We all are living an era of instant information, which in turn, sometimes becomes an overload of misinformation. Here’s an example: Nisha had a close friend’s wedding to attend and she had just ten days in hand to make herself look lean and beautiful. So, she Googled some detox diets for healthy weight control.
The result: Nisha had to be admitted to a hospital due to extreme weakness and hypotension. Same is the case with many around man; be it weight loss, lowering cholesterol or bulking up muscles or dealing with quick fix methods to energize self to increase work productivity.
When it comes to health matters, we cannot afford to play around, especially with stressful lives. It is important to be aware and get the right knowledge from the right sources or from a certified professional.
We would like to share a few healthy eating guidelines which can help you achieve healthy weight control and constitute a healthy body and mind.
Watch Your Platter
Indian diets are typically loaded with high percentage of carbohydrates, leaving little space for the body building blocks; proteins.
A meal should comprise of proper combination of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and of course good fats. Ensure a protein source in every meal like dairy products, pulses, beans, sprouts, eggs, lean meat and fish.
Check Portion Sizes
It is equally crucial to watch how much and what the plate is loaded with!!
Habituate yourself with eating small and frequent meals. Over the years research has proved that following this principle will help increase the body’s metabolic rate, lower the fat and build the lean body mass. Skipping meals and then over-eating will only add to the fat in the body, making it more sluggish. Mini meals such as nuts, fruits, yoghurt, protein bars, peanut butter sandwiches or simple homemade snacks are excellent options.
Understand The “Nutrition Facts Label”
As time has become a major constraint, it has become inevitable for many to stock some ready to eat foods at home/office. Get to know which products are actually good for you; rather than simply going for the ones that have been best marketed in advertisements as ‘healthy’ or ‘zero cholesterol’.
The label begins with a standard serving measurement, calories and a breakdown of different nutrients. Always listed are total fats with sub divisions, carbohydrates, sugars, protein, sodium, cholesterol, and sometimes micronutrients like the vitamins and minerals.
- Pay attention to the total servings in the entire packet and check how many would you be having, so as to keep in check the total calories consumed.
- General guide to calories; 40 calories is low; 100 calories is moderate and 400 or more is considered high. It is a general reference for calories while looking at a Nutrition Facts Label.
- Limit some nutrients especially fat, cholesterol, sodium. All these are proven to increase the risk of certain chronic diseases like cardio vascular diseases and some cancers as well.
- Get enough of nutrients like dietary fiber, calcium, iron and vitamins. Look at the label in totality e.g., products promoted as high dietary fiber; essential for healthy bowel function and weight loss, is usually loaded with sugar and fats too for palatable reasons.
- Check for trans-fat free products rather than zero trans-fat ones because amounts less than 0.5 g are rounded to 0 g. For example, if a product contains 0.45 g of trans fat per serving, and the package contains 10 servings, the label would show 0 g trans-fat but the product actually contains a total of 4.5 g of trans fat!!
Eat By Color
Just as you would love to dress into bright, pleasant and colorful clothing, similarly add a lot of varied colorful fruits and vegetables to your diet.
All the color comes from the nutrients of these super foods. Lycopene, which turn the tomatoes and watermelons red, is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against some cancers and heart diseases.
The lovely orange red colors of carrots and some citrus fruits is due to the beta carotene that helps in keeping our bones strong, healthy eyesight and boosts the immune system.
Add as many greens, yellows, reds, purples to your diet. Just pick up locally grown seasonal produce which nature provides us in abundance accordingly. Have at least 4-6 servings of vegetables and 2-3 servings of fruits every day.
Energize Mind and Body
Tackling your personal and professional life on a daily basis has become a herculean task. If low energy levels are a worry despite a good work out, sound sleep and relaxed environment then try inculcating these habits in addition to the above.
- Incorporate regular yoga and workouts in your routine. They are excellent ways to losing weight and energize your body.
- Rehydrate your body by drinking sufficient amounts of plain water, coconut water, buttermilk, juices, green tea., etc.
- Never go hungry and have good nutritious fresh food. Cut down on fats, avoid processed and junk foods.
- Take a multivitamin/mineral supplement with your food. Ensure that your calcium, iron, vitamin D intake is regular.
Special Chargers – Green Tea
Our body also needs some special and vital nutrients to take care of the excess workloads. Green tea definitely is one such charger that would work wonders, in addition to various healthy nuts & seeds.
Compounds like catechin polyphenols present in green tea make it a wonder food. These are powerful -anti-oxidants responsible for most of the health benefits linked to green tea. A regular consumption of 2-3 cups a day ensures multiple benefits like:
- Helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol thus reducing risk of stroke and heart attacks.
- Raises HDL (good) cholesterol thus in turn reducing high blood pressure.
- Helps in bone health and diabetes too.
- Also, an anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent and helps in alleviating any flu symptoms.
- Helps protection against some cancers.
- Promotes fat loss by boosting body’s metabolism and speeding fat oxidation.
- Other benefits, which all girls would absolutely love, includes achieving a clearer skin and better hair due to boost in antioxidants and healthy vitamins.
However, do note that expecting mothers should avoid green tea consumption especially during the first trimester to prevent any risk of neural tube defects in the fetus.
Stressful work environments and bad lifestyles is literally eating away our health. Let’s be a little more respectful towards our bodies and make good health more of an emergency criterion!!