We make numerous food choices over the day. These food choices are influenced by what matters to us the most.
Being healthy, our mood, taste / personal likes dislikes, physical health, convenience, availability, cost .
Nutrition is a simple act of providing nourishment to the body, in the form of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. A balanced diet is the diet which provides us all these nutrients in the balanced amount and proportions. The requirement of these nutrients varies based on the age, gender, physical activity and physiological status of an individual. A balanced diet should provide 50-60% of the total calories from carbohydrates, 10-15% from fats and 20-30% from proteins.
- Using an imaginary line divide your dinner plate into two equal halves. Then divide one half into two parts so that you get three parts.
- Fill the largest part with vegetables, such as methi, spinach, dill (shepu), beetroot, ladies finger, capsicum, potato (small portion). Hand trick: as much as you can hold in both your hands.
- Fill the one small portion with lentils and pulses or meat and seafood or eggs. Hand trick: portion size the amount of your palm.
- Fill the other one-fourth portion with starchy foods like cereals, wheat, rice, chapatti, pasta, oats, potato (if used in large quantity). Hand trick: portion size two fistful.
Modify Your Dietary Habits
- Avoid feasting and fasting. Prolonged gaps between two major meals deprive the body from the vital nutrients and reduce work efficacy.
- Avoid skipping meals to reduce weight.
- Try eating at the same time each day.
- Choose foods rich in dietary fiber. Avoid refined or processed foods such as maida, cornflour, prefer whole foods like whole wheat flour or oats which are rich in dietary fiber.
- Limit intake of fried foods or snacks. Prefer roasted foods like roasted channa or puffed popcorn over fried groundnut or snack.
- Prefer whole fresh fruits over fresh or preserved fruit juices.
- For thirst control and better health avoid excessive salt intake and foods / seasonings with salt or high sodium content. Consume sufficient amounts of water. Requirement of fluid intake may vary depending on your physiological condition and climate.
- Reduce intake of sugary drinks, opt for lemon water, coconut water, unsweetened buttermilk.
- Look out for hidden sugar. Dextrose, Corn Syrup, Invert sugar, Glucose, Fructose, Sucrose are some other forms of sugar. Avoid them.
- Read labels carefully for their content while purchasing packaged or processed foods.
- Say no to saturated fat. Choose foods low in sweet, salt and oil.
- Avoid adding groundnut / coconut / jaggery / sugar while cooking vegetables.
- Prefer healthier cooking techniques such as boiling, grilling, roasting, steaming.
- Sedentary lifestyle invites weight gain. Try being active. Walk/ exercise at least 30 minutes a day (at least 5 days a week) (Consult your Physician before starting any exercise.
Keep in mind these are suggestions to help you choose wisely. These are not the only choices that are possible.