March has been tagged as the Nutrition Month 2018, a public campaign that has been started to “Unlock the Potential of Food” and healthy eating.
Here are 10 tips for healthy eating:
1. Don’t eliminate carbohydrates totally from your platter. Whole grains are a wonderful source of carbs that are actually good for your health.
2. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health suggests you should pick foods that contain healthy fats like plant oils, nuts and fish. Limit having foods high in saturated fat, while you should totally avoid food with trans fat.
3. Go for fiber-filled diets. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Fitness Magazine suggests: “… practice the ’50 percent rule’: aim to have half of your lunch or dinner plate covered in veggies. Not only will this help you get your nutrition fix in, but you’ll also likely shed some weight.”
4. Include more colours in your platter – dark green, yellow, orange, and red. According to Diabetes Forecast, eating naturally colourful food has its own health benefits.
For example, red/purple/blue coloured fruits or vegetables get their colour due to the presence of pigments called anthocyanins that are powerful antioxidants.
Similarly, orange/yellow vegetables or fruits contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A in the body and thus helps maintain eye and skin health, and also fights cancer. Dark green vegetables and fruits are rich in minerals, vitamin A and calcium.
5. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health stresses on adding calcium to your daily diet. However, the researchers says “milk isn’t the only, or even best, source”. You will get natural calcium in white beans, almonds, seafood, oranges, leafy greens, soy milk and tofu.
6. Stay hydrated, limit drinks high on calories. The healthiest drink available to you is water. The recommended intake is eight glasses a day. Avoid sugary drinks and ready-to-drink fruit juices.
7. Eating less salt is always good. Salt raises our blood pressure levels. As per Consensus Action on Salt and Health, we should lower our salt intake to less than 1 gm a day.
8. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health suggests we should take a multivitamin tablet, along with some extra vitamin D, every day as often the daily requirement is not met solely from food.
9. Eating by the clock may help avoid several health hazards. Instead of three large meals a day, Fitness Magazine suggests we take smaller portions every five hours. Thus, along with taking care of hunger pangs, our sugar levels will also keep stabilized.
10. Be a slow eater. Instead of hurriedly finishing off your meal in five minutes, stretch the indulgence for around 30 minutes. American Dietetic Association spokesperson Dawn Jackson Blatner was quoted as saying in Fitness Magazine: “People who eat slowly tend to eat 70 calories less per meal than people who rush through in under 10 minutes.”
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.