Eating right food in the correct quantity is essential for a healthy living. Each nutrient performs specific functions for overall well being. Due to our busy lifestyle, we neglect our body needs as our focus has moved from healthy eating to convenience eating. The processed foods are not only high in fat and preservatives, but also nutrient deficient. The result is nutrition deficiency, weight gain, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, etc.
The best way to get out of this “PROCESSED FOOD TRAP” is to understand your body’s nutritional needs. A little bit of planning and self-motivation can help you. Below are some recommendations on what to eat and what to avoid.
Foods to be included in your daily menu:
- Seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables
- Green leafy vegetables like spinach, fenugreek greens, mint and coriander
- Vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, and broccoli, which are rich in fiber and a lot of vitamins and minerals
- Whole fruits like apples, guavas, oranges, and pears, as they provide our daily requirement of dietary fiber
- Chapatti, brown rice, and oats as they are naturally low in fat
- Pulses and legumes to give us our daily requirement of proteins
- Handful of nuts like almonds, walnut, peanuts etc.
- Skimmed milk
- Home made clear soups and salads
Foods to be included in moderation:
- Restrict Eggs to 2-3 in a week . You can be liberal with the egg whites.
- Reduce your whole milk consumption and substitute it with skimmed milk.
- Use oils sparingly in your cooking. Use oils like peanut oil, sesame oil, safflower oil, mustard oil etc.
- Less of white sugar as it is packed with empty calories. Best would be to replace it with brown sugar or powdered jaggery.
- Cut down on salt intake
- Limit your alcohol intake
- Chicken and fish preparations with very little oil
- Light Sweets and desserts
- Less coffee and Tea
If your target is weight loss and also if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension, high lipid profile, hypothyroidism, then it is advisable to avoid the following foods:
- Foods containing partially hydrogenated oils, which are also called trans fats. Check the food labels to check on these.
- Fried foods
- Red meat & processed meats (sausage, salami, hot dogs)
- Organ meats (brain, kidney, liver)
- Salt packed stuffs
- Aerated drinks
- Canned and preserved foods
- Refined flour (Maida) products such as biscuits, noodles, white breads, bakery products
- Mayonnaise and fatty salad dressings
- Butter and cheese
Humans are social beings so it is natural for people to go out and party once in a while. Just keeping in mind a few things will ensure that you are just doing fine. The following tips will guide you on what to eat and what to avoid.
- Ask for the ingredients and also the method of cooking while ordering a new recipe from the menu.
- Have a liberal serving of salads (make note of the dressing)
- Always prefer plain roti to any other form of breads
- You can always give instruction to the chef about your requirements.
- Eat slowly and chew your food properly.
- Don’t let others force you into eating more.
- Avoid alcohol, sweetened juices or aerated drinks with your meals.
- Don’t rush for second helping…. wait and see if there is a need.
- Share a dessert, as this will help to cut down on unwanted calories.
- Avoid ordering creamy and buttery dishes.
- Always go for the clear soup options.
- When choosing non vegetarian dishes opt for grilled, baked or steamed recipes
In order to stay healthy, apart from a healthy diet, you also need an exercise schedule of at least 45 minutes per day. You can go swimming, cycling, aerobics, dancing, yoga or just play a game. Keep your body well hydrated by having approximately 8-10 glasses of water per day. For a healthy body and a stress-free mind, a sleep pattern of 7-8 hours is very important.
Wishing you success in discovering a “Healthy You” in 2018.