The ancient saying that ‘Health is wealth’, have never fallen short of its pristine truism. It is the measure of life’s longevity; this is the reason the sorts of food we consume should be given conscientious attention.
By Ezinne Success
Food consumption is a life-long affair: a thing that contributes to maintaining an ever-radiant skin, a robust physical fitness, a mentally alert mind, and a healthy and overall balanced body. Apart from knowing the foods to eat, being aware of how best to consume them, the time for its intake and the most acceptable quantity for each consumption, is requisite.
Measures need to be taken towards ensuring that the correct amount of nutrients and right dietary statistics are contained in every food, as these are things which make eating salubrious.
1. Pick meals with a certain concentration of starchy carbohydrates: The quantity of carbohydrates should be a little above one third of the total food served. Among a lot of them are; cereals, oats, rice, bread, potatoes, yam and pasta. Also, ensure to include a minimum quantity of starchy foods with every main meal.
Though the general misconception is that starchy foods are fattening agents, yet, with the appropriate gram, they provide less calories of fat. In other to be safe than sorry, limit the fats when making or serving these kind of foods, as incorrect measurement could heighten the calorie content. For instance, oil during baking or frying, margarine on bread and sauces with pasta.
2. Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables: This is a unique food class composed of a plethora of fibre, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, which have active body building effects.
The benefits fixed with the intake of veggies and fruits seem not to be over-stressed. They are: the protection from cancer, heart disorder, effects accompanied with aging, obesity and an increased life span. It is advised to always add some quantity of fruits or its equivalent- a glass of fruit juice, smoothies and vegetables, with every meal, to be taken.
It may mean having your breakfast with one or two balls of apples or a glass of smoothie, alongside your afternoon meal.
3. High fish intake: As a quality protein provider, the consumption of fish is so essential to the body’s growth and maintenance. Fish is widely acclaimed to contain a healthy amount of fat. This is exceptionally true of fatty fishes as Salmon, Mackerel, Herring, Sardines, which have a great degree of Omega-3 fats that has the likelihood of preventing heart disease, dementia, diabetes and depression.
The American Heart Association recommends fish consumption at least twice, every week.
4. Minimize saturated fat and sugar: However vital fat is to the diet, it is expected to be consumed in the right proportion and moderation. There are fat of 2 types; Saturated and Unsaturated Fats. Excess saturated fats increase the cholesterol content in the blood leading to the danger of heart disease.
Saturated fats are contained in foods as: slices of fatty meat, cakes, hard cheese, sausages, biscuits, pies cream etc. This makes it advisable to reduce saturated fat intake and opt for foods containing unsaturated fats such as vegetable oils and spreads, avocados and oily fishes. However, every kind of fat needs to be eaten in little amounts, and measured adequately, since they are all high in energy.
On the other hand, steadily consuming foods and liquids, with intense volume of sugar, raises the risk of obesity and tooth decay. With the high degree of energy, if eaten very often, contributes to weight gain. Also, the danger of tooth decay happens when eaten between meals. Moderation in its intake, needs to be applied, so that there will be no less or more consumption.
5. Cut down the salt intake: There needs to be a reduction in the overall quantity of salt to be consumed, everyday. More salt consumption exposes our bodies to high blood pressure which has an adverse effect of culminating into a disease of the heart, or also, stroke.
Food labels will serve a proper guide in knowing the exact quantity of salt, each day. It is prescribed that adults should have no more than 6g, about a teaspoonful, per day, in their overall meals.
6. Work out to maintain healthy weight: Healthy eating is directly proportional to a healthy physique. Aside the regular eating of fine quantities of foods with exact nutrients, constantly engaging in exercise sessions, are equally weighty.
It assists in cutting short the chances of severe health issues. The risks being overweight poses are: diabetes, cancer, stroke and heart disease. In trying to have a reduced size, consume fewer calories, eat less and remain active. With the wholesome, balanced diet being taken in, a healthy weight is achievable. Also, do not push away the thought of visiting a dietitian for advice.
7. Remain hydrated: The essence of fluids – water, fruit and vegetable juice, smoothies, low fat milk and low sugar drinks will never lose its value. The body needs a lot of water to get healthier and perform metabolic functions.
Medical practitioners recommend the consumption of 6-8 glasses of water daily. In addition, during the hot season and exercising, it is best to have more fluids.
8. Opt for whole foods rather than processed ones: In an attempt to eat healthy, the preference of whole foods, should be ranked highest on the food scale. It is best doing away with junk foods, as they are most times unhealthy and unfit for the body.
These could be ramen or instant noodles, processed meat, sugary drinks, processed cheese, pizza, industrially produced vegetable oils, which are extremely low in fibre, protein, vitamins and micronutrients, thus providing empty calories to the body, contrary to the numerous benefits of whole foods.
9. Stick to ideal timing: It is imperative recognizing the best time for meal intake. They have positive, far-reaching effects in our bodies, in the long run. The acknowledged time for breakfast is 7a.m., while that of lunch is 12:45p.m. and dinner, before 7p.m. or at most, at 7p.m.
This gives room for early and sufficient digestion, thereby helping in muscle growth, sports performance and fat loss.