Why is it important to have a healthy diet?
- A well balanced diet can help in preventing obesity, reduce diseases like arthritis, heart diseases, type two diabetes, certain cancers and also prevent mood swings.
- Our diet also provides certain vital nutrients likevitamins and minerals which are required in small quantities for good health.Lack of minerals like iron can cause anaemia. Lack of vitamins can cause diseases like night blindness, weakness of bones, bleeding problems and nerve pains.
What are the essentials of a good diet?
- A good diet should provide energy in the form of calories. These depend on lifestyle and gender. Most women need between 1500-2000 Kcal per day and men might require 2500-3500 Kcal per day.
- A well balanced diet should consist of protein (meat, eggs, legumes), carbohydrates (bread, cereal, potato), fats (oils, butter) as well as minerals (milk, meat, green leafy vegetables), vitamins (fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs) and water.
How can I prevent food indiscipline?
Keeping in mind some simple lifestyle habits can help in avoiding food indiscipline.
- Avoid temptation- Avoid keeping junk food like chips and colas at home. That way, even if temptation strikes, you’ll be forced to choose healthier options like fresh fruits and salads.
- Stock up on fresh produce and cook from scratch at home- Making food from scratch at home and carrying the same as lunch to office or school helps to develop the taste of fresh food. It is also healthier as you can avoid harmful preservatives in tinned and canned foods, like nitrates and excess salt.
- Keep water at hand- Many a time, we mistake thirst for hunger pangs or food cravings. Keeping a glass of water handy can help us remember to keep sipping through the day.
- Avoid excess dieting- Many people indulge in crash dieting or avoid food groups. This can be unhealthy in the long run. It’s best to have a balanced diet with all food groups in moderation. One can avoid fried foods and keep a check on portion sizes to control weight.
- Healthy plating- A healthy plate should have protein like meat, fish, eggs or pulses on one fourth, one fourth should have whole grains and the balance should have healthy salads with low calorie dressings like olive oil or lemon.
- Keep one meal as a cheat meal every week- This helps to prevent bingeing through the week.
- Shop healthy- It’s always better to avoid food shopping if you’re hungry- you’ll be more likely to buy unhealthy foods. Plan your meals in advance, make a grocery list and shop accordingly. This way you’ll always have the ingredients for healthy meals at hand and there will be enough variety to avoid boredom
- Use technology- There are many smart devices that can help to make food tastier and healthier. From air fryers to popcorn makers, technology can help in preparing healthy, delicious meals.
- Indulge in healthy snacking- The urge to snack between meals is commonly seen in children. Keep carrot sticks, fruits and popcorn along with lemonade ready to avoid unhealthy snacking.
- Eating out- To avoid bingeing at parties and while eating out, have a light snack, like soup or a salad, before attending the event. Opt for roasted and grilled food along with healthy salads and choose fruits for dessert.
- Correct storage of food is also important. It’s always advisable to refrigerate perishables like milk, eggs and freeze meats as these can otherwise transmit bacteria that cause food poisoning.