A healthy balanced diet is the main basis for a well functioning body as it helps maintain an ideal body weight, prevent diseases and leads to an overall excellent performance of body and mind. Hence it is very important you make the right choices of food that you eat and the food you eat contains several different types of nutrients which are essential for many vital processes in your body.
Healthy eating includes consuming a nutritious, well balanced diet along with regular physical activity to keep your body fit and cool. It is very important that you include foods that have good source of proteins, carbohydrates, heart healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and water and minimize processed foods, saturated fats etc.
Eating in this manner daily will help each one of us in maintain the body’s everyday functions, promotes optimal body weight and prevent from diseases. The nutrients rich food that you eat will support the activities of day to day living and protect your cells from environmental damage and repair if any cellular damage might occur.
Protein rebuilds injured tissues and promotes a healthy immune system while both carbohydrates and fats fuel your body. Vitamins and minerals support various functions of your body’s processes and Calcium and phosphorus keep your bones strong while sodium and potassium help transmit nerve signals. Without a healthy diet involving all the essential nutrients in one meal would make you compromise on any of these essential factors.
If you are not a regular healthy diet eater then gradually make changes which will help you in many ways in the long run. Start off drinking good amount of water instead of gulping down those sugary drinks. If you are a hard-core non-vegetarian, then start eating lean meats instead of fatty cuts. Include whole wheat grains instead of refined grains and increase your dietary fibre intake.
Fresh fruits and vegetables contain less sodium than canned, and snacking on fresh, crunchy produce like carrots, apples and cucumber slices is healthier than the fats and salt in chips. Since ages, doctors advise that we need to eat low fat diet which is the key to losing weight, manage cholesterol and prevent health problems but more than that, we must actually check the amount of fat we intake and the type of fat you eat really matters. Believe it or not, not all fats are bad.
There are few healthy fat that keep the cholesterol at healthy levels and help keep you feeling full. To understand what healthy fats you can eat, we need to know firstly the four major types of fat. The four major types of fats are Monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, saturated fats and trans fats.
Here the first two types of fats are known as the good fats because they are good for your heart, cholesterol and overall health. Monounsaturated fat includes: Olive oil, Canola oil, Sunflower oil, Sesame oil, Peanut oil, Peanut butter, Avocados, Olives and Nuts (cashew nuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts etc) while polyunsaturated fats are soybean oil, corn oil, walnuts, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds, flaxseed. Fatty fishes like salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout and sardines, soymilk and Tofu.
Saturated fats and Trans fats are known as bad fats because they increase the risk of disease and elevate your cholesterol levels. Trans fats or hydrogenated oil are used in the manufacture of food to help the food stay fresh and longer shelf life. Trans fat foods include commercially bakes cookies, muffins, cakes, doughnuts, pastries, packaged snack foods like crackers, chips and microwave popcorn, vegetable shortening, candy bars and fried foods like chicken nuggets, fried chicken and French fries.
Saturated fat foods such as chicken with skin, whole fat dairy products, butter, cheese, ice cream, palm and coconut oil. This will surely help you choose in eating the right healthy fat foods. Do include omega 3 fat every day. Food rich in omega 3 fats are fresh fish, walnuts, ground flax seeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil and soybean oil.
Ways to avoid or reduce saturated fats: Change the method of cooking by baking, broiling or grilling the food instead of frying. Eat lean meat like fish and chicken without skin. Avoid or reduce eating red meats like beef, pork or lamb. Use low fat milk and low fat cheeses like mozzarella. Avoid cream and cheese sauces. Use liquid vegetables oils like olive oil or canola oil instead of butter, margarine or lard.
Healthy fat foods to eat: It is important that we eat fats in moderation or else lack of fats will lead to other issues like rough skin and night blindness etc but remember that overconsumption on the other hand leads to Obesity. Whenever we think of eating healthy fat foods, the most important is to make the right choices of food to include in our daily diet.Choose a variety of foods in amounts appropriate for a person’s age, gender, physiological status and physical activity. It is also important to choose food items from each food group to meet your nutritional requirements.
Smart choices to choose various healthy foods: Choose or include whole grain foods like brown bread and brown rice which is healthier than the polished rice. Include lot of seasonal veggies and fruits in your daily diet. Make sure to consume dark green leafy veggies everyday which is a powerhouse of nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Keep colorful and healthy food servings that include a variety of red veggies, oranges, carrots, papaya, mangoes, pomegranate, watermelon, plums etc. Use jaggery or honey to sweeten the delicacies instead of sugar. Include a combination of whole grains, pulses, grams, nuts and seeds along with veggies and fruits to make variety of fresh foods.
Last but not the least always strive to consume healthy, nutritious home cooked meals instead of eating out. To stay fit and healthy, it is very important that we maintain a low fat diet. Indian cuisine is aromatic, warm and loaded with healthy spices and ingredients. This can be controlled by avoiding loads of fat, butter, oil and cream. Reducing the fat in Indian cooking is one of the challenges we face while cooking healthy food. Choosing the right healthy vegetarian foods is important for avoiding those high in fats, sodium and cholesterol.
Usually when we say “low fat”, the thought, that comes to mind is that; “Oh! That would be Yuck – bland and boring without any taste or flavor.” But it needn’t be so. A low fat meal can also be delicious and fun when properly prepared with a little creativity and imagination.
Some of the low fat yet mouth watering recipes include Low fat Mushroom & Peas in tomato red pepper gravy, Fat Free Mix Vegetable Indian Bread Paratha
You could always reach me at my website for more amazing nutritious and healthy recipes at: www.vahrehvah.com You could also follow this campaign to gain knowledge on some special features and advices from eminent doctors from AAPI (American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin) and also get to know of healthy recipes and diets from popular Chefs that you and your family can relish and enjoy staying fit and strong.
To follow, do click on: https://www.facebook.com/AAPIChildhoodObesity
Enjoy healthy eating and Be Fit. Be Cool!