In 2023, Arogya World launched a new nutrition tool called MyDesiPlate, based on US nutrition guidelines, plus a social media campaign #HealthyWaliDiwali in the US to encourage Indian Americans to eat right during the holidays. The launch event on Sep 30 included a panel discussion on “The Challenges of Eating Right” with invited nutrition experts, including Dr. Ashwini Wagle, San Jose State University, Dr. Shailja Mathur, Rutgers University, Dr. Minal Moharir, and Dr Nalini Saligram, Arogya World.
MyDesiPlate is based on USDA nutrition guidelines and provides an idea to Indian Americans and Americans alike what to eat and in what quantities at a typical Indian meal (approximately 450 calories providing about 30% of the calories of the day). It promotes two key concepts to eating right – a balanced meal and portion control. The amount of cooked food to be eaten is shown for lunch and we recommend that dinner is a lighter meal than this.
Healthy Recipes we are promoting:
Some healthy recipes including desserts are provided below and you can shop for ingredients quite conveniently on Instacart, our partner to promote healthy eating.
- Both cooked vegetables and salad in generous amounts
- ½ cup lentils (consider a variety of lentils such as kidney beans, black-
eyed peas, red lentils, split peas, mung bean, or toor dal)
- OR 3 oz chicken or other meat/fish/poultry providing the protein.
2/3 rd cup of plain low-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 whole wheat chapati (6 inch diameter) OR ½ cup of brown rice.
- The picture also indicates that one must eat 1.5 cups of fruit a day, no
more than 5 tsp of plant-based oils, and drink 7 – 8 cups of water every
- While USDA guidelines recommend no more than 1 tsp of salt per person
per day, experts guide that Indian Americans should try to consume even
less salt because of the pre-disposition to chronic diseases and restrict salt
intake to ¾ tsp across all meals in the whole day.
- We also encourage Americans and Indian Americans to reduce sugar
intake and avoid sugary drinks.
- Vegetarians can increase the amount of protein in their diet by adding tofu
or edamame or occasionally paneer to their meals.
- We recommend healthy snacks such as half an apple and a handful of
- We encourage people to not only pay attention to the food they eat but
also to do at least 150 min of moderate physical activity each week (per
the WHO guidelines https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-
sheets/detail/physical activity which calls for 150-300 min of moderate-
intensity aerobic physical activity per week for adults 18-64 years).
A social media campaign has also been launched to encourage people to
eat right during Diwali – #HealthyWaliDiwali – and throughout the
holidays. We are partnering with Indiaspora and South Asian Heart Center
to reach out to our US communities.