Eating well or eating healthy requires very little effort. Healthy eating ensures lifelong protection against many diseases and good quality of life. You may find it difficult to choose healthy food from the variety of healthy and junk food that are now commonly available
Remember that food sustains you. It gives you the energy to work and is necessary for growth and maintenance of your body. However, food in excess of your bodily needs will be stored as fat. As the amount of stored fat increases, several diseases crop up – diabetes, heart diseases, sometimes even cancer. Choice of quality and quantity of food is very essential for good health.
It is easy to eat healthy if you remember the 3 C's - Choice, Control and Colour.
The type of food and the amount food you choose can very easily affect your health. Always choose.
a variety of food types – Healthy food is a judicious combination of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, fat and minerals. vegetable oils over animal fat (such as butter,ghee,red meat etc.) food high in dietary fiber – raw fruits and vegetables healthy cooking methods such as steaming boiling or stir-frying (using very less oil)
Control and Moderation in what you eat is important. Make sure you control:
The quantity (amount) of food you eat. Avoid overeating. Feeling like a stuffed python after a meal is a clear path to illness. the quantity of salt you consume. the fat/oil content in your meal plan. Restrict deep fried foods to once a week or even less. the intake of junk food such as aerated drinks, sugary beverages, sweets and desserts, fast foods such as pizzas, burgers, samosas, bajjis, bondas, etc.
Add colour to your daily eating plan –natural colours, not artificial colourants. Include colourful fruits and vegetables to your diet. The colours present in these vegetables and fruits are called pigments that provide lifelong benefits.
»» "Am I eating well" checklist
* is there at least 2 servings of vegetables in my plate every meal?
* is there at least 1 serving of whole grain in my plate every meal?
* Have I consumed at least 3 servings of low fat milk/milk products today?
* Have I eaten at least 2 different fruits today?
* Have I used at least 2 different types of oil today in my cooking?
* Have I limited my intake of high fat foods and foods high in sugar?
* Is my meat portion small and is it steamed or shallow fried?(for non-vegetarians).
* Did I stop eating before I felt full?
* Have I drunk eight glasses of water today?
* Am I eating a variety of food?
It may take time to change habits but it is certainly achievable. Taking small steps and making minor changes is all that is required. A qualified dietitian can assist you in making these changes.
»» What one is serving?
A serving can be the amount of food that you serve yourself once. Eg. A cup of 150 ml can be taken as a serving.
»» What is dietary fiber?
Dietary fiber is that part of the plant that is not digested by the human body. It is important to have adequate amounts of dietary fiber in the form of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This helps the body eliminate waste more efficiently. In addition, dietary fiber is known to:
* make you feel full so that you can avoid overeating.
* reduces blood cholesterol level
* Help in blood sugar control
* protect against cancer