) has a different approach to adult nutrition, compared to Dr. Tinio’s.

The FNRI created different dietary guides for Filipino adults within different age brackets—one for young and middle-aged adults at  19-29, 30 to 49 years old, and another for older adults within the ages of 50-65, and 65 and above. This is because adults at different ages have changing nutritional needs that must be met through adjustments in their diets.

There are also food pyramids for pregnant women and for lactating women.


Daily food guide for young and middle-aged adults (ages 19 to 59)

The FNRI recommends that young and middle-aged adults follow the serving recommendations below. The serving recommendations are for consumption for the whole day, not per meal. 

First of all, drinking the right amounts of water, which means about eight glasses of water and beverages a day, is recommended.

Daily intake of Centrum vitamins and minerals supplement helps young to middle-aged adults to get complete nutrition when it is combined with a healthy diet. Centrum gives six health benefits including energy, immunity, healthy eyes, healthy skin, healthy heart, and strong bones

Dr. Rommel Tinio, a specialist in nutrition medicine, says we need to take vitamins and minerals supplements—because we may not be getting enough nutrition in our daily diet. Our exposure to stress and pollution also requires that we take in as much vitamins and minerals as possible to protect us against illness

The FNRI recommends that middle-aged adults should consume more vegetables and fruits per meal. They may also consume more protein foods like fish, milk and other dairy products. They must control their intake of carbohydrate foods. Drinking six to eight glasses of water and other beverages is also recommended

The FNRI advises older adults (age 60 and above) to consume three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruits, daily. Consumption of milk and milk products, protein foods, sugary foods, and fats and oils should be limited


Adults within this age range must eat five to eight servings of carbohydrate foods. These foods include rice, rice products, corn, root crops, bread and noodles. One serving is equivalent to 1 cup of rice; four slices of loaf bread; five pieces of small pan de sal; two pieces or slices of puto; one cup of corn; one cup of yellow camote; or two cups of noodles.

They must also consume three servings of vegetables, which is about 3 cups of raw leafy vegetables or 6 cups of cooked leafy vegetables. Young and middle-aged adults also need two to three servings of fruits a day,or 2-3 medium fruits or slices of a large fruit .

They also need to eat more protein foods. These include fish and shellfish, meat and poultry, dried beans and nuts. Other sources are eggs, milk and mild products

The serving recommendations are as follows: Three to four servings of fish and shellfish, meat and poultry, dried beans and nuts; one egg; and one glass of milk or other milk product.

The amounts of fats, oils and sugars consumed per day must be limited to amounts equal to six to eight teaspoons of fats and oils, and six to eight teaspoons of sugary foods.

This adult food guide is not recommended to pregnant and lactating women. Adults who are obese and overweight are also advised to follow the advice of their doctor, dietitian and nutritionist when it comes to their diet.


Daily food guide for older adults (ages 60 to 69)

The FNRI recommends that older adults consume six to eight glasses of water and other beverages, daily. They should also eat four and a half to six servings of rice, rice products, corn, bread or noodles.

Older adults should consume three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruits, daily. Consumption of milk and milk products should be limited to two-thirds or three-fourths glass of milk and milk products.

They should also keep track of the amounts of protein foods they consume, limiting these to three servings of fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, dried beans and nuts. They may eat one egg per day.

Older adults must also limit their consumption of sugary foods to four to six teaspoons, and take only two to five teaspoons of fats and oils.


Daily food guide for pregnant women

Pregnant adults are encouraged to eat five to six servings of rice, rice products, root crops, corn, bread and noodles. 

They should also eat three to four servings of vegetables a day, along with two servings of fruits. They may eat four to five servings of fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, dried beans and nuts.

They may also eat more sugary foods, fats, and oils. Six teaspoons of sugary foods are recommended, while seven servings are recommended for fats and oils,

They need to drink six to eight glasses of water and other beverages a day.

Daily food guide for lactating women

Lactating women should eat more carbohydrate foods and more vegetables. They should consume six to seven servings of rice, rice products, root crops, corn, bread, and noodles. They need four servings of vegetables and two servings of fruits a day.

When it comes to protein sources, they may consume four to five servings of fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, dried beans and nuts. Also, they may drink one glass of milk, and eat one egg per day.

They also need to consume seven teaspoons of fats and oils, as well as six teaspoons of sugary foods. A daily intake of six to eight glasses of water and other beverages are recommended for them.

Supplements for adults

According to Dr. Tinio, taking multivitamins and minerals supplements are important to adults, especially nowadays.

Dr. Tinio said that the quality of our food today is no longer so good. In our daily life, we may not be getting enough nutrition. We are also exposed to more stress and more pollution. So he recommends that adults take food supplements in addition to eating a healthy diet appropriate for their age.

“There are many types of food supplements, including multivitamins, herbal supplements and probiotics--but the basic food supplements we should all take is a multivitamins and minerals supplement plus an omega-3 supplement.

“Just remember that a food supplement is not meant to replace a healthy diet. That’s what a supplement is: it’s supposed to add to whatever nutrients may still be lacking from the healthy foods we eat,” he said.

Centrum is a multivitamin brand that provides Filipinos with six health benefits including energy, immunity, and healthy eyes, skin and heart. Centrum helps fill in the nutritional gaps on those days when one eats too little or none at all.  It also helps a person reach his recommended intake of certain nutrients that are most difficult to get from food alone.

Simply put, daily intake of a multivitamin supplement like Centrum helps ensure that one is at his best every day.

Complete from A to Zinc, Centrum completes every Filipino’s daily meals with a comprehensive range of 30 essential vitamins and minerals.   It helps one carry out his daily tasks with efficiency and focus. 

Centrum offers several types of multivitamin supplements that are suitable to an adult’s age group. Centrum for the average working age group of below 50 years old while Centrum Silver is apt for those who are 50 years old and above. 

By keeping up with the latest research on nutrition, eating a proper diet, plus a  daily dose of a multivitamin supplement like Centrum, we can perform at our peak whether at work or at play. A quality multi-vitamin is a great addition to an already healthy diet.  Take one today.

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