Principles of Diet Planning

Whenever you are selecting food either in grocery store or from a restaurant menu you should remember the principles of diet planning.

There are six principles of diet planning:

  1. Adequacy
  2. Balance
  3. Energy control
  4. Moderation
  5. Nutrient density
  6. Variety

Lets discuss it one by one……


Adequacy means that the food an individual is eating is providing enough of all the nutrients to the energy needs. For example, iron is an essential nutrient and our body losses it everyday in some quantity. To restore the quantity of iron people have to eat iron supplements and foods that contain iron. A persons whose diet fails to provide enough iron may develop iron deficiency anemia. To prevent such deficiency, an individual must eat iron rich food to meet the requirement.

Balance in diet

Balance is the diet that helps to ensure adequacy. Balance means eat enough food according to need. To make your diet balance, you should include variety of foods in your diet because a single food cant provide all the nutrients.

Energy control

Careful planning is needed in order to design an adequate diet within required RDA. Individual Physical activity level also play important role in energy control as the amount of energy coming from food should be sustain in daily activities.

Moderation in diet

Moderation means providing enough but not too much of the substance. Foods rich in fat and sugar promote weight gain, if eaten in excess amount. Select foods that are low in fat, sodium and added sugar. For example: if you are consuming whole milk, then shift to low fat milk as it contain less calories that whole milk.

Nutrient density

To stay away from overeating, select nutrient dense food that provide most nutrients but less energy. Avoid foods that are low in nutrient density such as chips, candies – are sometimes called empty calorie food.


Variety means eating a wide selection of food within the major food groups. People should select food from all food groups because all food groups provide different nutrients. Example: Milk group is rich in calcium and vegetables group is high in fiber.

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